I don’t know how many times I’ve asked: was Don Knotts a stud or a great actor? I’ve wondered this for years. The conclusion is that he was both. Think about it. If you were a female wouldn’t you find Don Knotts extremely handsome? The man was a stallion. His portrayal of Barney Fife (on the Andy Griffith Show) and Ralph Furley (on Three’s Company) was magnificent. He was into his role so well that it was hard to tell if he was being himself or playing his character.
Unfortunately, Don was too big for the small screen. I mean tv couldn’t possibly showcase his talents. There were problems on the Andy Griffith Show because Andy couldn’t stand the fact that Don was so suave. Andy had him thrown off the show! I am glad that Don didn’t hold it against him because he would be stooping to Griffith’s level. Luckily, Don could blow it off as simple jealousy. Thank god that they didn’t try to replace him. Who could fill his shoes? The answer of course is no one.
Don took small parts and enjoyed life in the fast lane. Unfortunately, he fell into the Hollywood lifestyle of fast women, sex, rock ‘n’ roll (he recorded a disco album under the name DJ Don Jaun), and drugs. For several years, Don lived a life of heroin and cocaine diets. Fortunately, he saw the errors of his ways and checked himself into rehabilitation. By the ’80’s, Knotts was back in action: sexier and cooler than ever.
The role of Ralph Furley was a change for Knotts. Finally, he was able to showcase his true abilities. As Mr. Furley, Knotts proved that he was a stud. One need only look at his leisure suits and scarves. It is rumoured that Knotts fathered a child with co-star Joyce Dewitt (she played Janet on Three’s Company). Apparently, John Ritter feared that Knotts would squeeze him out of the spotlight. He allowed Ritter to take star billing. Ritter has forever been grateful to Knotts and owes much of his success to Don.
Today, Don enjoys acting with his old friend Andy Griffith on the Matlock series. He will always be one of the great actors of the 20th century. His success has been enormous (especially in Zaire). Perhaps his greatness was his sexiness. Don Knotts was and always will be, a thespian, a stud, and a god!!
The Wheel Well