We all know that Don Knotts was a very, very funny comedic actor. In fact, his “Three’s Company” costars thought he was so funny that they couldn’t go forward with the scene.
According to an article on CheatSheet.com, Joyce DeWitt, who played Janet Wood in the famous trio, was a big fan of Knotts and his work on the show.
She talked about the famous comedic actor following his death with Larry King on his show “Larry King Live.”
Knotts played landlord Ralph Furley on the popular sitcom.
“I mean, I would just say a line, and I would just wait until Don was done being absolutely hysterical. And then I would say another line. … then, Don would do another two minutes of absolute hysteria,” DeWitt said according to the article. “And the effortlessness with which one could work with him, because he was so brilliant — you could just lay it out there and get out of the way. … yes, there were many a night that we had to stop camera and start over, because … He was so good. He was so funny.”
Joyce DeWitt Praises Don Knotts’ Work on ‘Three’s Company’
DeWitt continued her praise and laughter for Knotts and his work on “Three’s Company.”
She also said: “And the freshness with which he could do it each time was just so disarming that, many a time, thank God they would be over my shoulder on occasion, and we wouldn’t have to stop. But when we were in a shared shot, many a time, they would have to stop and start over, because I couldn’t help it.”
Don Knotts died in 2006 at the age of 81.
Along with a plethora of other roles, he is best known for his role as Barney Fife on “The Andy Griffith Show.”
He earned five Emmy Awards for his work on that show. Knotts worked on “Three’s Company” from 1979-1984.
The actor’s work in movies included “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken” as well as “The Incredible Mr. Limpet.”
Don Knotts Backed Suzanne Somers on Infamous Salary Increase Request
Don Knotts joined the cast of “Three’s Company” in 1979 after Norman Fell left the show. Fell played the manager who operated the building that was central to the show. It was the building where the characters portrayed by John Ritter, Joyce DeWitt, and Suzanne Somers lived.
Knotts’s character became the new building manager on screen. Interestingly, the actor chose to back Somers when she requested an increase in salary. It was a request that ultimately resulted in her exit from the show.
After the show’s fifth season, Somers’s contract came to an end. She reportedly wanted to make the same salary per episode as Ritter, but the network said no. She complained and her run on the show ended.
“Three’s Company” wasn’t the same without Somers’ character, Chrissy. Ratings even declined after her exit. Ritter was reportedly angered by Somers complaining in public about her salary. It would take two decades for the actors to reconcile.