Andy Griffith Biography


Birthday: June 1, 1926 (Gemini)

Born In: Mount Airy

Andy Griffith was an actor, television producer, writer and a singer. He was one of the most famous television personalities of the last few decades. ‘The Andy Griffith Show’, which entertained the audiences for nearly eight years, was his most famous show and took him to great heights of success. With a humble beginning as a comedian, Griffith proved his versatility by starring in several roles. His portrayals of villainous characters in several television films received huge appreciation while he was already a star in the field of comedy. As time passed by, he took up more challenging roles and executed them in the best possible manner. A veteran of Broadway, he had come a long way from shackles of poverty to become one of the celebrated individuals of television. His character of ‘Andy Taylor’, the protagonist in the ‘The Andy Griffith Show’, is perhaps his most reminisced role and the highlight of his career. However, Griffith never allowed himself to be typecast and moved ahead to act in movies. He was also a country and gospel singer and even won a Grammy.
Quick Facts

Also Known As: Andy Griffith

Died At Age: 86


Spouse/Ex-: Barbara Griffith (m. 1949–1972), Cindi Knight (m. 1983–2012), Solica Casuto (m. 1975–1981)

father: Carl Lee Griffith

mother: Geneva

children: Andy Griffith Jr., Dixie Griffith

Actors American Men

political ideology: Democratic

Died on: July 3, 2012

place of death: Manteo

More Facts

education: Mount Airy High School, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • 1

    What is the Andy Griffith Show known for?

    The Andy Griffith Show is known for its portrayal of small-town life in the fictional town of Mayberry, featuring wholesome humor and memorable characters.

  • 2

    What was Andy Griffith's role in Matlock?

    In the TV series Matlock, Andy Griffith played the role of Ben Matlock, a shrewd and folksy criminal defense attorney known for his sharp legal skills and Southern charm.

  • 3

    Where was The Andy Griffith Show filmed?

    The Andy Griffith Show was filmed at Desilu Studios, Stage 11, in Hollywood, California, where the iconic sets of Mayberry, including the courthouse and jail, were recreated.

  • 4

    What was the theme song of The Andy Griffith Show?

    The theme song of The Andy Griffith Show is called "The Fishin' Hole," composed by Earle Hagen and Herbert Spencer. It is a catchy and memorable tune that captures the show's laid-back, rural atmosphere.

  • 5

    What is the significance of Andy Griffith's character in A Face in the Crowd?

    In the film A Face in the Crowd, Andy Griffith played the character of Lonesome Rhodes, a charismatic drifter who rises to fame through his manipulative charm. The role showcased Griffith's versatility as an actor beyond his familiar wholesome image.

Childhood & Early Life
Andy was born to Carl Lee Griffith and Geneva who were extremely poor and had to live with their relatives as they did not have a house of their own.
When Andy turned three, his father began working as a carpenter and was eventually able to afford a house for the family.
He was sent to the Mount Airy High School where he was an active performer and played music. His mentor was Ed Mickey, a priest at Grace Moravian Church, who nurtured his skills till his graduation from high school in 1944.
Initially, he studied to be a Moravian preacher but later pursued music and joined the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from where he received his degree in music in 1949.
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Following his graduation, he joined Goldsboro High School as a music and drama teacher for three years. Later, he set out as a monologist and his monologue ‘What it Was, Was Football’, released in 1953, became very popular.
In 1954, he made his television debut when he was invited as a guest on the Ed Sullivan Show.
He appeared in Ira Levin’s teleplay ‘No Time for Sergeants’ in March 1955. It was an adaptation of the 1954 best-selling novel of the same name by Mac Hyman.
He appeared in the theatrical version of the same name on Broadway in October 1955 and Griffith was immensely appreciated for his performance.
In 1957, he appeared on television again with the movie ‘A Face in the Crowd’, portraying a vagrant who eventually becomes a TV personality.
The year 1960 marked the beginning of ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ which was offered to him by channel CBS, after his guest performance in the sitcom ‘Make Room for Daddy’. After an extremely successful stint, he chose to quit ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ in 1968 to begin a career in movies.
In 1972 , he started ‘Andy Griffith Enterprises’, his production company and starred in several television films, such as ‘Go Ask Alice’, ‘The Strangers In 7A’, ‘Winter Kill’ and ‘Pray for the Wildcats’ throughout the 1970s.
He starred in the comedy feature film ‘Hearts of the West’ in 1975 as Howard Pike alias Billy Pueblo. He appeared in several films through the 1990s and in the early 2000s.
His last film appearance was in the 2009 rom-com ‘Play the Game’ where he played the role of Grandpa Joe.
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Major Works
Griffith gained prominence in the film industry with ‘A Face in the Crowd’, which was viewed as ‘culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant’ and was, thus, preserved by the National Film Registry of United States, maintained by Library of Congress.
The sitcom ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ made him extremely famous and brought him immense critical and commercial success. The show ran for almost eight years and has been rated as the 9th best show in American television history by the weekly, ‘TV Guide’.
He is also remembered for his role as the criminal defense counsel, Ben Matlock, in the television series ‘Matlock’.
Awards & Achievements
In 1981, he earned his only Primetime Emmy nomination for the television movie ‘Murder in Texas’ in the ‘Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie’ category.
He was awarded a People's Choice Award in 1987, for his performance as ‘Ben Matlock’ in the TV drama series ‘Matlock’.
In 2005, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in America.
Personal Life & Legacy
He married Barbara Bray Edwards on August 22, 1949 and the couple adopted two children before their divorce in 1972.
From 1973 to 1981, he was married to the Greek actress, Solica Cassuto.
He got married to Cindi Knight on April 12, 1983 and was with her till his death.
After a period of ailments and declining health, he passed away due to a cardiac arrest at the age of 86.
Facts About Andy Griffith

Andy Griffith was an accomplished musician and had a deep love for playing the guitar and singing. He even released multiple albums throughout his career.

In addition to his acting talents, Andy Griffith was also a talented writer. He wrote a book called "Andy Griffith: Just As I Am," which gave insights into his life and career.

Andy Griffith was known for his sense of humor and often incorporated improvisation into his performances, making his characters even more memorable.

Despite being best known for his role as Sheriff Andy Taylor on "The Andy Griffith Show," Griffith also had a successful career on stage and in film, showcasing his versatility as an actor.

Andy Griffith was a beloved figure in his community and was known for his philanthropic efforts, supporting various charities and causes throughout his lifetime.

Andy Griffith Movies

1. A Face in the Crowd (1957)

  (Drama, Music)

2. No Time for Sergeants (1958)

  (Comedy, War)

3. The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966)

  (Family, Comedy, Romance, Mystery)

4. Angel in My Pocket (1969)

  (Family, Comedy)

5. Play the Game (2009)

  (Comedy, Romance)

6. Waitress (2007)

  (Drama, Comedy, Romance)

7. The Second Time Around (1961)

  (Family, Western)

8. Hearts of the West (1975)

  (Comedy, Western)

9. Rustlers' Rhapsody (1985)

  (Comedy, Western)

10. Onionhead (1958)

  (Comedy, Drama, War)


People's Choice Awards
1987 Favorite Male Performer in a New TV Program Winner

See the events in life of Andy Griffith in Chronological Order

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