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|2012-07-03 - Television News|
Actor Andy Griffith gone at 86
-- Paula David - Fourth Estate Cooperative Reporter
Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E) - Television icon Andy Griffith passed away at 86 years old on Tuesday morning at his Roanoke Island home.
The sad news was confirmed by former University of North Carolina president Bill Friday to WITN News, a close friend of Griffith.
Griffith was born in Mount Airy in North Carolina where he spent his childhood being passionate about music. He earned a degree in music from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and afterwards worked as a choral director at Goldsboro High School.
Not long after, he turned his passion into acting and entertainment, doing comic monologues before shifting to films. But it was in television that he earned his mark in the entertainment industry. Famous for playing the role of the town sheriff in "The Andy Griffith Show" and as the grouchy attorney in the drama "Matlock," he continued to act and guest in various shows until his later life.
Among his awards was a Grammy in 1997 for his album "I Love to Tell the Story: 25 Timeless Hymns." In 2005, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush.
Fans and fellow professionals in the entertainment industry expressed their sentiments via Twitter.
Ron Howard, who played Opie Taylor in "The Andy Griffith Show" said, "His pursuit of excellence and the joy he took in creating served generations & shaped my life I'm forever grateful RIP Andy."
Senator Kay Hagan tweeted, "Andy Griffith was great man who embodied southern hospitality & put North Carolina on map by making Mayberry famous. He will be missed."
He is survived by wife Cindi and his daughter Dixie.
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