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Television Industry Mourns The Passing Of Three Of Its Stars

The Television and Film Industry Recieves Word on the Passing of Three of its Stars. Mike Smith has the story:

The TV and film industry rremambers three actors whose deaths were reported over the weekend:

Darren McGavin, whose TV roles include Carl Kolchak on "The Night Stalker", and the Dad in the holiday classic "A Christmas Story"; Joplin Missouri born Dennis Weaver, whose roles include Chester on the TV western Gunsmoke and Deputy Marshall Jim McCloud; and Don Knotts, who is perhaps best known for his role as Deputy Barny Fife on "The Andy Griffith Show".

Upon hearing about the death of Don Knotts, I talked with Mitch Jayne, a humorist, author, and musician now living in Eminence Missouri. In the early 1960's, Mitch, along with Dean Webb and brothers Rodney and Doug Dillard, were featured on six episodess of the Andy Griffith show. In real life the four Salem Missouri musicians were the original members of "The Dillards" which would become one of the most inflential Bluegrass Bands of the 1960's and 70's. On the Andy Griffith Show, they were cast as the "Darlin' Family".

Mitch Jayne Says Don Knotts was actually shy by nature, but when he was acting, he was "one of the best comedic minds in the business". Jayne says the writers of the Andy Griffith Show were quick to realize that Knotts could take a gag line and turn it into a full blown comedy sketch. He also says that the show helped viewers become more tolerant of people they knew who were like the Barny Fife character played by Knotts.

For KSMU News, I'm Mike Smith.