We knew Andy was up there in years. But still the news stung when we learned that the native of Mount Airy, North Carolina had passed away at his home on Roanoke Island, North Carolina on July 3.
Griffith was best known for his roles as Mayberry’s Sheriff Andy Taylor and for the bumbling, but always effective southern lawyer, Ben Matlock. But he had some success in film, television production and was a Grammy Award winning Southern-gospel singer. One of his early acting roles was in The Lost Colony, still performed each summer on Roanoke Island.
Annually, his hometown of Mount Airy, North Carolina celebrates “Mayberry Days.” Griffith received a Grammy for Best Southern, Country or Bluegrass Gospel Album for “I Love to Tell the Story – 25 Timeless Hymns” in 1997. He was inducted into the Country Gospel Music Hall Hall of Fame in 1999 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bush in November, 2005. He was inducted into the Christian Music Hall of Fame and Museum in 2007.
Growing up in a different small southern town there was an identity with Sheriff Andy as he came into our home each week. There won’t be another Andy Griffith.
But we are richer for the time he spent with us.
What others are saying about Andy Griffith:
Country music star Randy Travis said, Griffith was the “most likeable” man I’ve ever met.”
Ron Howard said via Twitter @RealRonHoward Andy Griffith His pursuit of excellence and the joy he took in creating served generations & shaped my life I’m forever grateful RIP Andy
@ScottyMcCreery RIP Andy Griffith.. We lost a legend today that provided me and my family some great quality time around the tv filled with some good laughs
TV Land will pay tribute to Griffith July 4 from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. ET and again on July 7-9 from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. ET.
TCM (Turner Classic Movies) released the following schedule of Griffith’s films set to begin at 8 p.m. (ET) on Wednesday, July 18.
8 p.m. – “A Face in the Crowd” – (1957) – with Patricia Neal, Anthony Franciosa, Walter Matthau and Lee Remick. Directed by Elia Kazan.
10:15 p.m. – “No Time for Sergeants” – (1958) – with Myron McCormick, Nick Adams, Murray Hamilton and Don Knotts. Directed by Mervyn LeRoy.
12:30 a.m. – “Hearts of the West” – (1975) – with Jeff Bridges, Donald Pleasance, Blythe Danner, Alan Arkin, Richard B. Shull, Herb Edelman, Alex Rocco and Marie Windsor. Directed by Howard Zieff.
2:15 a.m. – “Onionhead” – (1958) – with Felicia Farr, Walter Matthau, Erin O’Brien, Joe Mantell, Ray Danton, James Gregory and Joey Bishop. Directed by Norman Taurog.