Andy Griffith Poster


Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (3)  | Trade Mark (7)  | Trivia (106)  | Personal Quotes (26)

Overview (4)

Born in Mount Airy, North Carolina, USA
Died in Manteo, North Carolina, USA  (heart attack)
Birth NameAndy Samuel Griffith
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Andy Griffith is best known for his starring roles in two very popular television series, The Andy Griffith Show (1960) and Matlock (1986). Griffith earned a degree in music from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In the 1950s, he became a regular on The Ed Sullivan Show (1948) and The Steve Allen Plymouth Show (1951). He was featured in the Broadway play "No Time for Sergeants" (1955) for which he received a Tony nomination, and he later appeared in the film version. His film debut was in the provocative and prophetic A Face in the Crowd (1957), in which Griffith gave a performance that has been described as stunning.

On The Andy Griffith Show (1960), Griffith portrayed a folksy small-town sheriff who shared simple heartfelt wisdom. The series was one of the most popular television series in history. It generated some successful spin-offs, and the original is still seen in reruns to this day. Griffith created his own production company in 1972, which produced several movies and television series. In 1981, he was nominated for an Emmy for his portrayal in Murder in Texas (1981). In 1983, Griffith was stricken with Guillain-Barre syndrome, but he recovered after rehabilitation. In 1986, he produced and starred in the very successful television series Matlock (1986). The series spawned numerous television movies as well. When he accepted the People's Choice Award for this series, he said this was his favorite role. Andy Griffith died at age 86 of a heart attack in his home in Dare County, North Carolina on July 3, 2012.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Roger Burns <rogerburns@pobox.com>

Family (3)

Spouse Cindi Knight (2 April 1983 - 3 July 2012)  (his death)
Solica Casuto (11 June 1975 - 1981)  (divorced)
Barbara Griffith (26 August 1949 - 16 October 1972)  (divorced)  (2 children)
Children Andy Griffith Jr.
Barbara Griffith
Parents Nunn, Geneva
Griffith, Carl Lee

Trade Mark (7)

Commonly plays the accoustic guitar and sings folk or gospel songs
Most all of his characters have a folksy, friendly personality
Often recounts classic stories and histories with a folksy point of view. These include: Romeo and Juliet, Cleopatra, and Christopher Colombus discovering America
Slow, Southern drawl
Both of his characters have driven 2 separate Ford automobiles: on The Andy Griffith Show (1960), he drove a Ford Galaxie and on Matlock (1986), he drove a Ford Crown Victoria.
Gruff, gregarious voice
Frequently wore gray suits or blazers on Matlock (1986).

Trivia (106)

