Jesse Donald Knotts (July 21, 1924 – February 24, 2006) was an American actor and comedian. He is widely known for his role as Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show, a 1960s sitcom for which he earned five Emmy Awards.: 18 He also played Ralph Furley on the highly rated sitcom Three's Company from 1979 to 1984. He starred in multiple comedic films, including the leading roles in The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966) and The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964). In 2004, TV Guide ranked him number 27 on its 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time list.Knotts was born in West Virginia, the youngest of 4 children. In the 1940s, before earning a college degree, he served in the United States Army and serving in World War II. While he was serving, he chose to become a ventriloquist and comedian as part of a G.I. variety show called "Stars and Gripes". After being discharged, Knotts got his first major break on television in the soap opera Search for Tomorrow where he appeared from 1953 to 1955. His breakthrough role on Steve Allen's variety show, as part of Allen's repertory company, most notably in Allen's mock "Man in the Street" interviews, playing the role extremely nervous man. In 1958, Knotts made his film debut in the adapted version of No Time for Sergeants. Knotts was cast as deputy Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show. This role lasted for 8 years, from 1960 to 1968. His character was also in other television shows, such as The Joey Bishop Show, and Return to Mayberry. Knotts won five Emmy Awards for Best Supporting Actor in a Television Comedy because of his performance. He also appeared in the films The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966) and The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964). Knotts died in 2006 after a battle with lung cancer. He was recognized in 2000 with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. A statue honoring Knotts, created by Jamie Lester, was unveiled on July 23, 2016, in front of The Metropolitan Theatre on High Street in his hometown of Morgantown, West Virginia.