TV Legend Andy Griffith Dead at 86

TV Legend Andy Griffith Dead at 86

NBC Miami:

Andy Griffith, a television legend who starred in two iconic series that debuted a quarter-century apart, has died. He was 86.

Bill Friday, former UNC president and a close friend of Andy Griffith confirmed to North Carolina NBC affiliate WITN that he died this morning.

Emergency Medical Services responded to an early morning call Tuesday from Griffith’s home in Manteo, NC. ..

Born on June 1, 1926, in Mt. Airy, N.C., Griffith first gained famed as a monologist, on the strength of his recording “What It Was, Was Football,” which is told from the perspective of a backwoods yokel telling of setting eyes on the game for the first time. The recording would be a hit in some parts of the country, earning Griffith an appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” and was later turned into a feature in Mad magazine. …

Griffith is survived by his third wife, Cindi Knight, whom he wed in 1983, and his daughter Dixie Nan, from his first marriage, to Barbara Bray Edwards.

Perhaps no one better captured Griffith’s legacy than Pres. George W. Bush.

“TV shows come and go, but there’s only one Andy Griffith,” said President Bush upon awarding Griffith the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005. “And we thank him for being such a friendly and beloved presence in our American life.”

Full obituary here.