Andy Griffith (born June 1, 1926 - July 3, 2012) played Sheriff Andy Taylor in all 249 episodes of The Andy Griffith Show, in episodes of Make Room for Daddy, Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. and Mayberry R.F.D., and in the 1986 TV movie Return to Mayberry. His father Carl Griffith and his wife Barbara Griffith each appeared in one episode of "The Andy Griffith Show". He played Andy Thompson on "Headmaster", Andy Sawyer on The New Andy Griffith Show and Ben Matlock on "Matlock". He starred in the films A Face in the Crowd, No Time for Sergeants, Onionhead, The Second Time Around, Angel in My Pocket, Hearts of the West, Rustler's Rhapsody, Spy Hard, Daddy and Them, Waitress and Play the Game. He was executive producer of both "Mayberry R.F.D." and "Matlock". Andy Griffith was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was nominated for an Emmy for his performance in the 1981 TV movie "Murder in Texas".
Andy Griffith appeared in a 1982 "Saturday Night Live" sketch with Ron Howard, in which they played Sheriff Taylor and Opie. In 2005, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush. He appeared in the TV reunion specials Andy Griffith Show Reunion, Inside TV Land: The Andy Griffith Show and The Andy Griffith Show Reunion: Back to Mayberry. He played Andy Taylor in Ron Howard's Call to Action, a 2008 online political endorsement for presidential candidate Barack Obama. He also appeared in Brad Paisley's 2008 music video "Waitin' on a Woman". The publication of his 2010 autobiography, entitled "I Appreciate It: My Life", has been postponed.
I wanted to prove that I could play something else, but there were 249 episodes out there of 'Mayberry,' and it was aired every day. It was hard to escape.
The straight man has the best part. He gets to be in the show and see it, too.
I still play that guitar. It's a Martin D-18 with a clear pick guard. I've played that guitar on and off my TV shows for nearly 50 years.
- His two children were adopted.
- His son, Andy Griffith Junior, died of alcoholism, in 1996.
- Two children, Andy and Dixie, were from his first marriage to 'Barbara Edwards',
- In 1987, when he accepted the People's Choice Award, he said he was happy it was for "Matlock" (1986). He said that "Matlock" (1986) was his favorite character to date.
- On Saturday, May 9th, 2000, successfully underwent a quadruple bypass surgery.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- Recorded a gospel album called "I Love To Tell The Story" in 1996 that became a hit and won a Grammy.
- Was twice nominated for Broadway's Tony Award: in 1956, as Best Supporting of Featured Actor (Dramatic) for "No Time for Sergeants," and in 1960 as Best Actor (Musical) for "Destry Rides Again."
- The town of Mayberry on "The Andy Griffith Show" is based upon Andy Griffith's hometown of Mt. Airy, North Carolina. By the same token, the characters on the show will commonly mention the "sister city" of "Mount Pilot". Mount Pilot does exist, though it's really called Pilot Mountain, and has the same basic geographical positioning to Mt. Airy as Mayberry does to Mount Pilot. The towns in both reality and the series are about 15 miles apart. Both towns (in both universes) are north of Winston-Salem, North Carolina near the North Carolina-Virginia border.
- Taught English at Goldsboro High School in Goldsboro, North Carolina for a period of time.
- 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.
- While attending high school, he looked up Ed Mickey, who was a minister at Grace Moravian Church, who was also a brass bandleader, who taught Griffith how to play the trombone.
- Before becoming an actor, he was a comedian and a singer.
- Graduated from Mount Airy High School in Mount Airy, North Carolina, in 1944.
- After a fall, he underwent successful hip surgery, on Wednesday, September 5th, 2007.
- Inducted into the Christian Music Hall of Fame and Museum in 2007.
- With the death of Don Knotts, on Friday, February 24th, 2006, he, Jim Nabors, Betty Lynn, George Lindsey, are the only four surviving adult main cast members of "The Andy Griffith Show", along with youngest surviving member, Ron Howard.