Andy Griffith was born in Mount Airy, North Carolina. The fictional television series he starred in, "The Andy Griffith Show" was set in a little town in North Carolina called "Mayberry" very similar to the town he grew up in. Andy was southern to the core. He portrayed the south at it’s best and the south loved him for it.
Andy Griffith was one of the good ole boys. Southern born, Southern bred. The sleepy fictional town of Mayberry was in another era when people didn’t lock their doors and friends were always welcome. It was a quiet time when children played in back yards and countryside catching lighting bugs and building tree houses. Kids rode bikes on the dirt roads and trails led to the nearest swimming hole. Grown ups sat on the front porch after supper visiting and passing the time of day.
If anything out of the ordinary happened Sheriff Andy Taylor and his goofy deputy, Barney Fife were there to handle it. So many shows supposedly set in the south star actors who have no true knowledge about the south and their phony accents are a disgrace. Andy Taylor was a real southerner who made the south look good.
Andy ate his devoted Aunt Bea’s pickles with a smile on his face when they tasted like kerosene. He covered up for Barney and made him feel like a hot shot even when he bumbled the job. Andy was a kind, loving dad to his son Opie and a friend to everyone. The Andy Griffith show ran from 1960 to 1968 and was the most popular show on television. We were all in love with Andy. The Andy Griffith Show was one of only three series in TV history that went out at the top of it’s ratings. Griffith felt the show was slipping and didn’t want it to go down any further.
Andy Griffith played “Matlock” another television series that was on from 1986 to 1995. He played a lawyer from Atlanta, Georgia. In this show, it was said that he modeled his role after the famous lawyer from Summerville, Georgia, Bobby Lee Cook. He did a good job of it. Anyone who knew Bobby Lee Cook recognized his rambunctious style in the courtroom and on the street. President Bush presented Andy Griffith with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005.
This talented actor not only starred in television series but also in films and on stage. One of his most popular movies was filmed in 1983, “Murder in Coweta County” ( in fact my daughter in law is a distant cousin of the character he portrayed.) One of his earliest films was “A Face in the Crowd” made in 1957. ” No Time for Sargent’s” was made in 1958.
Andy Griffith died at his home July 3, 2012. He was 86 years old. His died peacefully with his family at his side. Andy had a heart attack and a triple by pass in the year 2000. He had been unwell of late. He will be greatly missed by those who knew him and by those who loved his TV series’s, and felt as if they knew him. For those of you who would like to see ” The Andy Griffith Show” set in Mayberry, go to TVLand. It’s channel 65 in our area of Cobb county Georgia.
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