Fuzzy Knight

Active - 1932 - 1967  |   Born - May 9, 1901   |   Died - Feb 23, 1976   |   Genres - Western, Action, Comedy

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Biography by Hal Erickson

To western fans, the nickname "Fuzzy" invokes fond memories of two first-rate comedy sidekicks: Al "Fuzzy" St. John and John Forest "Fuzzy" Knight. Knight inaugurated his career at age 15 with a tent minstrel troupe. His skill as a musician enabled him to work his way through West Virginia University, after which he headed his own band. Among Knight's theatrical credits in the '20s was the 1927 edition of Earl Carroll's Vanities and the 1928 "book" musical Here's How. Mae West caught Knight's act on the Keith vaudeville circuit and cast the bucolic entertainer in her 1933 film vehicle She Done Him Wrong; he would later show up playing West's country cousin in the actress' last important film, My Little Chickadee (1940). Usually essaying comedy roles, Knight was effective in the his dramatic scenes in Paramount's Trail of the Lonesome Pine (1936), wherein he tearfully sings a mountain ballad at the funeral of little Spanky McFarland. Knight's B-western comedy sidekick activity peaked in the mid '40s (he appeared most often with Johnny Mack Brown), after which his film roles diminished as his fondness for the bottle increased. Promising to behave himself (at least during filming), Fuzzy Knight signed on in 1955 for Buster Crabbe's popular TV adventure series Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion; for the next two years, Knight played a semi-serious legionnaire -- named Private Fuzzy Knight.

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