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