HomeEntertainment‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Star Don Knotts: What Was Legend’s Final Role?

‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Star Don Knotts: What Was Legend’s Final Role?

by Brandi Stillings
Photo by Jeff Hochberg/Getty Images

From a ventriloquist to radio and TV, legendary actor Don Knotts was meant to entertain the world. After introducing his signature nervous, high-strung acting persona, he was soon cast in “The Andy Griffith Show.” The role made him the legend he is today.

Playing Deputy Barney Fife, Knotts received an Emmy Award for “Best Supporting Actor” five times. Then, Hollywood recognized his growing fame.

His debut film role was in 1964, starring in “The Incredible Mr. Limpet.” He continued to act in big-screen movies for several years. However, due to his decreasing popularity, Knotts’ contract was canceled. He attempted TV again to star in his own variety show, but it was quickly canceled.

Many decades have passed since the former “Andy Griffith” star first stepped into the limelight. Prior to his death on February 24, 2006, Knotts had worked in a few animated features as a voiceover.

“Air Buddies” was Knotts’ final film released after his death.

A 2006 straight-to-DVD comedy film, it’s the sixth film in the “Air Bud” series. According to IMDb, it follows the life of a lonely teenager and his dog who has the uncanny ability to play every sport.

Knotts starred as “Sniffer,” An old bloodhound who lost his sense of smell years ago. He later regains it after getting sprayed by a skunk. He’s one of the characters in the movie who help the Buddies find their parents.

Jerry Van Dyke Revealed Don Knotts’ Role in ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Wasn’t an Option

Hollywood actor Jerry Van Dyke was successful in his career. Although in the shadow of his older brother Dick, Jerry Van Dyke still managed to make a name for himself.

He began acting in the 1940s and carried on doing so until 2015, three years before he passed away. During an interview with Pop Dose in 2013, Jerry Van Dyke talked about a lot of his career.

More specifically, he recounted moments spent with his friend Don Knotts. Following Knotts decision to leave “The Andy Griffith Show,” Van Dyke was suggested for the role. In the interview, they asked if he could’ve replace Barney Fife.

“They were talking about it,” he replied. “They did a show, and I appeared where I basically played Don Knotts’ part.”

However, Van Dyke never received an offer to play the part. He didn’t even consider taking it in the first place.

“… It was a very funny episode. And I know they wanted me to do it, but I never had a real offer for it,” the actor explained to Pop Dose. “I know they were kicking it around, though. But I wouldn’t have taken it, anyway. It would’ve been a really dumb move.”