North Carolina lost a legend today.
A family statement says the actor died with his wife Cindi at his side. “Andy was a person of incredibly strong Christian faith and was prepared for the day he would be called Home to his Lord,” said his wife in a statement. “He is the love of my life, my constant companion, my partner, and my best friend. I cannot imagine life without Andy, but I take comfort and strength in God’s Grace and in the knowledge that Andy is at peace and with God.”
Griffith was born in Mount Airy and attended UNC Chapel Hill where he earned a degree in Music. His first job out of college was an English teacher at Goldsboro High School.
His legacy role, which earned him the title of “America’s Favorite Sheriff”on “The Andy Griffith Show,” set in fictional Mayberry, put North Carolina on the map in the entertainment industry. The show ran from 1960-1968, propelling a handful of spin-off programs. Griffith also produced and starred in the television series “Matlock.”
Visiting Eastern Carolina this morning, U.S. Senator Kay Hagan says Griffith was an iconic figure in the State. “His show was known not only in our nation, but around the world. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
Governor Beverly Perdue said the State has lost its favorite son. “Andy Griffith graciously stepped into the living rooms of generations of Americans, always with the playful charm that made him the standard by which entertainers would be measured for decades,” said Perdue. “Throughout his career, he represented everything that was good about North Carolina: A small town boy and UNC graduate who took a light-hearted approach to some of the attributes he grew up with and turned them into a spectacularly successful career. And regardless of where that career took him, he always came back to North Carolina and spent his final years here.”
Griffith received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 from President George W. Bush.