Jun. 1st, 1926
Mount Airy, North Carolina, USA
Andy Griffith's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Andy Griffith is best known for his starring roles in two very popular TV 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 and the Steve Allen Show. 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 show was one of the most popular TV series in history. It generated some successful spin-offs, and the original is still seen in re-runs to this day.
Griffith created his own production company in 1972, which produced several movies and TV series. In 1981, he was nominated for an Emmy for his portrayal in Murder in Texas (1981) (TV). In 1983 Griffith was stricken with Guillain-Barre syndrome, but he recovered after rehabilitation.
In 1986 he produced and starred in the very successful TV series "Matlock" (1986). The show spawned numerous TV movies as well. When he accepted the People's Choice Award for this show, he said this was his favorite role.
- His characters had driven 2 separate Ford automobiles on both of his shows: _"The Andy Griffith Show" (1960)_ (qv) and _"Matlock" (1986)_ (qv).
- Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President 'George W. Bush' (qv) on 9 November 2005. Other recipients were 'Frank Robinson (I)' (qv), 'Muhammad Ali (I)' (qv), Gen. 'Richard Myers (III)' (qv), 'Paul Rusesabagina' (qv), 'Carol Burnett' (qv), 'Aretha Franklin' (qv), 'Vint Cerf' (qv) and his Internet codeveloper Robert Kahn, 'Jack Nicklaus' (qv), Alan Greenspan, and former congressman G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery.
- Actors 'Nancy Stafford' (qv) and 'Clarence Gilyard Jr.' (qv) were said to be huge fans of their mentor's first series, _"The Andy Griffith Show" (1960)_ (qv), as little children. Years later, they both auditioned and won the roles alongside him on _"Matlock" (1986)_ (qv), within a couple years of each other. Stafford replaced 'Linda Purl' (qv) in 1987, and Gilyard replaced 'Kene Holliday' (qv) in 1989.
- 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.
- Became best friends of 'Don Knotts' (qv) from 1955-2006.
- Taught English at Goldsboro High School in Goldsboro, North Carolina for a period of time.
- Best known by the public for his starring roles as Andy Taylor in _"The Andy Griffith Show" (1960)_ (qv) and the title character in _"Matlock" (1986)_ (qv).
- 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.