This March 6, 1987 file photo shows actor Andy Griffith in Toluca Lake, Calif.
Andy Griffith, easily recognized for his iconic portrayal of the good natured and affable sheriff of Mayberry in the classic 1960s sitcom “The Andy Griffith Show,” and an attorney in the successful series “Matlock,” has died.
Pictures: Andy Griffith, 1926 2012Celebrities remember Andy Griffith His death was confirmed in a statement from the Dare County, N.
“Andy Griffith passed away, after an illness … Mr Griffith has been laid to rest on his beloved Roanoke Island,” explained a statement from Griffith’s family.
“Andy was a person of incredibly strong Christian faith and was prepared for the day he would be called Home to his Lord,” the actor’s wife, Cindi Griffith, said in a statement.
CBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker reports that while Griffith’s long career stretched from nightclubs to radio to movies to music, it was a role as a small town sheriff that made him beloved to millions of Americans.
Griffith’s career included stints on Broadway, notably “No Time for Sergeants”; movies such as Elia Kazan’s “A Face in the Crowd”; and records.
Viewers tuned in to “The Andy Griffith Show” not to watch Sheriff Andy Taylor solve big crimes, but to watch him solve the little problems of life in the fictional Mayberry, N.
Don Knotts played Deputy Barney Fife, and Jim Nabors portrayed Gomer Pyle, the gas pumper.
CBS’ “The Andy Griffith Show” was one of only three series in history to end its run at the top of the ratings.
But Andy Griffith the recording star is a role he took just as serious as his acting career.
As a child, he sang and played slide trombone in the band at Grace Moravian Church.
He originally wanted a career as a musician, but his skills as a storyteller, mixed in with lots of country humor, soon came out.
His acting career started with the role of Sir Walter Raleigh in Paul Green’s outdoor pageant, “The Lost Colony,” in Manteo, N.
Riffith graduated with a degree in music from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1949.
In 1955, he starred in Broadway’s “No Time for Sergeants,” earning him a Tony nomination for outstanding supporting actor.
Two years later, Griffith made his film debut in “A Face in the Crowd,” alongside actress Patricia Neal.
In 1960, he found himself with another Tony nomination, this time for best actor in the musical, “Destry Rides Again,” in 1960.
Throughout the ’70s, Griffith continued his TV and film career, appearing in 1975′s “Hearts of the West” with Jeff Bridges.
He relaunched his 1960s sitcom, rebranding it as the “The New Andy Griffith Show,” in 1972.
A Tony Award nominee for two roles, he gained prominence in the starring role in director Elia Kazan’s film A Face in the Crowd before he became better known for his television roles, playing the lead characters in the 1960â€“1968 situation comedy The Andy Griffith Show and in the 1986â€“1995 legal drama Matlock.
With great grace, he handled the constant barrage of people wanting to talk to Andy Taylor,” Fincannon said.. In a 2007 interview with The Associated Press, Griffith said he wasn’t as wise as the sheriff, nor as nice. He described himself as having the qualities of one of his last roles, that of the cranky diner owner in “Waitress,” and also of his most manipulative character, from the 1957 movie “A Face in the Crowd.
Hymns rooted in Southern gospel inspired him the most, and a majority of his albums were built around those standards — 1996’s “we Love to Tell the Story: 25 Timeless Hymns” was even certified platinum.
” Lindsey died in May at age 83.At the time, Griffith released a statement saying, “Our last conversation was a few days ago .
Griffith received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W.
In his 2005 speech, the president said, “Looking back on his Mayberry days, Andy explained the timeless appeal of the show. He said ‘it was about love. Barney would set himself up for a fall, and Andy would be there to catch him.’ The enduring appeal of the show has always depended — and still does — on the simplicity and sweetness and rectitude of the man behind the badge. TV shows come and go, but there’s only one Andy Griffith.”.
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