Depending on when you were born, you perhaps recognize Don Knotts as either the one-bullet deputy Barney Fife or the desperately lonely landlord Ralph Furley. But between the seminal television programs The Andy Griffith Show and Three's Company, Knotts was a successful film star in his own right. The Incredible Mr. Don Knotts, a book by Kevin Marhanka and Stephen Cox, begins with Knotts' performance opposite Andy Griffith in the film No Time for Sergeants — the beginning of their lifelong friendship — and then delves into the years when the slightly-built actor with the quavering voice had a five-picture deal with Universal Studios as a comic leading man. Through interviews with friends and costars such as Griffith, Tim Conway (who made a number of Disney films with Knotts, including childhood favorite The Apple Dumpling Gang) and Ron Howard, Marhanka and Cox explore for the first time Knotts' filmography. The coauthors sign copies of The Incredible Mr. Don Knotts from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, December 19, at the Saint Louis Galleria Waldenbooks (South Brentwood Boulevard and Clayton Road, Richmond Heights; 314-725-9655). Admission is free.
Fri., Dec. 19, 2008