Suffered from Guillain-Barre Syndrome and couldn't walk for 7 months. [1983].
His son, Andy Griffith Jr., died of alcoholism, in 1996.
His two children, Andy Griffith Jr. and Dixie Griffith, were from his first of three wives, Barbara Griffith, as they decided to be parents, by adoption.
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 May 9, 2000, he 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.
Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith, pg. 195-196. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387
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.
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."
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.
Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush on Tuesday November 9th, 2005. Other recipients were Frank Robinson, Muhammad Ali, General Richard Myers, Paul Rusesabagina, Carol Burnett, Aretha Franklin, Vint Cerf and his Internet co-developer Robert Kahn, Jack Nicklaus, Alan Greenspan, and former congressman Gillespie "Sonny" Montgomery.
Was on same stage with Elvis Presley in The Steve Allen Plymouth Show (1951). It was Steve Allen's second show, after Allen piloted his debut, with more popular celebrities, Bob Hope, and others were in the debut and pilot, the previous week, and Allen's show skyrocketed in popularity.
The town of Mayberry on "The Andy Griffith Show" is based upon Andy Griffith's hometown Mount 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, but its true name is Pilot Mountain, and has the same basic geographical positioning to Mount 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 and Virginia state borders.
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).
He and Don Knotts were best friends from 1955 to Friday, February 24, 2006, when Don Knotts died.
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 musical band leader, in the brass instruments, Ed Mickey taught Andy Griffith how to play the trombone, successfully.
Before he was a successful actor, he was a comedian and a singer.
Graduated from Mount Airy High School in Mount Airy, North Carolina in 1944.
On The Andy Griffith Show (1960), his character had driven a Ford automobile, on Matlock (1986), his character had also driven a Ford automobile.
His decision to end The Andy Griffith Show (1960), in 1968, led him to a contract with Universal Studios, where he pursued a movie career.
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.
At least five 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).
On the longer-running and more popular The Andy Griffith Show (1960), Ron Howard co-starred as his son, "Opie Taylor". Ron Howard's biological mother, Jean Speegle Howard, guest-starred in one episode, Matlock: The Doctors (1987), of Griffith's second long-running show, Matlock (1986), in 1987.
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.
Remained good friends with Ron Howard during and after The Andy Griffith Show (1960).
Remained good friends with Nancy Stafford, Clarence Gilyard Jr. and Daniel Roebuck throughout Matlock (1986), before the creation and after it was canceled.
In 2010, he appeared in a series of TV commercials advocating for the Health Care Reform bill proposed by President Barack Obama. The commercials were withdrawn after Griffith received hundreds of death threats from opponents of the bill.
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.
Andy recorded a speaking role in Brad Paisley's song, "Waitin' on a Woman", about a old man imparting romantic advice to Brad. Griffith played the role for an accompanying music video.
Unlike Lucille Ball and Jackie Gleason, Griffith disliked the idea of using a studio audience for his own sitcom, The Andy Griffith Show (1960), because he felt it would give him and his co-stars pressure to deliver their one-liners, so the series was filmed almost like a movie allowing for the actors to have quiet scenes and for the fictional town of Mayberry to feel like a real place.
Andy Griffith and George Lindsey, a co-star from The Andy Griffith Show (1960), died less than 2 months apart. Lindsey died in May 2012 and Griffith died in July 2012.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6148 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
He played the same character (Sheriff Andy Taylor) on four different series: The Danny Thomas Show (1953), The Andy Griffith Show (1960), Gomer Pyle: USMC (1964) and Mayberry R.F.D. (1968).
