Archive for the ‘"Search for Tomorrow"’ Category

Don Knotts’ Only Dramatic Role– on ’50s Soap Opera “Search for Tomorrow”

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

Don Knotts will forever be know as the comic sidekick “Barney Fife” on The Andy Griffith Show, as Mr. Furley on Three’s Company, and as the star of a series of funny family friendly ’60s films including The Incredible Mr. Limpet and The Ghost and Mr. Chicken. His first TV series role, however, may not be that familiar. From 1953-54 he played Wilbur Peterson on the soap opera Search for Tomorrow (which ran from 1951-84). His mostly-mute character has a rare few lines in an episode that is currently posted on the Internet Archive, with Wilbur in a dream-filled delirium.

This rare episode also features series star Mary Stuart, plus Coe Norton and Cliff Hall (unfortunately, Lee Grant who played Knotts’ sister “Rose” on the soap doesn’t make an appearance in this one). At the end is a commercial for Cheer with spokesperson Irene Manning (1912-2004), who appeared in Yankee Doodle Dandy with James Cagney.

Listen to Don Knotts talk about Search for Tomorrow and watch an episode in which he appears (SCROLL down to the “featured content”) on his Archive of American Television interview page.


Don Knotts spoke about his stint on Search for Tomorrow in his Archive of American Television Interview:

“It was the only serious role I ever played professionally. I haven’t played on since. Wilbur was a very neurotic guy who wouldn’t talk to anybody. Very shy. He would only talk to his sister… we had an actor named Les Damon on the show, and I was sweeping up one day, had a broom and I was sweeping and he was ranting and raving about something and I wasn’t allowed to talk because I was supposed to be afraid, and suddenly he went off and I couldn’t help it. He looked at me and I’m like, I can’t help you. And he was totally gone. So I heard him say, ‘What’s the line?’ And I think the stage manager was terrified. He couldn’t imagine anybody asking for a line now on live TV. He sort of whispered and I knew he couldn’t hear him because I couldn’t hear him. Finally Les said, ‘WHAT?’ I thought, geez, are we on, or is this rehearsal?”

Lee Grant’s Archive of American Television Interview is Now Online!

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007


Actress/Director Lee Grant’s interview is now posted on Google Video.

Click here to access all interview segments.

Interview Description:
In her seven-part (each 30-minute segement is posted separately) oral history interview, actress/director Lee Grant discusses her long and distinguished career in stage, television, and film. She describes her breakthrough role in the stage and film versions of Detective Story. She talks about her early television work in the anthology series The Play’s The Thing and Danger. She discusses her role as a regular on the daytime serial Search For Tomorrow. Ms. Grant describes in detail the Hollywood blacklist period which affected her and her husband of the time Arnold Manoff. She talks about her Emmy-winning role on the prime time serial Peyton Place and her work on the sitcom Fay, which followed her Oscar® win for the film Shampoo. She discusses her television directorial debut, for the special The Shape of Things and her work in front of and behind the camera for television movies and documentaries in the 1980s and 1990s. The interview was conducted on May 10, 2000 by Henry Colman.