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Emmy winner Don Knotts dead at 81

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WASHINGTON, Feb 26 (Reuters) Don Knotts, who won five Emmys for portraying the bungling deputy Barney Fife on ''The Andy Griffith Show,'' has died, media reports said. He was 81.

Knotts' bug-eyed, high-strung character helped make ''Andy Griffith,'' a sitcom about a folksy sheriff in small-town America, one of the most popular U.S. television shows of the 1960s.

Knotts also had a string of successful comedic movies, including ''The Ghost and Mr. Chicken'' and ''The Incredible Mr.

Limpet,'' and later appeared as a regular in the TV comedy series ''Three's Company.'' Knotts began his entertainment career as a ventriloquist in his hometown of Morgantown, West Virginia, and began working as a stand-up comedian entertaining troops after enlisting in the Army during World War Two.

Reuters SK VP0537

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