Andy Griffith

Andy Griffith

Actors Nancy Stafford and Clarence Gilyard Jr. were said to be huge fans of their mentor's first series, "The Andy Griffith Show" (1960), as little children. Years later, all grown up, they both auditioned and won the roles alongside him on "Matlock" (1986), within a couple years of each other. Stafford replaced Linda Purl in 1987, and Gilyard replaced Kene Holliday in 1989.

After a fall, he underwent successful hip surgery, on Wednesday, September 5th, 2007.

Andy Griffith's longest and most popular character role of Andy Taylor, on "The Andy Griffith Show" (1960), was ranked at number 8 in TV Guide's list of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time", in Sunday, June 20th, 2004's issue.

Andy recorded a speaking role in the Brad Paisley song "Waitin' on a Woman" about a old man imparting romantic advice to Brad. Griffith played the role for an accompanying music video.

At least 5 actors and actresses named him as their favorite actor or comedian: Jack Dodson, Aneta Corsaut, Betty Lynn, Arlene Golonka and Don Knotts, all guest starred with him on "Matlock" (1986).

Attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Music in 1949. He originally attended school to study to be a Moravian preacher before he changed his major. His social life in college included: President of UNC Men's Glee Club and membership in Alpha Rho Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the US' oldest music fraternity for men.

Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush on Tuesday November 9th, 2005. Other recipients were Frank Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Gen. Richard Myers, Paul Rusesabagina, Carol Burnett, Aretha Franklin, Vint Cerf and his Internet co-developer Robert Kahn, Jack Nicklaus, Alan Greenspan, and former congressman G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery.

Before Andy's parents had purchased a house, he lived with relatives. Without a crib or bed, Andy slept in drawers for a few months, just a couple of years after he was born.

Before becoming an actor, he was a comedian and a singer.

Best known by the public for his starring roles as Andy Taylor in "The Andy Griffith Show" (1960) and the title character in "Matlock" (1986).

Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith, pg. 195-196. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387

During a 1959 performance of the Broadway musical "Destry Rides Again", in which Griffith starred opposite Dolores Gray, a small fire broke out backstage at the Imperial Theater. Although it was put out within a few minutes time, without causing any major damage, just enough smoke drifted toward the stage that there could have been a panic had not Griffith and Gray continued on with the scene as though nothing was happening. For their bravery, they were rewarded by the audience that night with a standing ovation and by the New York City Fire Comissioner with citations for heroism.

Future actor and news journalists, Randolph Mantooth, Katie Couric and Matt Lauer were all said to be huge fans of his, growing up.

Graduated from Mount Airy High School in Mount Airy, North Carolina, in 1944.

Griffith's album, "I Love to Tell the Story: 25 Timeless Hymns" won the 1997 Grammy Award for Best Southern Gospel, Country Gospel or Bluegrass Gospel Album.

Has a long association with ex-"The Andy Griffith Show" (1960) co-star, Ron Howard, before and after the show's cancellation. Howard guest-starred on an episode of Griffith's short-lived series, "Headmaster" (1970) in 1970, and he hosted "Saturday Night Live" (1975) in 1982, when Andy made a surprised appearance as Andy Taylor.

He and Don Knotts were best friends from 1955 to Friday, February 24th, 2006, when Don Knotts lost his life.

He recorded some albums of standup comedy, including one titled "Just for Laughs". Among his classic routines is "What It Was, Was Football", about a country bumpkin who witnesses his first football game.

He was the Tuesday night host for CBS Radio's "Sears Mystery Theater" (1979). He was still Tuesday's host when it became "The Mutual Radio Theater" on Mutual Radio (1980).

His characters had driven 2 separate Ford automobiles on both of his shows: "The Andy Griffith Show" (1960) and "Matlock" (1986).