10 youngest Emmy winners of Best Comedy Supporting Actor

After “The Andy Griffith Show” got its start in the form of a backdoor pilot on “The Danny Thomas Show,” Griffith’s Sheriff Andy Taylor and his son, Opie (Ron Howard), were the only two characters who moved on to the actual series. Frances Bavier became Taylor’s Aunt Bee after initially playing a townsperson, and Don Knotts signed on as bumbling deputy Barney Fife. With just five previous TV roles under his belt, Knotts quickly became a fan favorite and his Fife was firmly established as straight man Taylor’s main comic foil.

At the end of its first season, “The Andy Griffith Show” ranked fourth in the Nielsen ratings and would go on to place no lower than seventh throughout its eight-year run. At 36, Knotts took home the Best Comedy Supporting Actor Emmy for his work during that first year and became the third youngest man to nab the award. 60 years later, he has been surpassed by seven younger actors, two of whom were under 30.

Since 1954, a total of 44 actors have won Emmys for their supporting roles on continuing comedy programs, beginning with Art Carney (“The Jackie Gleason Show”). Including Carney and Knotts, 18 of the winners have pulled off multiple victories.

Scroll through our photo gallery to find out who ranks ahead of Knotts on the list of 10 youngest Best Comedy Supporting Actor Emmy winners. This list also factors in winners of the now-retired variety performance awards, since regular cast members on continuing variety series now compete here.