‘Three’s Company’: Andy Griffith Said Don Knotts ‘Was Awful’ in His Ralph Furley Role

Andy Griffith and Don Knotts in a scene from 'Matlock'
Andy Griffith and Don Knotts in a scene from ‘Matlock’ | Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank

Knotts played Barney Fife for 5 years

The Barney Fife actor played the deputy sheriff’s role for five years on the rural comedy, bringing his own brand of physical comedy to the part.

The two stars’ moments on screen offered “a glimpse of the magic that could unfold when

Perhaps Andy Griffith was a perfectionist. That might explain why he wasn’t all that impressed with his former Andy Griffith Show co-star Don Knotts‘ performance on the 1980s situation comedy Three’s Company.

Knotts portrayed Ralph Furley on the ABC comedy.

Here’s why Griffith was brutally honest with Knotts about his role as Ralph Furley.

Andy Griffith and Don Knotts in a scene from ‘Matlock’ | Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo BankKnotts played Barney Fife for 5 years

The Barney Fife actor played the deputy sheriff’s role for five years on the rural comedy, bringing his own brand of physical comedy to the part.

The two stars’ moments on screen offered “a glimpse of the magic that could unfold when Andy and Don shared a scene: Barney’s almost unbearably taut delivery, the twinkle of love in Andy’s eyes, and the impeccable timing that linked the two actors,” according to Daniel de Vise, author of Andy and Don: The Making of a Friendship and a Classic American TV Show.

Andy Griffith and Don Knotts on the set of ‘The Andy Griffith Show,’ 1960

The show’s creator, Sheldon Leonard, said of the pair: “There was such an electricity, there was such chemistry apparent on the screen when we saw it in the dailies in the next day after we shot it.”

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Don Knotts also played Ralph Furley on ‘Three’s Company’

When actor Norman Fell left his role as Mr. Roper for the show’s spin-off The Ropers, the show’s producers reached out to Knotts to fill in the spot that Fell and his Mrs. Roper co-star Audra Lindley left vacant – no audition necessary.

“They just decided they wanted me,” Knotts told the Television Academy Foundation. “Norman Fell was playing the landlord. They put him and the actor who played his wife in a series of their own. And they needed a new landlord so they borrowed me.”

Source:: Showbiz Cheat Sheet

      

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