Although Don Knotts portrayed Deputy Barney Fife on “The Andy Griffith Show” for only five years , from 1960-1965, he had become a celebrity by the time he became a spokesman for Dodge trucks in the late ’60s. On OverdriveRetro this week, you can read about one of the ads he appeared in that ran in Overdrive’s May 1970 issue.
Before his death at age 81 in 2006, Knotts appeared in a number of TV show, film and stage roles, and he returned to the role of Barney Fife several times, including an appearance as the bumbling deputy in the pilot of “The New Andy Griffith Show.” Starting in 1975, he performed in a number of children’s movies with comedian Tim Conway, and, eventually, became known for his voice narrations in the “Scooby Doo” series of movies.
His acclaim is part of the national culture. The Hollyood Walk of Fame honored Knotts in 2000 with a star. He remained lifelong friends with Andy Griffith, with whom he played his first major role in “No Time for Sargeants” in 1958. And a statue of him stands in his hometown, Morgantown, W. Va., in a memorial park along Don Knotts Boulevard.