BREAKING: America’s sheriff Andy Griffith has died at 86.
CBS via Getty Images
Andy Griffith on "The Andy Griffith Show" in the 1960s.
Andy Griffith, who won the hearts of 1960s TV viewers with his role as
gentle Sheriff Andy Taylor in “The Andy Griffith Show,” then returned as
a 1980s country lawyer in “Matlock,” died Tuesday at 86. The news was
confirmed to North Carolina television station WITN by Bill Friday,
former president of the University of North Carolina and a Griffith
Griffith began his entertainment career with comic
monologues and moved into movies, debuting in 1957’s “A Face in the
Crowd” with Patricia Neal. But it was as the widower sheriff Andy Taylor
on “The Andy Griffith Show” that he really made his mark. The show,
which also starred a young Ron Howard as Griffith’s son Opie, and
comedian Don Knotts as bumbling Deputy Barney Fife, ran from 1960-1968.
Its setting, in the fictional small-town of Mayberry, became almost as
famous as any one episode.
returned to TV stardom in 1986 as Ben Matlock, a Southern lawyer. That
show ran until 1995 and was seized upon by comedians as a punchline for
its popularity with older Americans. In one “Simpsons” episode, a
highway is renamed the Matlock Expressway so a town mayor can win the
Griffith was married twice and had a son and a
daughter. He is survived by wife Cindi and his daughter Dixie. Son
Andrew Jr., known as Sam, died in 1996.
See Votes by State