Barney Fife is one of the most iconic characters in television history. The enormously popular and riotously funny character was conceived, crafted and portrayed by the extraordinarily talented Don Knotts for the 1960s Andy Griffith Show.
Don Knotts became one of the most famous and recognizable faces in America, remaining a phenomenal success for decades.
A former professional actor, Bill Knotts is now bringing “Mayberry Memories,” his one-man cruise ship show about his famous uncle, to theaters across his home state of Arizona — including at Zao Theatre, 6338 S. Kings Ranch Road in Gold Canyon, at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 26 and 2 p.m. Jan. 27. Reserve your seat on the Zao website www.zaotheatre.org or call Centerstage Church/Zao Theatre at 480-924-5122.
“In this nostalgic and entertaining journey, Bill ushers his audience into a simpler time; back to the idyllic, fictional town of Mayberry. He delves into the Knotts family history, Don’s early career and how he landed the part of Barney Fife, as well as his movie career with Universal, his memorable partnering with Tim Conway for multiple Disney movies, his return to television on Three’s Company and Matlock, and his many stage productions across the country,” according to a release.
While attending the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in the 1970s, Bill Knotts had the opportunity to live with Don Knotts and his wife in Beverly Hills. In “Mayberry Memories,” Bill Knotts’ theater and acting background is on full display as he regales the audience with numerous personal tales and family anecdotes of his time spent with Don over the decades, the release states.
Sprinkling in family pictures and plenty of video clips of some of the greatest scenes from The Andy Griffith Show, Bill Knotts reintroduces the iconic and lovable characters and the actors who made them come to life. Audience reactions to several early career videos from the 1950s, before Don Knotts was a household name, provide clues of the coming huge career that was still in his future.
Bill Knotts also recounts stories by Andy Griffith, Ron Howard and Tim Conway at various times in the evening and finishes with a quick look at the dozens of famous stars who appeared on the Andy Griffith Show before they made it big.
Bill Knotts has appeared as Professor Harold Hill in “The Music Man”; Snoopy in “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”; Sir Thomas More in “Anne of a Thousand Days” and many other theater roles. Numerous commercials, industrial films and live shows and corporate emcee opportunities rounded out his acting resume before he decided to pursue a business and teaching career, the release states.
Bill Knotts has been an entrepreneur and teacher most of his adult life. For over two decades he taught leadership principles, self-discipline, and networking skills to business owners throughout the U.S.. He has an MBA from Arizona State University and has also taught college courses in investments, entrepreneurship, business communication and labor relations. He taught seminars for several years in various countries while a contractor for a national stock trading firm.