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Andy Griffith

Dead at 86

7/3/2012 9:25 AM PDT UPDATED: 7/3/2012 9:15 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Andy Griffith has died.update_bar
8:15 AM -- Ron Howard ‏
just went to Twitter to post a message about his friend Andy Griffith ... writing, "His pursuit of excellence and the joy he took in creating served generations & shaped my life I'm forever grateful RIP Andy."

Andy Griffith
, an icon of TV, has died ... this according to Andy's close friend, former UNC President Bill Friday.

Griffith, who became famous for "The Andy Griffith Show," passed away at his home in Manteo, North Carolina this morning.

Friday broke the news to WITN News in North Carolina.

In addition to starring in his show and producing the subsequent "Mayberry R.F.D.," Griffith was a Grammy award-winning southern gospel singer.  Of course, Griffith also starred in the long-running series, "Matlock" and often made guest appearances in other shows, including "Dawson's Creek."

There's a famous statue of Andy and Opie -- played by Ron Howard -- in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Griffith was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George W. Bush in 2005.



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Andy Griffith was always one of my favorites. He and Jimmy Stweart were the only two actors I truly admired.I don't usually care about movie or TV celebrities. I worked in TV and had to interview quite a few. Most weren't anything spoecial,but Andy was someone, who I would have loved to interview and have known. He seemed like such a very special person, who provided good, clean entertainment to the public. I loved especially Matlock.

Rest in peace, Andy. You are in the arms of God now.

843 days ago


When I first heard of his passing, I broke down and cried. We kist a father figure and friend to all. Those were the best times of innonence. Now, all these tv shoes are about whoremongers and all the sexual overtones and suggestions that I guess now days is the popular shows. When you watchThe Andy Griffith shows and the comedy team of Andy and Don Knotts will ever be missed. All the good ones from my daysof growing up are all gone. I sure miss that time of innonence and human kindness that was projected from the show. R.I.P. and you are now back with Don Knotts together again. My condolences to the Griffth familly.

843 days ago
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