Entries in Andy Griffith (4)


Andy Griffith's Death Caused by Heart Attack

CBS via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Television actor Andy Griffith died from a heart attack, according to the death certificate filed Thursday.

The death certificate says the 86-year-old had suffered a heart attack 24 hours before his death Tuesday morning. Griffith was also battling several other illnesses, including coronary artery disease and hypertension.

In an unusual move, he was buried just hours after dying, according to the family's wishes.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Andy Griffith Dead: Actor Buried Hours Later

CBS via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Legendary actor and comedian Andy Griffith was laid to rest quickly, buried by family less than five hours after he died.

Griffith's body was placed in a grave on Roanoke Island near the coast of North Carolina at approximately 11:30 a.m., a funeral spokesman told CNN.

"It had been planned for some time," said the spokesman. "This was the wish of his family."

Griffith, the legendary entertainer who became a household name to millions of TV viewers on "The Andy Griffith Show" and "Matlock," died Tuesday at the age of 86.

In a statement released Tuesday, Griffith's family said the actor died after an illness, with his wife by his side.

Griffith began acting and singing at an early age, starring in productions at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he'd attended college. He made his first Broadway appearance in the 1950s and soon moved into TV and movies.

Griffith garnered Hollywood's attention with his starring role in 1957's "A Face in the Crowd," playing a country boy who schemes his way into TV and politics. In 1960, Griffith landed "The Andy Griffith Show" on CBS. He played Sheriff Andy Taylor, a widower and a wise man who kept the fictional town of Mayberry, North Carolina, in check. He starred alongside his friend Don Knotts for five years. Ron Howard also starred in series, playing Opie, the only child of Sheriff Taylor.

"The Andy Griffith Show" was a hit, and while Knotts won multiple Emmys for his role as Deputy Barney Fife, Griffith never received that honor. He left the show in 1968 but returned for the 1986 reunion TV movie "Return to Mayberry," as well as two more reunion specials in 1993 and 2003.

Recently, Griffith had taken on small roles in such movies as 2007's "Waitress" and 2009's "Play the Game." He also made an appearance on a 2001 episode of the TV drama "Dawson's Creek."

Griffith is survived by his third wife, Cindi Knight, and daughter from his first marriage, Dixie Nan Griffith.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Andy Griffith Dead at Age 86

CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Andy Griffith, the beloved actor who entertained television audiences for over half a century, has died, ABC News has confirmed.  He turned 86 on June 1.

According to a statement from Dare County, NC Sheriff J.D. "Doug" Doughtie, "At approximately 7am on July 3, 2012, Andy Griffith passed away at his home on Roanoke Island in Dare County, NC. The family will release further information shortly. There is no further information that can be released by this office at this time."

Griffith's family made the following statement Tuesday afternoon:

“Andy Griffith passed away, after an illness, during the early morning on July 3 at his home in Manteo, N.C., with his wife Cindi at his side. He was 86 years old. Mr. Griffith has been laid to rest on his beloved Roanoke Island. His favorite causes were Outer Banks Conservationists and the Griffith Scholarship Fund at UNC-Chapel Hill.”

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, NC -- 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.

Oscar-winning director/producer Ron Howard, who got his start playing Griffith's son Opie Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show, tweeted, "His pursuit of excellence and the joy he took in creating served generations & shaped my life I'm forever grateful RIP Andy." He earlier told, "His love of creating, the joy he took in it whether it was drama or comedy or his music, was inspiring to grow up around. ...He felt he was always working in service of an audience he really respected and cared about. He was a great influence on me. His passing is sad. But he lived a great rich life."

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.

In 2005, President George W. Bush presented Griffith with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Hollywood Reacts to Andy Griffith's Passing 

CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Andy Griffith, the beloved actor who entertained television audiences for over half a century, died Tuesday morning, ABC News confirms. Now Hollywood, along with many actors who knew him best, are sharing their condolences.

The Recording Academy declared, "He was an immense talent and a true gift to the entertainment industry and will be greatly missed. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family, friends and fans."  Griffith won a Grammy for his gospel album I Love To Tell The Story -- 25 Timeless Hymns.

TV Land, which regularly airs past episodes of The Andy Griffith Show, said in a statement, "We are deeply saddened by the passing of our dear friend, Andy Griffith. His contributions to the entertainment industry and his role as Sheriff Andy Taylor will live forever in the minds and hearts of generations of television viewers past, present and yet to come. The entire TV Land staff will miss him and our thoughts go out to his family."

The Andy Griffith Museum, located in his hometown of Mount Airy, North Carolina, released a statement saying, "Andy Griffith means the world to the arts everywhere -- not just here in Mount Airy.  His contribution to us, the Surry Arts Council, and the town of Mount Airy cannot be measured. ...We know that Andy is at peace and that is what is important right now."

Other celebrity reactions via Twitter:

Ron Howard: "Andy Griffith His pursuit of excellence and the joy he took in creating served generations & shaped my life I'm forever grateful RIP Andy"

Octavia Spencer: "RiP Andy Griffith!!! Sadness abounds!!!"

Larry King: "Sad to hear news of Andy Griffith's death. He was a terrific actor, a great comedian, an endearing person. He lived a long & fruitful life...Andy made one of the greatest films ever: 'A Face in the Crowd' & also one of the best comedy albums: 'What it Was, Was Football'"

Denise Richards: "we lost a legend...RIP Andy Griffith"

Alyssa Milano: "Rest in peace, Andy Griffith."

Russell Simmons: "RIP Andy Griffith"

Michael McKean: "More than a face in the crowd: RIP Andy Griffith."

Holly Robinson Peete: "Farewell to a TV ICON"

Eric Lange: "RIP Andy Griffith. My family spent hours and hours around the TV watching The Andy Griffith Show. Some great memories there. Thank you."

Jackée Harry: "RIP Andy Griffith .. A True #NationalTreasure."

Levar Burton: "My favorite Andy Griffith performance... A Face in the Crowd #mindblown Rest in Peace"

Ralph Macchio: "Take a moment and whistle "The Andy Griffith Show" theme today - finger snap optional - RIP Andy Griffith"

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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