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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
R.I.P.

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."

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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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541 COMMENTS

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46.

Danielle    

How sad. The statue is in Pullen park, it was erected in 2003 and is like the one in Mt. Airy.

738 days ago
47.

JFRA    

Actually he wasn't on Mayberry R.F.D. That's what made it different from The Andy Griffith Show...no Andy. RIP Maybe you never have to eat Aunt Bee's "kerosene cu***bers" again.

738 days ago
48.

April    

So sad:(

738 days ago
49.

JT    

RIP Andy.
THE ANDY GRIFFITH show is still one of my all time favorite shows. You provided many happy years of enjoyment. I'll see you in the resurrection!

738 days ago
50.

dennis watkins    

andy,you left this world a better place,thanks for the memories.meet ya at the fishing hole.

738 days ago
51.

Lisa    

Nooooooooo!!!! I'm sooooo sad!!!!! RIP Andy, I love you so much!!! :(

738 days ago
52.

Deb    

RIP Andy!!!

738 days ago
53.

chooprom    

TMZ loves when someone dies!!!! man that sh-t makes a great lead headline!!!!!!!!!!!

"Find me more dead people!!!!"

Harvey Levin

738 days ago
54.

Dallas    

Andy Griffin was a great Icon and person, I'm sorry to not see him with us anymore.

738 days ago
55.

Tai Pan    

R.I.P. God Bless you. Thank you for all of the memories.

738 days ago
56.

Pat    

Thanks for many good times and laughs

738 days ago
57.

whatever    

I had seen several biography's on him and he was an ASS.

738 days ago
58.

R. Cortez    

I liked the guy but I honestly thought he was much older. Damn he looked in his 80's during Matlock.

738 days ago
59.

$$    

Thank you Mr. Griffith...

738 days ago
60.

Airmail56    

Andy was about the best Father example we ever had. Honest, caring. hardworking and always there to lead a helping hand. Hollywood has failed to equal this mans 60 year example to us all. RIP an American Hero.

738 days ago
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