Obituary: Andy Griffith passed away at 86 years old

Posted By on July 3, 2012

I was sad to hear of the death of Andy Griffith this morning. He will always be the iconic sheriff of Mayberry and for many exemplified what small town America and what the “folks” were suppose to be like … at least before the late 60s and70s. In my opinion, his acting in recent roles and films pale in comparison to impact of his 8 years of representing idyllic small town USA on black and white TV. Good memories …

Andy Griffith, the beloved actor who entertained television audiences for over half a century, has died, according to multiple reports.  He turned 86 on June 1.

Griffith passed away at his home in Manteo, North Carolina on Tuesday morning, according to his close friend former University of North Carolina president Bill Friday.

Griffith began his acting career in the 1950s with roles on Broadway and small but notable parts in film and television.  However, it was a 1960 guest appearance on TV’s The Danny Thomas Show that launched Griffith to stardom in the role of small-town North Carolina Sheriff Andy Taylor.

Griffith’s turn as the affable, honest lawman of fictitious Mayberry — said to be modeled after Griffth’s own hometown of Mount Airy, N.C. — made The Andy Griffith Show a hit.  It remains one of American television’s most enduring sitcoms, long after it ended its run in 1968.

Griffith starred in several less-successful series over the next 18 years before finding success with another small-town character: rumpled, guitar-picking country lawyer Ben Matlock in Matlock.  The show, set again in the South — this time in Atlanta — ran from 1986 to 1995.

Griffith continued acting after Matlock ended, playing largely supporting roles in television and films.  His most recent work, according to IMDB, was in 2009 in the independent film Play the Game.

He also released numerous comedy and music albums over the years, with most of the latter featuring hymns and Americana music.  He won a Grammy for his 1997 album, I Love to Tell the Story — 25 Timeless Hymns.

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  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
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