An old friend Dick Van Dyke guest-starred on the debut pilot episode of Matlock (1986). Years later, Van Dyke reunited with Griffith on Diagnosis Murder (1993), where Griffith kept his role as Ben Matlock.
Within five hours of his death, he was buried in the Griffith Family Cemetery on the island of Manteo, North Carolina.
Andy Griffith died on July 3, 2012, at age 86, and just 5 days before Ernest Borgnine, who died at age 95.
His mother introduced him to playing the guitar.
Was always involved with every detail of the script of both shows: The Andy Griffith Show (1960) and Matlock (1986).
Andy Griffith passed away on July 3, 2012. Just 24 days after his death, his longtime colleague, actor R.G. Armstrong, passed away. They were best friends for over 65 years.
Began writing when he was age 15.
After his role on Play the Game (2009), he retired from acting at age 83.
He had 9 hobbies: golfing, fishing, playing guitar, politics, boat rowing, singing, sailing, Bible and reading.
At Mt. Airy High School, he fell in love with performing arts and participated in school plays.
Childhood friend of Emmett Forrest.
His decision to end Matlock (1986), in 1995, was because he wanted to spend more time with his family. He would reprise his role one more time, with Dick Van Dyke, in a 2 part episode of Diagnosis Murder (1993) in 1997.
Met R.G. Armstrong and future wife Barbara Griffith in the play, 'The Carolina Playmakers', at the University of N. Carolina-Chapel Hill, in 1945.
Had auditioned for and won the leading role of 'The Carolina Playmakers,' while attending college.
Was the only actor to appear in all 195 episodes of Matlock (1986).
His first wife Barbara Griffith was a dancer, a singer and soprano.
His mother, Geneva Nunn Griffith, was a housewife and caregiver, and his father, Carl Lee Griffith, was a carpenter.
His parents, Geneva Nunn and Carl Lee Griffith, were married in late 1918, just shortly after World War I. The couple had Andy 8 years later.
Met Dick Van Dyke in 1954, in New York City. They become friends for over 55 years.
His comedy record, "What it was, Was Football", sold more than 900,000 copies in 1953.
Before he was a successful actor, he worked at various nightclubs in New York City, playing music and doing acting.
Played the same character, Andy Taylor, five times on four different shows and one movie: The Danny Thomas Show (1953), The Andy Griffith Show (1960), Gomer Pyle: USMC (1964), Mayberry R.F.D. (1968) and Return to Mayberry (1986).
Was the only actor to appear in all 249 episodes of The Andy Griffith Show (1960).
Relocated to Manteo, Roanoke Island, North Carolina, from 1983 to 2012.
Before he was a successful actor, he used to sweep the schools, where he got paid $6 a month.
He commuted from his coastal home in North Carolina to Los Angeles every weekend for the first 6 years while starring in Matlock (1986) on NBC.
He purchased his first trombone at age 15.
Played the guitar on both series: The Andy Griffith Show (1960) and Matlock (1986).
Survived by his wife, Cindi Knight, of 29 years and 1 daughter.
After Brandon Tartikoff saw him in Fatal Vision (1984), he called Dean Hargrove and Fred Silverman to suggest hiring Griffith for the lead role in Matlock (1986), which was his comeback to television after 18 years.
He suggested Dean Hargrove and Fred Silverman film a two-part episode in his real-life hometown of Manteo, North Carolina, for the beginning of the fourth season of Matlock (1986).
After his relocation to Manteo, Roanoke Island, North Carolina, he met his third and final wife, Cindi Knight, in the play 'The Lost Colony.'.
After starring in 2 unsuccessful series Headmaster (1970) and The New Andy Griffith Show (1971), he returned to working in nightclubs.
While working in New York, doing a play 'Destry Rides Again,' Griffith was approached by Danny Thomas and Sheldon Leonard, for their first choice as the lead role of Sheriff Andy Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show (1960), as a spin-off of Thomas's The Danny Thomas Show (1953), he accepted the role.
Was a spokesperson for the PSA Tree Farmers in the 1970s.
Had suggested Ron Howard to write some scenes for The Andy Griffith Show (1960).
Released Christmas CD of songs/stories. [2003].
Retired and living in Manteo, North Carolina. [September 2009].
Like his best friends Don Knotts and Dick Van Dyke, Griffith was most widely known to be a very private man.
