Andy Griffith Passes Away at 86

FOX 47 News

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Andy Griffith Passes Away at 86

CREATED Jul. 3, 2012 - UPDATED: Jul. 3, 2012

TV Icon Andy Griffith has passed away at the age of 86.

He was best known as the star of "The Andy Griffith Show", and also appeared on TV favorite "Matlock".

Griffith died in his North Carolina home early Tuesday morning.

He was born Andrew Samuel Griffith in Mount Airy, North Carolina, in 1926.

After majoring in music at the University of North Carolina, Andy Griffith taught high school music for three years, but he wanted to be a singer.

So in 1952 he hit the road. Turns out, he was a better comedian than singer. In 1953 he recorded "What It Was Was Football," which became one of the most popular comedic monologues of all time.

He went to Broadway, where he received a Tony nomination for his role in "No Time for Sergeants."

Then in 1957 he made his film debut in "A Face in the Crowd," the story of a country boy, turned superstar, turned monster.

Then it was back to Broadway and on to a guest appearance on the Danny Thomas show as the mayor of a small southern town, a road that led to "The Andy Griffith Show."

The show ran for eight years, and has rerun ever since.

Andy tried to duplicate the show's success in a two other homespun comedies -- both fizzled.

In 1986, Andy came back to prime-time television with a bang in the series "Matlock," which ran for 8 seasons.

Sheriff Taylor and the gang did reunite a couple of times. Both specials were hugely successful -- apparently Mayberry is where we liked Andy best.

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