Beloved American icon Andy Griffith passes away at age 86

By Bob Jordan, AP

USA TODAY – Beloved actor Andy Griffith died this morning.

Former UNC President Bill Friday says The Andy Griffith Show and Matlock actor died at his home in Dare County, North Carolina around 7 a.m.

Friday, who is a close friend of the actor, confirmed the news to WITN News.

Emergency medical crews responded to Griffith’s home this morning, Dare County Sheriff J.D. Doughtie told

Griffith, who was born in Mt. Airy, N.C., was launched to fame as Sheriff Andy Taylor in The Andy Griffith Show for the CBS from 1960-1968. On the show, Ron Howard played his son, Opie. He starred on other shows and in films, but found his greatest success again with legal drama Matlock, from 1986 to 1995. He played the title character, Ben Matlock.

You don’t get more Americana than Andy Griffith, who I’d say most if not all of us grew up watching in reruns of the Andy Griffith show. It was a show that was emblematic of how entertaining and funny a show could be without all the filth we see nowadays and it reminds us all of a simpler time in American history. Andy Griffith was a true great who has entertained hundreds of millions if not billions of people around the world.

Andy Griffith will be sorely missed.

As a memorial and reminder of this great legend, below is a great episode from the Andy Griffith Show called “Jailbreak”:

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