Andy Griffith, 86, Dies, Family Releases Statement

By: WITN
By: WITN

July 3, 2012 - Noon -

Dare County Sheriff Doug Doughtie has confirmed Andy Griffith has died and also released a short statement from the family.

Sheriff Doughtie tells WITN News the family stated that Andy died at seven this morning, peacefully, at his home and that Andy has been laid to rest on his beloved Roanoke Island.

There was no information on what "laid to rest" meant, but the common understanding is that laid to rest means buried.

The actor's death was first confirmed by former UNC President Bill Friday and later by the sheriff.

Friday told us the 86-year-old actor died at his Roanoke Island home around 7:00 a.m. this morning. The sheriff had confirmed earlier that an ambulance was called to the home this morning.

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," Hagan told WITN's Brittany Creamer. "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.
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July 3, 2012 - 10:10am -

Former UNC President Bill Friday says Andy Griffith died this morning in Dare County. Friday, who is a close friend of the actor, confirmed that to WITN News.

Friday tells us the 86-year-old actor died at his Dare County home around 7:00 a.m. this morning.

Griffith attended UNC Chapel Hill where he earned a degree in Music. According to IMDb.com, Griffith was a regular on the Ed Sullivan show in the 1950's.

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."

Griffith received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 from President George W. Bush.

Griffith was born in Mount Airy, North Carolina.


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