The actor who put fictional Mayberry NC on the imaginary television map has died at age 86. Andy Griffith died where his acting career began, on Roanoke Island in North Carolina’s Outer Banks area.
Griffith’s major television roles were Sheriff Andy Taylor on “The Andy Griffith Show,” and later as the title character in “Matlock.” Prior to the Taylor role, he had appeared in movies and as a regular on the “Ed Sullivan Show.”
He was offered a role in “The Lost Colony,” and outdoor dramatic depiction of the first English North American settlement, which unfortunately was not make it to permanency. It is still performed to this day. Griffith played several roles, finally graduation to the lead role of Sir Walter Raleigh. A taped introduction by Griffith began the performance seen by this writer several years ago.
“The Andy Griffith Show” was notable not only for its own longevity – it ran from 1960-1968 – but also for the live it gave to spin-offs including “Gomer Pyle – USMC” and “Mayberry RFD.”