Native West Virginian actor celebrated with 5-night film seminar

A celebration of John “Fuzzy” Knight, a five-night film seminar will be hosted at The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center. Knight was an actor who grew up in Fairmont and went on to play in over 180 films and televisions shows. 

He was usually cast as a cowboy comic side-kick. During each seminar session, a film will be shown and members of the Fairmont State University faculty will be on hand to lead a brief discussion about the film.  All of the events will begin at 7 p.m. and are free and open to the public.

The first film, “Frontier Gal” (1945), will be shown and discussed on Tuesday, Oct. 29. A double feature, “Ragtime Cowboy Joe” (1940) and “The Camel Race” from Knight’s TV show Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion will be shown on Tuesday, November 5. “Skip along Rosenbloom” (1951), will be shown on November 12. On November 19, the film will be “Song of Sarong,” (1945), and the celebration will end on Tuesday, December 3 with “Sea Spoilers” (1936).

Knight went to Fairmont Senior High School and later attended West Virginia University.  He wrote “Fight Mountaineers,” a pep song that is still in use by the WVU Marching Band. Knight’s film career began in 1929 and ran until 1967.  He worked with such well-known actors as Mae West, Carry Grant, and John Wayne.  

The seminar will celebrate Mr. Knight’s legacy but will also explore how audience sensibilities have changed since he made his films. Each session will last approximately two hours and refreshments will be served.

The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center is housed in a historical barn on the campus of Fairmont University.  Its mission is to preserve and perpetuate West Virginia’s rich cultural heritage. Parking is available across the street from the Center. For additional information call 304-367-4403.

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