July 3rd, 2012
01:36 PM ET

Andy Griffith: A life remembered

Actor Andy Griffith, the friendly face who played across people's living rooms as Sheriff Andy Taylor on "The Andy Griffith Show" and Ben Matlock on "Matlock," has died at the age of 86, Sheriff J.D. "Doug" Doughtie of Dare County, North Carolina, said Tuesday.

Did he bring a smile to your face or warmth to your heart? Did you get to meet him? Share your images of you meeting Griffith or send us a fan video with your ode to the actor on CNN iReport. The best stories could be part of CNN's coverage.

Here's a look at Griffith's timeline and body of work:


■ Name: Andrew Samuel Griffith

■ Birth date: June 1, 1926

■ Birth place: Mount Airy, North Carolina

■ Parents: Carl Lee, a carpenter, and Geneva (Nunn) Griffith

■ Marriages: Cindi (Knight) Griffith (1983 – present)

Solica Cassuto (1973 – 1981, divorced)

Barbara Edwards (1949 – 1972, divorced)

■ Children: Adopted with Edwards: Andrew Samuel Jr. (1957 – 1996)

Dixie Nan (1960)

■ Education: University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, B.A., 1949

■ 1960 – 1968: Star of "The Andy Griffith Show" as Sheriff Andy Taylor

■ 1986 – 1995: Plays seersucker suit-wearing lawyer Ben Matlock in "Matlock"

■ Emmy, Grammy and People's Choice Award winner

Other Facts:

■ The town Mayberry in "The Andy Griffith Show" is based on Mount Airy, North Carolina, Griffith's hometown.

■ In 1983, Griffith is stricken with Guillain-Barre syndrome and is partially paralyzed, but mostly recovers after rehabilitation.

■ In 2000, he suffers a heart attack and undergoes quadruple bypass surgery.

Career Highlights:

■ 1949-1953: High school music teacher in Goldsboro, North Carolina

■ 1953: Tours the Carolinas in a station wagon, performing routines for clubs, conventions and clambakes. One of the monologues, called "What It Was, Was Football," is released commercially, selling more than 800,000 copies.

■ 1954: Makes his debut on "The Ed Sullivan Show" as a monologist

■ 1950s: Is a regular on "The Ed Sullivan Show" and "The Steve Allen Show"

■ 1956: Is nominated for a Tony Award for Supporting Actor for his 1955 role in "No Time For Sergeants." He later appears in the film version.

■ 1957: Makes his film debut in "A Face in the Crowd"

■ 1960: Receives a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor for his 1959 role in "Destry Rides Again"

■ 1960-1968: Plays Sheriff Andy Taylor on "The Andy Griffith Show," which ranks in the top 10 in each of its eight prime-time seasons

■ 1972: Griffith creates his own production company

■ 1981: Nominated for an Emmy for his role in the made-for-television movie "Murder in Texas"

■ 1986-1995: Produces and stars in the TV series "Matlock," and receives a People's Choice Award in 1987

■ 1996: Wins a Grammy Award for Best Southern Gospel, Country Gospel or Bluegrass Gospel Album for "I Love to Tell the Story–25 Timeless Hymns"

■ September 2005: Donates memorabilia from his 55+ year career to his alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

■ November 2005: Is presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom

■ November 3, 2006: Sues a Wisconsin man who changed his name to Andy Griffith just before (unsuccessfully) running for sheriff. In May 2007, a federal judge dismisses the suit, saying that copyright and trademark laws were not violated.

■ 2010: 50th anniversary of "The Andy Griffith Show." The Andy Griffith Show Museum opens in Mount Airy, North Carolina.

Major Awards:

Emmy Awards (1 nomination)

■ 1981: Nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Special for "Murder in Texas"

Grammy Awards (1 win/3 nominations)

■ 1959: Nominated for Best Comedy Performance – Spoken Word for "Hamlet"

■ 1996: Wins for Best Southern Gospel, Country Gospel or Bluegrass Gospel Album for "I Love To Tell The Story – 25 Timeless Hymns"

■ 1999: Nominated for Best Southern Gospel, Country Gospel or Bluegrass Gospel Album for "Just As I Am"


