US actor Don Knotts, who won five Emmys for playing a bumbling deputy sheriff in comedy The Andy Griffith Show, has died in a Los Angeles hospital aged 81.
Knotts won five Emmys for his role in The Andy Griffith Show
Knotts won over millions of fans as Deputy Barney Fife in the hugely popular 1960s series.
He also played landlord Ralph Furley in 1980s sitcom Three's Company.
Knott died of pulmonary and respiratory complications. Co-star Griffith said: "Don was a small man, but everything else about him was large."
"Don was special. There's nobody like him," he added.
"I loved him very much. We had a long and wonderful life together."
Knotts starred in seven TV series and more than 25 films, but it was the Griffith show for which he will be best remembered.
Knotts was one of America's best-loved comedy actors
As Griffith's fumbling deputy, Knotts carried in his shirt pocket the single bullet his character was allowed after shooting himself in the foot.
He began his career as a ventriloquist in his home town of Morgantown, West Virginia, and began working as a stand-up comedian entertaining troops during World War II.
His film roles included The Reluctant Astronaut, which also starred Leslie Nielsen, It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, and Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo.
Knotts also had a key role in 1998's Pleasantville, playing a television repairman whose remote control sent two youngsters into a sitcom past.