Former UNC President Bill Friday said today that Andy Griffith died this morning at age 86.
Former UNC President Bill Friday said today that Andy Griffith died this morning at age 86. Friday was a friend of Griffith and said he died at his home in Dare County, N.C.
Griffith was born on June 1, 1926, and gained fame in the iconic "The Andy Griffith Show" (1960-1968) and in "Matlock" (1986-1995). His characters in both shows became pop culture reference points, and the Mayberry of "The Andy Griffith Show" has become a symbol of the friendly small town. Griffith also was a Grammy Award-winning Southern gospel singer and directed, produced and wrote as well.
In 2005, Griffth was presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush.
Griffith was born in Mount Airy, N.C., and first gained prominance in the 1957 film "A Face in the Crowd." Early in his career, he also appeared in "No Time for Sergeants" (1958), "Onionhead" (1958) and "The Second Time Around" (1961).
Scroll down to see video reports.