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Don Knotts Dies at 81

Don Knotts, who became a TV icon on THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW playing bumbling deputy Barney Fife, passed away on Friday, Feb. 24, 2006, at the age of 81. Knotts died of pulmonary and respiratory complications at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills.

In the world of animation, Knotts is most remembered as the title character in live-action 2D animation hybrid, THE INCREDIBLE MR. LIMPET, where he played a meek clerk who turns into a fish after the Navy rejects him.

On TV, he appeared twice in THE NEW SCOOBY-DOO MOVIES. He also voiced T.W. Turtle in CATS DON'T DANCE, and Gee Wilikers in Filmations' PINOCCHIO AND THE EMPEROR OF THE NIGHT. At Disney, he voiced Mayor Turkey Lurkey in CHICKEN LITTLE and the Dogcatcher in the 2D direct-to-video LADY AND THE TRAMP II: SCAMP'S ADVENTURE.

At his bedside at the time of his death was longtime co-star Andy Griffith and Griffith's wife, Cindi, along with Knotts' wife, Francey, and two children, according to a statement issued by Knotts' manager, Sherwin Bash.

Knotts won five Emmy Awards for his work on ANDY GRIFFITH.

Jesse Donald Knotts was born on July 21, 1924, in Morgantown, West Virginia.

He is survived by his two children from his first marriage, Karen and Thomas; and his wife of three years, Francey Yarborough.

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
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