In 1962, Griffith was one of the actors to have ruled the ranks of other sitcom male lead stars, such as Danny Thomas, John Forsythe, Alan Young, Robert Young, Fred MacMurray, Buddy Ebsen and Ernest Borgnine.
Born on the same date as Marilyn Monroe.
Was involved in every writing of the script of both of his series: The Andy Griffith Show (1960) and Matlock (1986).
Was very preventive with the scripts on Matlock (1986).
He suggested to his Matlock (1986) co-star, Clarence Gilyard Jr., to live in North Carolina, for the show's seventh season on ABC, after production would no longer filmed in Los Angeles, for NBC, fortunately for Gilyard, he did, for over a year.
Taught his Matlock (1986) co-star, Clarence Gilyard Jr. how to be very funny, and being a straightman to him.
He was the surrogate grandfather to all of Ron Howard's 4 children: daughter Bryce Dallas Howard, twins Jocelyn Carlyle and Paige Howard, and son Reed Cross Howard.
According to Cindi Knight, she called 911 for her husband, because he was very sick. His widow heard that Griffith was vomiting, who was also found unconscious, who was also slumped over and wasn't responding to anything. He'd been ill, for 1 night, who also got outside and inside his wheelchair, and stopped breathing. The ambulance rushed over to his house, and got to Griffith, but the paramedics were unsuccessful in reviving him.
The biography "Andy & Don: The Making of a Friendship and a Classic American TV Show" was written by Daniel de Vise, who was the brother-in-law of Don Knotts' third wife, Francey.
Aneta Corsaut and Andy Griffith had an affair while working together on The Andy Griffith Show, according to the book "Andy & Don: The Making of a Friendship and a Classic American TV Show". New York: Simon & Schuster, 2015. ISBN 1476747733, written by Daniel de Visé.
On the first day of shooting "A Face In The Crowd", director Elia Kazan told Andy Griffith, "The camera is an amazing piece of equipment. It sees everything. All you have to do as an actor is find what the character's feeling and what he's thinking, and if you feel it and think it hard enough, it will come out in your eyes and you won't have to show the camera anything".
After he passed away, he did not want to have a funeral.
Although he was proud of his film A Face In The Crowd (1957), he found the experience of playing such a loathsome character distasteful and wouldn't play another villain until the seventies.
On Matlock (1986), his character occasionally played the banjos, and did some singing, in real-life, he played the banjos and did some singing.
On The Andy Griffith Show (1960), his character played the guitar and attended church, in real-life, he also played the guitar and attended church.
His ex-The Andy Griffith Show (1960), co-star's Ron Howard's father and his brother, Rance Howard and Clint Howard, both co-starred with Griffith, in his final movie Play the Game (2009).
Has a museum named after him in Mt. Airy, North Carolina.
It was his call to hire the young, unfamiliar, struggling actor Clarence Gilyard Jr. to replace Kene Holiday, for Matlock (1986)'s fourth season, who was fired, the season before, after his co-star's long battle against drug/alcohol problems, after being 3 months sober.
His ex-Matlock (1986) co-star, Kene Holiday, worked with his acting mentor's best friend Dick Van Dyke, on an episode of Diagnosis Murder (1993), in 1996.
His mother, Nannie Geneva "Nann" Nunn Griffith, died on May 13, 1986, just 13 days before her 87th birthday.
His father, Carl Lee Griffith, died on January 19, 1975. He lived to be 80.
Met a young, unfamiliar actor Ron Howard, alongside Howard's father (Rance Howard) on an episode of The Danny Thomas Show (1953), when Howard was going on 6 years old, where Griffith's character had arrested the character of Danny Thomas's. Nearly a year later, Rance's own son, Ron, who would co-star opposite Griffith on The Andy Griffith Show (1960), as Andy's only son. Ron had a 50+ year friendship with him, until Griffith's death in 2012.
Just the month after his 86th Birthday and the month before his death, he was supposed to have met his ex-Matlock (1986) co-star, Nancy Stafford, in her acting mentor's hometown to do a book signing at the gift store, when he already refused.
Had lived not too far from Robert Fuller and Julie London.
Was offered the title role in "Hud", but had to turn it down because of his TV schedule.
For his role of Judge Julius Sullivan in "Crime of Innocence", Griffith drew inspiration from John Forsythe's even-more-sinister character in "...And Justice for All".