"A Face in the Crowd," 1957

"No Time for Sergeants," 1958

"Onionhead," 1958

"The Second Time Around," 1961

"Angel in My Pocket," 1969

"Go Ask Alice, 1972

"Strangers in 7A," 1972

"Pray for the Wildcats," 1974

"Savages," 1974

"Winter Kill," 1974

"Hearts of the West," 1975

"Street Killing," 1976

"Washington: Behind Closed Doors," 1977

"Deadly Game," 1977

"The Girl in the Empty Grave," 1977

"Roots: The Next Generations," 1979

"Salvage," 1979

"Murder in Texas," 1981

"For Lovers Only," 1982

"The Demon Murder Case," 1983

"Murder in Coweta County," 1983

"Fatal Vision," 1984

"Crime of Innocence," 1985

"Rustlers' Rhapsody," 1985

"Diary of a Perfect Murder," 1986

"Return to Mayberry," 1986

"Under the Influence," 1986

"Matlock: The Vacation," 1992

"The Gift of Love," 1994

"Gramps," 1995

"Spy Hard," 1996

"Scattering Dad," 1998

"Holiday Romance," 1999

"Daddy and Them," 2001

"Who Stole Santa's Sack?" 2006

"Waitress," 2007

"Christmas is Here Again," 2008

"Play the Game," 2009


"Andy Griffith: I Love to Tell the Story," 1998

"Andy Griffith: Just as I Am," 1999

"Andy Griffith: Honesty," 2000

"Integrity," 2000

"Christmas Guest," 2003

"Bound for the Promised Land," 2005

More on Andy Griffith:

Town invests in Andy Griffith

The South: Not all Bubbas and banjos

soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. kathy hunt

    He was the next door neighbor everyone wanted.

    July 3, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mikey Mike

    Andy Griffith took a black and white TV show and showed the viewer the beauty of small town living with rich and colorful texture. His show let us see what is good about America and really just life. We are better world because he lived among us.

    July 3, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Philip

    His Mayberry RFD family model didn't take. He tried, though. Give him credit for that.
    And he used to take his boy, Opie, fishing a lot. For whatever that's worth these days compaed to Disney World.
    Of course I'm speaking of his video charachter, not the man himself. But I don't recall Andy Griffiths name being dragged through the mud for "political" reasons or any others that have grounds.
    Hope to see him in person some day, not bound to hell.

    July 3, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Philip

    He was kind of easy on the town drunk though, even by todays standards. It did kind of downplay the seriousness of tailgating. (70% of all traffic accident deaths are via tailgaters. Mothers Against Tailgaters? Ya never heard of THEM, have ya. Mothers are too busy focused on men with substance abuse problems to notice the statistics)

    July 3, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nothing good to say?

      Say nothing at all.

      July 3, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shylah

      Could you give us a link where we can check out you statement that all mothers are focused on men with substance abuse problems, or did you pull that sta out of you behind also?

      Rest In Peace, Andy Griffith. Contrary to what pap is being posted here, this thread really IS about you.

      July 3, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  5. raven

    Why do you treat every single thread as a segue to push your agenda ?(whatever the agenda for that day, anyway). You get upset about others posting off topic, but then you monopolize the thread with your anti-social, and sometimes anti -America sentiments. In your sanctimonious, pedantic attempts to call attention to your "causes"youre really only calling attention to yourself. And I suspect THAT is your convoluted motive in the first place.

    July 3, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Anthony Kelly

    This is a sad, sad day in America. We have lost one of America's most beloved TV icon. He has given so much to the TV world and will be sadly missed by many. It is a sad day in the entertainment world as well. May God enrich his blessings to his wife and family as they go through this tragic death.

    July 3, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Thelma Lou Brickmore

    Who do you think she's addressing?
    And why would you care?

    July 3, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
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    July 4, 2012 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  9. ronvan

    Mark L.: Your comment is well said and I have to totally agree! Some of this "JUNK" they are putting on TV is absoulty stupid and disgusting!

    July 4, 2012 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  10. Brian D. Hoxie

    I have to believe that the reason as to why Andy did such an excellent job at being the sheriff/father on the Andy Griffith Show was because that was the way that he was in real life; kind, caring, considerate and honest. He was the kind of dad to Opie that any kid would want and he was the greatest mentor for Barney. I miss him already. My heart goes out to his family.

    July 4, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  11. S.Foi

    I especially love the bond I believe really exists between Ronny and Andy, which I see everytime I watch the series, and I'm a little envious that my dad didn't take me fishing at an early age, altho we did go fishing later in life, but earlier would have been much better....bonded me closer to him, but I guess better late than never. I only hope that Ron continues to carry his memories of Andy (both on and off screen) for many years to come......afterall, that's part of Andy's Legacy......the stories and memories of it all. May his many memories serve as a loving Benediction to all who mourn...Amen

    July 4, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
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    Lousy English.....crazy statement, sorry wrong website!!!!

    July 4, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
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