Jesse Donald "Don" Knotts (July 21, 1924 – February 24, 2006) was an American comedic actor. Knotts enlisted in the United States Army after graduation from high school. The 19-year-old soldier was assigned to the Special Services Branch where he entertained the troops. As a ventriloquist, those in charge insisted that most of his work be with Danny, his dummy. Knotts had other plans, so, when they set sail for home, he left Danny on the beach and reported him missing in action.