Personal Quotes (26)

[on his off-camera relationship with Frances Bavier, who played Aunt Bee] There was just something about me she did not like.
[How he valued Don Knotts as an actor/best friend]: I loved Don. There was no one like him.
[For making Chapel Hill, which is where he went to college, proud of him]: I am proud of my connections to Carolina and pleased to know that some results from a lifetime of work on television, film, stage and recordings will have a permanent home in Chapel Hill.
I was baptized alongside my mother when I was 8 years old. Since then, I have tried to walk a Christian life, ... And now that I'm getting older, I realized that I'm walking even closer with my God.
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.
[When he used a televangelist as his model]: I did an impression of Oral Roberts, and near the end, I took Elia Kazan's head in my hands, and I healed him, I walked out of that restaurant with the part.
[on filming a 2-part Matlock (1986) episode in his hometown]: During all the years of the old Griffith show I tried to talk them into filming something in North Carolina, but they said, 'Why? They already think you're in North Carolina anyway.'
[on being released from Universal Studios - while being typecast as Andy Taylor]: 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.
If you think and feel what you're supposed to think and feel, hard enough, it'll come out through your eyes - and the camera will see it.
[In 1996]: I'll be 70 on June 1. I don't want to make a living - I mean, I do. I really don't have to. But I want to work for my mind and my spirit. I know how to do a couple of things, and I can sing a little, and I can act, and I can write a little, so I wanna try that.
[In 1987]: They saw me as more of a personality than an actor, and I didn't get much work.
[In comparing himself to one of his characters]: I am from a little town in North Carolina. I have chosen to keep one foot in that life and my other foot in this life and I've had success with that. This man does the same thing. He is from a little community outside of Atlanta, and he has chosen to keep one foot in that life and the other foot in this life. So far as his being a country lawyer, he's the kind of guy that will let you believe anything you choose to believe as long as it works in his corner.
[In 1986]: There ain't no way you're going to do an hour show every week and go home to Mayberry.
[on working off-camera on- the set of _"Matlock" (1986)]: I do my best in the mornings. I've also asked to put the grueling courtroom scenes at the end of the week's filming, so that I have time to learn all the lines. They have, all but twice - and those two times were nightmares. Learning lines in front of the crew is one of the most difficult things you can do.
[on comparison his sociable sheriff role to his sociable lawyer role]: I'm not going to retire. I cannot live without comedy. I write a lot on 'Matlock,' too, and I put a lot of comedy in it. Sometimes the writers make Matlock is a very bright man, but he's vain.
[In 1989]: I always wanted to bring a show here. I thought it would be good for the town and good for the company.
Hell, I'm just not comfortable with it. But isn't this one beautiful piece?
[In 1991]: I can't tell you how surprised I was - until my wife admitted she had torn out the page of the article that had included me. I deserve worst dressed - both as Andy Griffith and as the character I play. Away from the set, I only wear Levi's jeans and Lands' End shirts and tennis shoes. And for six seasons on 'Matlock,' I've been wearing the same rumpled gray suit.
It's the damnedest thing I ever heard of. There are books of all kinds, trading cards, videotapes of the shows. Fan clubs? Oh, there's several of them. They have conventions and things. I can't go; I'm working. But a lot of the others from the old show. But I just can't, while I'm doing this show I can't [find the time to] do anything else.
People started saying that Mayberry was based on Mount Airy. It sure sounds like it, doesn't it?
[When believed that [Ron Howard] would have casted him in one of his former co-star's anticipated directorial movies]: Ron Howard called me a few mornings ago. He and his wife had seen it and he wanted to tell me how he liked it. And he thought I was good in it, too, and he said, 'Sometime, it will happen.' I look forward to it when it does happen. At least Ronnie still knows that I'm a pretty good actor.
[Who said in 1998 about [The Andy Griffith Show (1960)] that had singing]: Music was always important to our show. Don [Knotts] and I sang a lot together, you know ... We would sing hymns in the jail while we were dusting, sweeping and different things.
[When he gave credit for creating Mayberry to [Sheldon Leonard]]: At first Sheldon [Leonard] didn't want it to be in North Carolina, he just wanted it to be somewhere in the South. And I hate these made up names. So, we did have Mount Pilot which there's a place called Pilot Mountain up near Mount Airy. But, I gradually started slipping in real towns in North Carolina like Asheville, and Raleigh and Siler City. And so it became, during that first year, it became a town in North Carolina.
[When asked in 2007 what was his favorite [The Andy Griffith Show (1960)] episode]: The second episode that we shot I knew Don should be funny and I should play straight for him. That opened up the whole series because I could play straight for everybody else. And I didn't have to be funny. I just let them be funny.
But I guess you could say I created Andy Taylor. Andy Taylor's the best part of my mind. The best part of me.
[Who said in 1994 about [Matlock (1986)]'s final season]: We have recently gotten more and more away from the traditional formula. I like that a lot. It makes it much more entertaining for people who perform on the show and I hope for people who watch.

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