Every school child of the ’60s who had to spend a day or two at home in bed watched Mayberry RFD, and so there’s an entire generation of boomers who will smile and say thanks to the departed Don Knotts, whose gentle persona charmed almost everyone capable of being charmed.
When you think about, this ultimate acceptance of who they were, a staple of Knotts’ characters, mirrored a decision he must have made about himself early in his show business career. He wasn’t good-looking. He couldn’t sing or dance. His voice could be grating. So, he laid aside pretense and fashioned himself into the best version of himself–at least on screens large and small–that he could be.