Sad news from the entertainment world today—Andy Griffith, an icon of American television thanks to his starring roles in The Andy Griffith Show and Matlock, died Tuesday Morning. He was 86 years old.
A friend of Griffith’s told North Carolina’s WITN News that Griffith passed away after an emergency medical crew was called to the actor’s home in Dare County early Tuesday morning.
Griffith will be best remembered for two roles—first, as Andy Taylor in The Andy Griffith Show (which ran from 1960 to 1968), Griffith starred as the small-town sheriff of Mayberry, North Carolina, and the widowed father of Opie (future director Ron Howard); in the 1980s, Griffith returned to fame and television prominence by playing the hot dog-loving, cranky yet folksy lawyer Ben Matlock on Matlock, which ran from 1986 to 1995.
Griffith made his onscreen debut in Elia Kazan’s 1957 film, A Face in the Crowd, but his first taste of came in the form of a spoken word comic single in 1953 called “What It Was, Was Football,” which hit Number Nine on the Charts.
Griffith last made headlines when President George W. Bush honored him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005.
What is your favorite Andy Griffith memory?