Andy Griffith

Andy Griffith

Posted by Sicilian Cowboy on Jul 3, 2012 2:30 pm

Andy Griffith, star of the 1960–68 sit-com, “The Andy Griffith Show”, and the 1986–95 legal drama, “Matlock”, died this morning at the age of 86.

Griffith was born in Mount Airy, North Carolina, which is believed to be the prototype for Mayberry, the fictional town where “The Andy Griffith Show” took place. Griffith originally studied to be a preacher, but became involved in school plays.

He was cast in “No Time for Sergeants”, first as a TV play and then on Broadway. He also appeared in “Destry Rides Again” on Broadway. He went to Hollywood to film “A Face in the Crowd”, a dramatic role (a character similar to Arthur Godfrey) that earned him much respect, and then went on to star in a film version of “No Time for Sergeants”, where he met another actor, Don Knotts.

In 1960, he was featured in an episode of Danny Thomas’ show “Make Room for Daddy” as country sheriff/justice/newspaper reporter Andy Taylor. The character became the star of “The Andy Griffith Show”, also featuring Frances Bavier as Aunt Bea, Knotts as Deputy Barney Fife and Ron Howard as Andy’s son Opie.

The show ran for seven years, and spun off “Gomer Pyle, USMC” (basically a rehash of “No Time for Sergeants”) and “Mayberry RFD”, after Griffith decided not to return.

After a series of network TV movies and several unsuccessful TV series, in 1986 Griffith returned as “Matlock”, a Southern lawyer who won all of his cases. The show ran for 10 years. Griffith also recorded a number of record albums which were moderate sellers.

Griffith also did some political work, appearing in a commercial with Ron Howard endorsing the Obama-Biden ticket and encouraging people to register to vote, as well as a commercial supporting the new health care law. He has also endorsed some Democratic Party candidates in North Carolina.

Surprisingly, Griffith never won an Emmy Award, despite being the long-time star of two of the most popular family TV shows ever, although he did win a Grammy for a gospel-themed record he made in 1997. 

AJF

Re: Andy Griffith

Posted by MLB on Jul 4, 2012 12:31 am

What it was, was Football was a key piece of a night club act. His homespun comedy and occasional guest spot on Grand Old Opry belie the fact Griffith was an educated man.
RIP Andy