‘The Andy Griffith Show’: Barney Fife Actor Don Knotts’ Replacement Didn’t Last Long on the Show

by Will Shepard
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The Andy Griffith Show had an incredibly solid cast of actors for their show. After season five finished, Don Knotts decided not to renew his contract with the show to pursue another opportunity.

So, when Knotts decided to leave, the show had to fill the Barney Fife role. In his stead, Jack Burns was cast as the deputy to replace Barney. Deputy Warren Ferguson joined the show as Andy Taylor’s new deputy.

When his character was introduced to the show, viewers found out that he was Floyd the barber’s nephew. Jack Burns was originally from Boston, so his accent was as thick as they come. Consequently, in the North Carolina town, it was immediately obvious that he was an implant.

Deputy Ferguson was Burns’ first big role on television. He had done a series of work on the stage before getting The Andy Griffith Show gig, though. But, even though people knew who Burns was, he didn’t last long on the show.

In fact, Burns was only on the show for eleven total episodes. Those episodes, however, were not all in back-to-back sequences. His episodes spanned from 1965 to 1966.

Don Knotts Was Beloved by His Co-Workers on “The Andy Griffith Show”

Don Knotts was an essential part of The Andy Griffith Show. Fans loved his contributions to the legendary show, and it made him a fan-favorite character.

When he left after the fifth season, the show took a tumble. After only a few episodes, not having Barney Fife as part of the show was certainly apparent. Don Knotts’ character was the perfect compliment to Andy Griffith’s own character. The two played off each other as well as any other duo in television.

When Fife left the show for his brief hiatus, other actors in the show had to step up. One actor was a big fan of his.

John Ritter worked with Don Knotts on Three’s Company well after The Andy Griffith Show finished. Ritter was always inspired by the iconic actor. In fact, he told Weekly World News that Knotts had always been his acting inspiration.

He even said that he would practice imitating the actor. Ritter’s impression of Don Knotts was reportedly spot on, and he would often break out the imitation.

This is a great example of how well-respected Don Knotts was in Hollywood. It didn’t matter what project the late actor was working on, he always garnered attention.

Outsider.com