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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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91.

rsmik    

Who would dare to 86 Andy!

741 days ago
92.

Tim    

Awww, Gee Pa.....

741 days ago
93.

Tammy    

OMG this is breaking my heart, he was one of the great ones. RIP Andy

741 days ago
94.

paigehop    

Now Andy Griffith was an AMERICAN ICON. A good man. A talented man. His death is truly a loss for the American people.

741 days ago
95.

michael    

God bless Andy! Rest in peace!!!

741 days ago
96.

SherryT    

Here's to you Mr Griffith - ALWAYS a DECENT Man - in his life - his shows - and OUR HEARTS - THANK YOU for giving me the motto of my life - you told Opie in one of the early shows - "Be Someboy" - that has stayed with me all my life - be somebody that the Lord can use - GOD BLESS YOU - Enjoy home- see you there later! - my sincerest sympathy to your family

741 days ago
97.

stereogirl    

Aw, how sad! Rest in Peace, Andy.

Side note: Am I the only one that didn't know he was still alive?

741 days ago
98.

andie    

Heaven gained another great angel! He had the BEST shoe EVER. Nice, clean, wholesome & FUNNY. You don't see shows like that anymore. Sad to hear cause he was one of a kind. RIP Andy!

741 days ago
99.

StarFleetVeteran    

Thank you Andy! R.I.P.

741 days ago
100.

jpm4444    

OMG; too sad. He always gave credit to everyone else and said how blessed he was to have all he had. An icon that will never be forgotten!!!

741 days ago
101.

moveover    

Thanks to Andy Griffith for reminding me throughout my life that the whole world isn't always nasty, hectic and crazy.... R.I.P.

741 days ago
102.

jackie hartt    

God blessed us with him and his talents. THANK YOU, MR. ANDY GRIFFITH for all the gentle humor you shard with so many of us. The Andy Griffith Show made so many lonely days so much brighter, and will continue to do so.....THANK YOU ... may God be with all those who knew and love you.......... <3<3<3

741 days ago
103.

jeasterw    

This makes me so sad! I have watched the Andy Griffith show since the first time it was on TV. My husband and I spent the night in Mount Airy, NC in 2004 and walked around the town. It was very interesting to see the little town that Mayberry was based on. We made a picture of ourselves in the backyard of the house where Andy grew up. I am heartbroken today!!

741 days ago
104.

paigehop    

The last of a dying breed.

I've only seen one derogatory/foolish comment so far. Rare.

741 days ago
105.

Kari    

He touched many, many lives--in a positive way. Rest in peace.

741 days ago
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