From 1992 - 2013, Charlie moderated the celebrity Q & A panels at the Festival of the West in Scottsdale, Arizona, a position he continues at events throughout the U.S. An author on the western film genre, his Riding the Hollywood Trail books, tracing the history of westerns in film and television, remain a popular series with fans of westerns.
In January, 2014, Charlie was honored to be made "Arizona's Official Western Film Historian" and have his boot prints placed in cement in Apacheland's Audie Murphy Barn at the Superstition Mountain Museum, alongside western genre favorites like, Jock Mahoney, Rory Calhoun, Dale Robertson, Patsy Montana, Richard Boone, Johnny Western, Ron Nix, Neil Summers and Ronald Reagan. In 2015, Charlie was named an "Encore Fellow" at the Smithsonian affiliated Western Spirit, Scottsdale's Museum of the West, where he conducts presentations on the westerns.
On television, Charlie has appeared in dozens of commercials, hosted syndicated programs like, Chrome Highway and Hoover's Place and acted in network productions such as NBC's, Greatest Heroes of the Bible: Sodom and Gomorrah, and Mark Twain's America: Abe Lincoln, Freedom Fighter. Most recently he was a guest on The Joey Canyon Show for the RFD Network in Nashville, and moderated the High Chaparral Reunion Live Webcast from Old Tucson in 2015 and '16. On radio Charlie has done dozens of commercials as well as his own nationally syndicated program, Riding the Old Hollywood Trail.
Charlie also continues to appear in films every chance he gets, most recently: Serial Blondes (2012), Crawlerzz (2013), The Sum of it's Parts (2014), Wanted (2015) and C-Bar (2015).
Karen Knotts learned her craft at the Universtity of Southern California, where she was directed by the great Emmy award-winning director Alex Siegal (Diary of Ann Frank).
After graduating, she did shows in Equity regional theatres across the country with her father,Don Knotts. Don and Karen performed in the plays Mind with a Dirty Man, Norman is that You? and You Can’t Take It With You in California, Michigan, Kansas, Illinois, and New York.
Karen’s first break in TV was playing a suicidal hippy hitchhiker in Doctor’s Hospital starring George Peppard. In addition to reciting limericks, the part required her to throw herself through the car’s windshield. After that fine training, Karen played a more relaxed role as a former high school beauty queen in Return to Mayberry. Bit parts in many sitcoms followed, she was even directed by the colorful Carol O’Connor.
In 2008 a friend dared Karen to try standup comedy at an ‘Open Mic’... and Karen is still standing. She loves doing standup at the Comedy Store, Flappers, and Laugh Factory.
Karen is also in demand as an Emcee and Variety Arts Entertainer. A favorite film role is Celimene in David Hefner’s period piece, An Occurrence at Black Canyon, which became a hit on the festival circuit.
Karen is an alumnus of Lonnnie Chapman’s GRT theater company, where she was nominated for an ADA actor’s award for her portrayal of an Italian diva in the hit comedy Lend Me A Tenor. Karen’s short play Roger and Betsy was a finalist for the Merce awards in 2009. She has also created a television pilot for children, Twinkles and Friends, and two comedies Dates From Hell, and But We Open Tonight!.
Karen is currently on tour with a one woman show she wrote: Tied Up in Knotts, a hilarious comedy adventure about growing up with her fabulous dad, Don Knotts. http://www.karenknotts.com
Rodney seen trying to wrap his mouth around the super-sized Jumbo Jack hamburger. The tag line "It's too big to eat!" (pronounced "It's too big-a-eat!") became a catch-phrase.
Rippy subsequently had guest roles in many popular television shows, including The Six Million Dollar Man, Marcus Welby, M.D., Police Story, and The Odd Couple (where Rodney played the owner of the building where Oscar and Felix lived). He also appeared frequently on talk shows such as The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and Dinah's Place with Dinah Shore. Rippy also had a co-starring role on the CBS Saturday morning children's show The Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine.
(See photo)First AMA Awards (1974)
With Donnie Osmond
Rodney made his big screen debut (before the Jack in the Box spots) in the Mel Brooks comedy Blazing Saddles in 1974. He portrayed a young Sheriff Bart aboard his parents' buckboard wagon after a brutal Sioux nation attack. When the Sioux chief, portrayed by Brooks, allows the pioneers passage (for being darker than the Sioux are), Rippy says his only line, "Thank you." In a Peanuts newspaper comic strip dated July 3, 1974, Snoopy awakens from a dream in which he "had been invited out to dinner by Rodney Allen Rippy!"
Don has made over 200 credited movie and television appearances. He has performed with John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, Anthony Quinn, Dean Martin, Tom Selleck, James Arness, and even Elvis Presley. His first role was as an extra in 1948 in the western Massacre River (1949). This was followed by two more westerns -- Davy Crockett, Indian Scout (1950) and Fort Apache (1948) with John Wayne. Don later appeared in three more John Wayne movies.
In 1959, Don won the leading role of U.S. Deputy Marshal Will Foreman in the NBC series, Outlaws (1960). Starring with Don was Barton MacLane and Jock Gaynor. The second season of Outlaws (1960) found Will Foreman as a full-fledged Marshal. New characters were played by Bruce Yarnell, Slim Pickens, and Judy Lewis.
Don kept busy appearing on all the other western TV shows, such as Bonanza (1959), Gunsmoke (1955), Wagon Train (1957), Branded (1965), and Death Valley Days (1952). In 1968, he was cast as the foreman of the ranch The High Chaparral (1967) in David Dortort's latest western series of the same name. Working alongside a extremely talented and experienced cast, Don's portrayal of Sam Butler was fundamental to the success of the highly acclaimed show, which ran until 1971.
But he wasn't yet done with the old west. Even his commercials took advantage of his cowboy persona, when he became a 1980s icon as The Gum Fighter for Hubba Bubba Bubble Gum. More movies and TV kept him busy. Then he went further back in time when he was called on play the recurring role of William Tompkins in The Young Riders (1989) (1989-1992).
Don continued to guest star on TV in and out of the west in Little House on the Prairie (1974), two made-for-TV Gunsmoke movies (Gunsmoke: To the Last Man (1992) and Gunsmoke: One Man's Justice (1994)), a made-for-TV Bonanza movie (Bonanza: Under Attack (1995)), Banacek (1972), The Waltons (1971), Highway to Heaven (1984) and such big-screen movies as Tombstone (1993).
He worked on a western radio drama series titled West of the Story and was sidekick to Fred Imus on Sirius Radio's weekly show, Fred's Trailer Park Bash until Imus' death in 2011.
As of 2016, Don remains active with public appearances at Western and nostalgia shows like Western Legends Roundup in Kanab, Utah; Territorial Days in Tombstone, Ariz.; and the 50th Anniversary of The High Chaparral event being hosted in Sept. 2017 in Hollywood...and of course TWBFF Oct 20/22 2017
Don Collier also does commercials for Arbuckle Coffee.....one of our sponsors! Get yours today!
Please note: All scheduled Celebrity appearances are subject to change without notice.