In his later years, Don Knotts spent most of his time doing voice-overs for animated films. This was due to his declining health and inability to do anything even slightly physically demanding. The actor was then in his late seventies and preferred to lend his voice as a way to keep acting and entertaining people, as he had never wanted to retire from the industry. His role in 2004’s TV show, Dave the Barbarian, was the last TV performance he would do before his passing. The TV show was fairly successful both commercially and critically and managed to draw a considerable audience of children.
The animated TV show mostly revolved around a barbarian named Dave, who goes on incredible adventures with his friends and family. It’s theme is set mostly during medieval times, so it does offer some view for kids into older history. Knott’s guest role on the show was as the Baker in one of the episodes. There’s no doubt that if Don Knotts was still alive, he would do a fantastic job voicing over various characters in cartoons and animated TV shows and films. His voice translates well into the audio medium and brings with it his unique and iconic personality and mannerisms.
His Hollywood Star
Just a few years before his passing in 2006, Don Knotts was awarded a coveted star on the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame. The star was placed at 7083 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on January 19, 2000. This is a legendary achievement and one that many stars aspire to throughout their entire lives. Over 2,600 stars have had their feet and hands printed on these iconic steps all along the Hollywood Boulevard sidewalk. It's quite an achievement and the place is one of the most popular tourist destinations in California with tens of millions of visitors every year.
Don Knotts was seen in the picture above right after the printing with his best friend, Andrew Griffith. He later said that this was the best award he ever received in his entire acting career. That definitely says a lot from a man as humble and accomplished as Don Knotts.
Gus - A Success!
Another one of Don Knotts' popular appearances was at a 1976 sports film titled Gus. In the movie, Don plays a coach who often screams at his team’s players from the sidelines. It was a box office success and received generally favorable reviews. This was a serious departure from the actor’s usual roles, as he had a much more dramatic and intense tone in this one, compared to any of his previous films.
Gus, as played by Knotts, is again portrayed as an inept person, as his team has not won a single game in many years. The film is also known as the only movie in Don Knotts' major five films with Tim Conway where they don't share a single scene.
Don and Andrew's Chemistry
One of Don Knotts' and Andrew Griffin's first films together was the 1957 comedy, No Time for Sergeants, which helped launch the two popular actors' careers. It was a major hit with audiences and was the first time that people saw the amazing chemistry between the two actors. You can really see Don’s and Andrew’s relationship shine through the film, and this was a very good sign of things to come from the popular acting duo.
In the film, which is based on a Broadway play, which itself was based on a 1954 best-selling novel by Mac Hayman, we follow the chronicles of a reluctant country bumpkin named Will Stockdale (played by Andrew Griffith) who gets drafted into the United States military Air Forces during World War II. Sergeant Orville King (played by Don Knotts), was his enemy and reluctant mentor in the film.
A Triple Loss to the Acting World on Just One Day
In a very weird and unusual turn of events, two of America’s most popular and entertaining actors were both born in the same year and less than a month apart. If that’s not crazy enough, they also passed away in the same month — on the exact same day. The actors we’re referring to here are Don Knotts, whom we’ve talked about in detail, and Dennis Weaver, one of the most beloved and successful actors at the time, who was also the former president of the Screen Actors Guild. The two worked in many films throughout their acting careers, and their acting paths intersected on many occasions. A third actor who was just two years older than them also passed away just a few hours after them, his name was Darren McGavin.
Dennis Weaver was best known for his roles as Chester Goode on the CBS western Gunsmoke, Marshal Matt Dillon's trusty partner, and for playing as Deputy Marshal Sam McCloud on the NBC police drama McCloud. He was also the star of the 1971 film Duel, which was the first film ever made by the iconic director Steven Spielberg. He died of complications from cancer in Ridgway, Colorado, just a few hours around the same time that Don Knotts passed away. It’s unknown whether the two had communicated while in their deathbeds before passing away.