Sad news today in the television world… Andy Griffith is dead at the age of 86.
The actor and comedian passed away in Manteo, N.C. on Tuesday morning. Emergency medical crews were called and arrived at his home on Highway 64 on Roanoke Island where he was pronounced dead.
A close friend of the actor, former UNC President Bill Friday, relayed the news with WITN News. A representative from the Dare County Sheriff confirmed the news to Hollyscoop.
Griffith was known for his role as America’s favorite sheriff, Sheriff Andy Taylor, on “The Andy Griffith Show” that ran from 1960-1968. The legendary Ron Howard played his son, Opie, on the show.
Upon hearing the news of Griffith's death, Ron Howard tweeted, "Andy Griffith His pursuit of excellence and the joy he took in creating served generations & shaped my life I'm forever grateful RIP Andy."
“Matlock” was where Andy found his greatest success playing the role of Benjamin Matlock in the long running legal drama. That series ran from 1986-1995. He was also a regular on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in the 1950's.
He was born in Mt. Airy, N.C., on the western side of the state.
Griffith was married twice in his life, once to Barbara Bray Edwards in 1949 and once to Cindi Knight in 1983. He was a private man, even in his marriages. In 2008, he told the Virginian-Pilot that when he and Cindi go out in public “we don’t want to be recognized.” The actor was known to turn down autographs.
Despite his modesty, Griffith’s career will not soon be forgotten. He was a beloved actor and an icon to American television history.