Andy Griffith Dead at 86

His role as Mayberry's sheriff cemented his place in US culture

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 3, 2012 9:17 AM CDT | Updated Jul 3, 2012 12:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – Television icon Andy Griffith has died at age 86. A local sheriff in North Carolina confirmed the news today via a family statement: "Mr. Griffith passed away this morning at his home peacefully and has been laid to rest on his beloved Roanoke Island," reports AP. It's not clear whether "laid to rest" meant his burial already had occurred, notes WITN. Griffith, of course, gained icon status as the sheriff of Mayberry in the Andy Griffith Show. In later years, he returned to TV in Matlock.

"His love of creating, the joy he took in it whether it was drama or comedy or his music, was inspiring to grow up around," said Ron Howard, who got his start as Opie. "The spirit he created on the set of The Andy Griffith Show was joyful and professional all at once. It was an amazing environment."

Andy Griffith poses backstage at the 2nd Annual TV Land Awards held on March 7, 2004 at The Hollywood Palladium, in Hollywood, California.
Andy Griffith poses backstage at the 2nd Annual TV Land Awards held on March 7, 2004 at The Hollywood Palladium, in Hollywood, California.   (Getty Images)
Andy Griffith is seen in this 1986 file photo provided by NBC.
Andy Griffith is seen in this 1986 file photo provided by NBC.   (AP Photo/NBC)
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