Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Another Icon Bites the Dust

Yeah, well, I got teary when I saw this in the news. There will never be another Andy Griffith and all he represented. It's like part of my life is gone, too. My grandkids will never grow up with the values and morals Andy Griffith portrayed in his shows. They were clean and wholesome and funny. Man, oh, man! I hate it when this happens!

Andy Griffith, creator of Mayberry, dies at 86Andy Griffith, creator of Mayberry, dies at 86

Andy Griffith, creator of Mayberry, dies at 86

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Griffith was born June 1, 1926 and passed away July 3, 2012. Andy Griffith's gift to the show that bore his name wasn't just the homespun wisdom of the plain-spoken sheriff he played. It was the place he created: a small town where all foibles are forgiven and friendships are forever, full of characters who felt like family.

Mayberry, a fictional North Carolina village said to be modeled on Griffith's own hometown of Mount Airy, was so beloved that it practically became a synonym for any community that was too innocent and trusting for real life. After all, Griffith's Mayberry was a place where the sheriff didn't carry a gun, the local drunk locked himself in jail and even the villains who passed through were changed by their stay.

On "The Andy Griffith Show," he created an endearing portrait of a place where few people grew up but many wished they did.

Griffith played a sage widower named Andy Taylor who offered gentle guidance to son Opie, played by little Ron Howard, who grew up to become an Oscar-winning director. Griffith inhabited the sheriff's "aw, shucks" persona so completely that viewers easily believed the character and the man were one.

Don Knotts, who died in 2006, was the goofy Deputy Barney Fife, while Jim Nabors joined the show as Gomer Pyle, the cornpone gas pumper. George Lindsey, who died in May, was the beanie-wearing Goober. The sheriff's loving Aunt Bee was played by the late Frances Bavier.

His television career resumed in 1986 with "Matlock," a light-hearted legal drama in which Griffith played a cagey Harvard- educated, Southern-bred attorney with a leisurely law practice in Atlanta. Decked out in his seersucker suit in a steamy courtroom (air conditioning would have spoiled the mood), Matlock could toy with a witness and tease out a confession like a folksy Perry Mason.

This new character – law-abiding, fatherly and lovable _ was like a latter-day homage to Sheriff Andy Taylor, updated with silver hair. The show aired though 1995.

Griffith was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts Hall of Fame in 1992. In 2005, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, one of the country's highest civilian honors.

More recently, Griffith won a Grammy in 1997 for his album of gospel music "I Love to Tell the Story – 25 Timeless Hymns."  {I have this CD!! And it's on my mp3 player, too!}

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