It wasn’t much of a job.
But at the time, Jesse didn’t think he was much of a person. His father was a brute of a man; William Jesse Knotts died in 1937, when Don Knotts was thirteen His dad was actually thought to be mentally ill and treated Jesse rough most of his life.
Jesse’s older brother wasn’t much better. He was always picking on Jesse and beating him up. Yes, Jesse grew up in a very rough home in West Virginia . Life was anything but easy. And he thought life didn’t hold much hope for him. That’s why he was standing in this chicken line, doing a job that darn few people wanted. In addition to all the rough treatment at home, it seems that Jesse was always sick. Sometimes it was real physical illness, but way too often it was all in his head. He was a small child, skinny and meek. that sure didn’t help the situation any.
When he started to school, he was the object of every bully on the playground. He was a hypochondriac of the first order. For Jesse, tomorrow was not always something to be looked forward to. But, he had dreams. He wanted to be a ventriloquist. He found books on ventriloquism. He practiced with sock puppets and saved his hard earned dollars until he could get a real ventriloquist dummy. Jesse was told early in his career that he did not have a chance as an actor. This is when he took a job plucking chickens for a market.
Yes, that little paranoid hypochondriac, who transferred his nervousness into a successful career, still holds the record for the most Emmy’s given in a single category; He won 5 “Best Supporting Actor.”
Don Knotts, had many other acting roles. In the late 1950’s he played along-side Andy Griffith in “No Time For Sergeant.” During this time Knotts and Griffith shot a film of the same title. Later he was on “The Steve Allen Show”, along with Andy Griffith making several appearances. In 1960, Knotts joined Griffith on a new sitcom, The “Andy Griffith Show”, playing Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife to Griffith’s Sheriff Andy Taylor. Between 1960 &1965 Knotts won 3 Emmys. In 1965 he left the show to pursue his acting career. He made periodic appearances in 1966-1967 and this won him 2 more Emmys.
In 1964 he played in the comedy “The Incredible Mr. Limpet.” In other family films for Knotts included “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken” (1966), “The Reluctant Astronaut” (1967), and “The Shakiest Gun in the West” (1968). Later in the Disney comedy-Western, “The Apple Dumpling Gang“, in 1975, co-starring Tim Conway, a few years later the two comedians made a sequel and spin-off “The Apple Dumpling Gang.” Knott is also known as Mr. Furley, from “Threes Company” (1979). Once again in 1986 Knotts teamed with Andy Griffith and Ron Howard in te “Return to Mayberry.” In 1988-1992 Knotts played the pesky neighbor along-side Andy Griffith in “Matlock.” Knotts also had a lead role in the film “Pleasantville” (1998).
Thank you for listening/reading to this story. I trust it will encourage you today as it has me. Until Later, Lord bless you as you seek Him daily for your hope, joy & peace as He showers you in His grace so amazingly.