In the past days, two well-known comedic actors died, but not together:
Don Knotts, who kept generations of TV audiences laughing as bumbling Deputy Barney Fife on “The Andy Griffith Show” and would-be swinger landlord Ralph Furley on “Three’s Company,” has died. He was 81. Knotts died Friday night of pulmonary and respiratory complications at the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center, said Sherwin Bash, his friend and manager.
Griffith, who had visited Knotts in the hospital before his death, said his longtime friend had a brilliant comedic mind and wrote some of the show’s best scenes. “Don was a small man … but everything else about him was large: his mind, his expressions,” Griffith told The Associated Press on Saturday. “Don was special. There’s nobody like him. I loved him very much… We had a long and wonderful life together.”
“Darren McGavin was painting a movie set in 1945 when he learned of an opening for a small role in the show, climbed off his ladder, and returned through Columbia’s front gates to land the part. The husky, tough-talking performer went on to become one of the busiest actors in television and film, starring in five TV series, including “Mike Hammer,” and endearing holiday audiences with his role as the grouchy dad in the 1983 comedy classic “A Christmas Story.” McGavin, 83, died Saturday of natural causes at a Los Angeles-area hospital with his family at his side, said his son Bogart McGavin. McGavin also had leading roles in TV’s “Riverboat” and cult favorite “Kolchak: The Night Stalker.”