Actor Andy Griffith, of The Andy Griffith Show and Matlock TV shows, died this morning in North Carolina at the age of 86.
Scores of baby-boomers grew up with Griffith’s homespun humor and level-headed fatherly advice in the 1960’s as he starred in the heartwarming comedy TV show that bore his name, The Andy Griffith Show. The show was based on Griffith’s role as Sheriff Andy Taylor, the soft-spoken, ever-rational Sheriff in the fictional small town of Mayberry, North Carolina, along with his bumbling and neurotic Deputy Barney Fife (played by Don Knotts). Griffith’s role was also that of single dad to son, Opie Taylor, played by then child star Ronny Howard, now the well known Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard. Rounding out the cast was Andy’s Aunt Bee (played by Beatrice Taylor) who lived with him and helped him raise Opie, and many others who made up the colorful townsfolk like Gomer the simpleton mechanic and gas station attendant, his even simpler cousin Goober, Floyd the barber, and Otis, the harmless town drunk who spent many a night locking himself up in the Mayberry jail while he sobered up.
Andy was America’s Sheriff with a heart. The show was wildly popular, running from 1960 until 1968, and remains in reruns around the world even today, more than 50 years later.
Griffith tried his hand at movies and other television ventures without much success, but eventually returned to television with the successful crime drama series Matlock in 1986, where he played a Southern defense attorney until the show ended in 1995.
Griffith reportedly underwent quadruple heart-bypass surgery in 2000.
He is survived by his wife of nearly 30 years, Cindi, and his daughter, Dixie. His only son, Andy Jr., died in 1996.
A sampling of comments from Twitter this morning about Andy Griffith’s passing:
From director and former co-star Ron Howard: Andy Griffith His pursuit of excellence and the joy he took in creating served generations & shaped my life I’m forever grateful RIP Andy
From rock guitarist Slash: RIP Andy Griffith. The next step after Mr Rogers. U were loved by all. iiii]; )’
From actor Ralph Macchio: Take a moment and whistle “The Andy Griffith Show” theme today - finger snap optional - RIP Andy Griffith
From comedian Frank Caliendo: RIP Andy Griffith. Sometimes I wish the world was as simple as it used to be in Mayberry
From TVLand: We are so saddened to hear about the loss of Andy Griffith, a cherished member of our tvland family. He will be greatly missed
From Bruce Arthur: Aw, Andy Griffith died at age 86. The world is a little less charmingly folksy today.
From comedian Frank Conniff: I feel very fortunate to have grown up not on Trump or Snookie or Kardashians, but on Andy Griffith. Rest In Peace.
From singer Mac Powell: Andy Griffith passed on? Man! Did anybody NOT love him? You never know how a person is in real life, but he seemed like a great man.
TCM TV has announced that they will run a tribute to Andy Griffith on July 18th. The schedule will be posted later on their website, www.TCM.com
Filed under Entertainment
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Not working? Click here!