: Sad to see them go

02-28-06, 04:09 PM
They say when famous people die, it comes in threes.

This week, we lost Don Knotts, Darren McGavin, and Dennis Weaver. Most of the young guys (and ladies) on this board know Don Knotts well as Deputy Barney Fife from the old Andy Griffith show. If you really want to see him at his absolute brilliant best, I recommend the following two episodes:

The Pickle Story (1964)
Barney's New Car (1960)

Darren McGavin did a lot of movie work, usually as a supporting character (he played the grouchy dad in "A Christmas Story"), but my personal favorite lead role was pair of TV movies he did called "The Night Stalker" and "The Night Strangler." At the time, they were the most watched TV movies in history. They later became a series, but If you get a chance to see the original pilot movies, they are fabulous. I think Sci Fi Channel runs them once in awhile.

Finally, Dennis Weaver. Us old guys remember him as Chester from the early days of Gunsmoke, or as McCloud in the 1970s. Lesser known is the fact that Dennis starred in Stephen Spielberg's very first full-length film. It's a superb thriller called "Duel," about a regular guy driving across the desert, pursued by a faceless madman in a vintage semi-truck. Very Hitchcock-like camera angles and edge of your seat tension. Many video stores still have it in the bargain rack, or you can order the DVD off Amazon.

God rest thier souls.

02-28-06, 06:39 PM
Aw hell yeah!!! "Duel" is one of my all-time favorites. Dennis Weaver was also "McCloud" in the 70's, and was the park ranger in "Gentle Ben" in the 60's with Opie's little brother, Clint Howard (the ugliest white man on the planet).

I saw Don Knotts and Tim Conway do a live performance a couple years ago at one of the casinos in Mississippi. He still had that great timing. He was a little feeble, but still going.

Darren McGavin is as much a part of my pre-Christmas routine now as Jimmy Stewart and Bing Crosby.

You can't get in the spirit without watching the JOY on McGavin's face when he gets that leg lamp from Italy. The box said 'FRAGILE' and he pronounced it "Fra-GEE-lay."

"It must be from ITALY!"

All three were great. We're not safe anymore. We lost two deputies and a night stalker.