Fuzzy Knight

John Forrest "Fuzzy" Knight (May 9, 1901 – February 23, 1976) was an American film and television actor. He was also a singer, especially in his early career. He appeared in more than 180 films between 1928 and 1967, usually as a cowboy hero's comic sidekick.

Fuzzy Knight
Fuzzy Knight.jpg
Born
John Forrest Knight

(1901-05-09)May 9, 1901
DiedFebruary 23, 1976(1976-02-23) (aged 74)
Alma materWest Virginia University
OccupationActor
Years active1929–1967

BiographyEdit

Knight was born in Fairmont, West Virginia, the third child and son of James A. and Olive Knight.[1] In Fairmont, he worked as a clerk at a hotel and played in a theater orchestra.[2]

He attended nearby West Virginia University[3] where he was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity,[2] a cheerleader and law student. He wrote a pep song, "Fight Mountaineers," which is still frequently used by the Mountaineer Marching Band 90 years later. He also wrote the melody for a WVU song entitled "To Thee Our Alma Mater," with words by fellow graduate David A. Christopher. He formed his own band in college and played drums,[3] eventually leaving school to perform in vaudeville and in big bands such as Irving Aaronson's and George Olsen's.[4]

Eventually his musical and comedy skills took him to New York, where he appeared in Earl Carroll's Vanities of 1927 and on Broadway in Here's Howe and Ned Wayburn's Gambols.[5] He was billed under his nickname, Fuzzy (given him because of his peculiarly soft voice).[3]:236

While touring with bands, Knight came to Hollywood and appeared in several musical short films for MGM and Paramount between 1928 and 1932.[4] Mae West gave him his first notable film role in She Done Him Wrong, and he went on to play in hundreds of films over the next 30 years. By the 1940s, he was primarily playing in Western movies and was voted one of the Top Ten Money-Making Stars in Westerns in 1940.[3]:236

Knight became famous to a new generation when he co-starred as Buster Crabbe's sidekick (using his own name as Private Fuzzy Knight)[6] on the 1955 television series Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion.[3]:236 In semi-retirement thereafter, Knight continued to make occasional appearances in films and TV shows through 1967.

He died in his sleep at the Motion Picture Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California, and was survived by his wife, actress Patricia Ryan (née Thelma de Long).[4][3]:236 He was buried in Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery in Burbank, California.

