Andy Samuel Griffith was an American actor, comedian, television producer, southern gospel singer, and writer whose career lasted seven decades from June 1, 1926, until his death on July 3, 2012. Two parts Griffith played earned him nominations for the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play. He is remembered for his Southern drawl, characters with folksy-friendly personalities, and gruff but friendly voice.
New information has surfaced concerning the final hours of Andy Griffith’s life as the world continues to grieve the loss of the 86-year-old TV great.
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The Explanation for Passing Away
The actor died of a heart attack around 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday, according to his death certificate. The paper, obtained by Associated Press on Thursday, states that the attack was the cause of death. Besides coronary artery disease, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia, Griffith’s death certificate says he suffered from additional health problems for a long time.
Griffith was buried in his family’s grave on Roanoke Island, off the coast of North Carolina, less than five hours after his death. Since Tuesday, he has been showered with high appreciation from many different people, including President Obama and his co-stars Ron Howard and Jim Nabors.
Here Are Five of His Greatest Achievements:
Griffith’s first film role was as the deceitful country boy turned power-mad by his sudden rise to fame, Larry “Lonesome” Rhodes, in Elia Kazan’s 1957 drama. Budd Schulberg, who previously penned Kazan’s On the Waterfront, penned the classic that satirized the dangers of national advertising.
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Simply put, It Was Football
During a 1953 trip to deliver a speech to a civic group—two of which his wife had incorrectly scheduled for him to give—Griffith had the inspiration for his comedy CD. While driving the 75 miles, Griffith had the idea for some fresh material that would eventually get him signed to do comedy albums with a major record label. Deacon Andy Griffith’s “What It Was, Was Football (Parts I & II)” single topped Billboard’s pre-Hot 100 sales list that year.
This Is an Episode of The Andy Griffith Show
Griffith’s most enduring performance was as Sheriff Andy Taylor in the CBS comedy classic that ran from 1960 to 1968. Griffith was courted by TV producer Sheldon Leonard to play the kindly widowed sheriff of Mayberry, North Carolina.
In 1960, on Leonard’s Make Room for Daddy, starring Danny Thomas, Andy Griffith played a county sheriff; this role served as the backdoor pilot for The Andy Griffith Show, which also starred Don Knotts as his deputy, Ron Howard as his son, and Frances Bavier as his Aunt Bee. The show continued as Mayberry R.F.D. with Ken Berry as the actor and Griffith as an executive producer until he left in 1968, after 249 episodes.
In another iconic role, Griffith played Matlock, the shrewd Atlanta defense attorney. The legal drama was shown on NBC and subsequently ABC from 1986 until 1995. After winning a People’s Choice Award for his work on the show in 1987, Griffith revealed that his role as executive producer was his favorite acting part to date.
Assault and Murder in The Lone Star State
Unexpectedly, Griffith’s performance as the murder victim’s father in the 1981 NBC telefilm won him a nomination for an Emmy. No footage of Griffith from the film, which also starred Katharine Ross, Sam Elliott, and Farrah Fawcett, could be found.