Don Knotts, the skinny, lovable nerd who kept generations of television audiences laughing as bumbling Deputy Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show, has died. He was 81.

Knotts died Friday night of pulmonary and respiratory complications at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills, said Paul Ward, a spokesman for the cable network TV Land, which airs The Andy Griffith Show, and another Knotts hit, "Three's Company. Unspecified health problems had forced him to cancel an appearance in his native Morgantown in August 2005. The West Virginia-born actor's half-century career included seven TV series and more than 25 films, but it was the Griffith show that brought him TV immortality and five Emmys.

Brian B. at Movieweb
Brian B.