FilmographyEdit

Film
Year Title Role Notes
1929 Night Parade Party Guest Uncredited
1932 Fighting For Justice Playing himself Song singer at piano
Hell's Highway Society Red
Vanity Street Drunk Uncredited
Speed Demon Lefty
1933 The Billion Dollar Scandal Piano Entertainer Uncredited
She Done Him Wrong Rag Time Kelly
Under the Tonto Rim Tex
Sunset Pass Willy Willard
Her Bodyguard Danny Dare
This Day and Age Max
To the Last Man Jeff Morley
Sitting Pretty Stock Clerk Uncredited
1934 Moulin Rouge Eddie
Come On Marines! Wimpy
The Last Round-Up Charles Bunko McGee
I Hate Women Cookie Smith
Operator 13 Pvt. Sweeney
The Cat's-Paw Stuttering Gangster
The Girl from Missouri Photographer with O'Sullivan Uncredited
Belle of the Nineties Comedian
She Had to Choose Wally
Behold My Wife! Photographer Uncredited
Night Alarm Dinner Club Comedian
Music in the Air Nick
1935 Home on the Range Cracker
George White's 1935 Scandals Sam Fogel Uncredited
Vagabond Lady Swan - Man with Pat Uncredited
Dizzy Dames Buzz
The Murder Man 'Buck' Hawkins
Danger Ahead Fred Klein Delicatessen Owner (singer/pianist)
Trails of the Wild Mountie Windy Cameron
Wanderer of the Wasteland Deputy Scott
The Old Homestead Lem
Hot Off the Press
Bars of Hate Montague
Mary Burns, Fugitive Dance hall attendant
1936 The Trail of the Lonesome Pine Tater
Song of the Trail Pudge
Rio Grande Romance Elmer
Palm Springs Ranch Hand Uncredited, off screen credit
And Sudden Death Steve Bartlett
Wildcat Trooper Constable Pat O'Hearne - RCMP
Kelly of the Secret Service Lefty Hogan
Sea Spoilers Hogan
The Plainsman Dave
Song of the Gringo Zony
With Love and Kisses Butch
Silks and Saddles Bottsie Botsworth
1937 Her Husband Lies Ears Norris Uncredited
The Gold Racket Scotty Summers
Mountain Justice Clem Biggers
Mountain Music Amos Burnside
Flying Fists Spider
County Fair Whitey the Trainer
Courage of the West Hank Givens First of four as the comic sidekick of Bob Baker
Quick Money Peter Piper Potter
Amateur Crook Jape - Gas-Station Attendant
The Singing Outlaw Longhorn Second with Bob Baker
1938 Everybody's Doing It Softy's Henchman Uncredited
Where the West Begins Buzz - Jack's Sidekick
Border Wolves Clem Barrett
The Last Stand Pepper
Joy of Living Sideshow Pianist & Singer Uncredited
Spawn of the North Lefty Jones
The Cowboy and the Lady Buzz
1939 Union Pacific Cookie
The Oregon Trail Deadwood Hawkins Serial
Desperate Trails Cousin Willie Strong
Oklahoma Frontier Frosty
Chip of the Flying U "Weary"
1940 Remember the Night Bandleader at Barn Dance Uncredited
West of Carson City Banjo
My Little Chickadee Cousin Zeb
Boss of Bullion City Burt Pennypacker
Johnny Apollo Cellmate
Riders of Pasco Basin Luther
Bad Man from Red Butte Spud
Son of Roaring Dan Tick Belden
Brigham Young Pete
Ragtime Cowboy Joe Joe Bushberry
Law and Order Deadwood
1941 Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie Lem Fielding
Horror Island Stuff Oliver
The Cowboy and the Blonde Skeeter
Law of the Range Chap
The Shepherd of the Hills Mr. Palestrom
Rawhide Rangers Porky Blake
Man from Montana Deputy Grubby
Badlands of Dakota Hurricane Harry
The Masked Rider Patches McQuilt
New York Town Gus Nelson
Arizona Cyclone Muleshoe
Fighting Bill Fargo Scoop
1942 Stagecoach Buckaroo Clem Clemmons
Butch Minds the Baby Wyoming Bill
Juke Girl Ike Harper
Lady in a Jam Govt. Man's Cabbie Uncredited
The Silver Bullet Wild Bill Jones
Boss of Hangtown Mesa Dr. J. Wellington Dingle
Deep in the Heart of Texas "Happy" T. Snodgras
Apache Trail Juke
Little Joe, the Wrangler Little Joe Smith
The Old Chisholm Trail Alvin Pendergast
1943 Tenting Tonight on the Old Camp Ground Si Dugan
He's My Guy Sparks
Cheyenne Roundup Cal Calkins
Raiders of San Joaquin Eustace Clairmont
Frontier Law Ramblin' Rufe Randel
The Lone Star Trail Angus MacAngus
Arizona Trail 'Kansas' Cobb
Corvette K-225 Cricket
1944 Marshal of Gunsmoke Glowworm Johnson
Oklahoma Raiders Banjo Bonner
Hi, Good Lookin'! Joe Smedley
The Great Alaskan Mystery 'Grit' Hartman Serial, [Chs. 4-13]
Cowboy and the Senorita Fuzzy
Boss of Boomtown Corporal 'Chatter' Box
Take It Big Cowboy Joe
Trigger Trail Echo
Allergic to Love Charlie
Trail to Gunsight Horatius Van Sickle
The Singing Sheriff Fuzzy
Riders of the Santa Fe Bullseye Johnson
The Old Texas Trail H. Pinkerton 'Pinky' Pinkley
1945 Frisco Sal Hallelujah
Song of the Sarong Pete McGillicutty
Beyond the Pecos Barnacle Pete Finnegan
Swing Out, Sister Clutch
Trail to Vengeance Hungry Huggins
Renegades of the Rio Grande Ranger Trigger Bidwell Alternative title: Bank Robbery
Bad Men of the Border Mortimer P. Rockabye Jones
Code of the Lawless Bonanza Featherstone
Senorita from the West Rosebud
Frontier Gal Fuzzy
1946 Girl on the Spot Bim
Gun Town Ivory
Her Adventurous Night Cudgeons
Lawless Breed Tumbleweed
Rustler's Round-Up Pinkerton J. 'Pinky' Pratt
Gunman's Code Bosco O'Toole
1947 The Egg and I Cab Driver
1948 Adventures of Gallant Bess Woody
1949 Down to the Sea in Ships Lern Sykes Uncredited
Rimfire Porky Hodges
Feudin' Rhythm Horseshoe
Apache Chief Sergeant Nevada
1950 Hostile Country Deacon Hall
Marshal of Heldorado The Mayor
Crooked River Deacon
Colorado Ranger Deacon
Hills of Oklahoma Jiggs Endicott
West of the Brazos Judge Deacon
Fast on the Draw Deacon
1951 Wanted: Dead or Alive Texas - U. S. Marshal
Canyon Raiders Texas Milburn
Skipalong Rosenbloom Sneaky Pete Alternative title: Square Shooter
Nevada Badmen Texas
Stagecoach Driver Texas McGillicudy
Show Boat Trocadero Piano Player Uncredited
Gold Raiders Sheriff
Honeychile Ice Cream Vendor
Lawless Cowboys Horace Greeley Smithers
Stage to Blue River Texas
1952 Night Raiders Tex
Rancho Notorious The Barber Uncredited
Rodeo Jazbo Davis
Oklahoma Annie Larry
The Gunman Blinkey
Kansas Territory Cap
Fargo Tad Sloan
Feudin' Fools Traps
1953 Topeka Pop Harrison
Vigilante Terror Strummer Jones
Geraldine Song Plugger Uncredited
1956 The Naked Hills Pitch Man
1958 The Notorious Mr. Monks Tom
1959 These Thousand Hills Jacob Smith Uncredited
1965 The Bounty Killer Captain Luther
1966 Waco Telegraph Operator
1967 Hostile Guns Buck
Television
Year Title Role Notes
1950–1951 The Gene Autry Show Sagebrush - Sidekick 4 episodes
1955–1957 Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion Pvt. Fuzzy Knight 33 episodes
1959 The Man and the Challenge Burro Charlie 1 episode
1960 Outlaws Isaac Miller 1 episode
1962 The Tall Man Johnny Red 1 episode
The Joey Bishop Show Charles Porter 2 episodes

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ United States Federal Census 1920; Fairmont Ward 8, Marion, West Virginia; Roll: T625_1961; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 27; Image: 1015.
  2. ^ a b "Our Cheer Leader". The Delta of Sigma Nu Fraternity. Sigma Nu Fraternity. 39: 527–528. 1922. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Corneau, Ernest. Hall of Fame of Western Film Stars. Christopher Publishing, 1969, p. 235
  4. ^ a b c Fuzzy Knight obituary, Variety, March 3, 1976
  5. ^ Internet Broadway Database http://ibdb.com/person.php?id=67987
  6. ^ Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 160. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.

External linksEdit