Actor, comedian and musician Andy Griffith, died today at age 86 at his home in North Carolina. Griffith starred in "The Andy Griffith Show," "Mayberry R.F.D." and the long-running "Matlock," and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush in 2005.
Griffith was born to a poor family, and grew up loving music and theater. He got his start in comedy while working as a teacher and performing on the side. His skits portraying a naive, but lovable, country bumpkin were incredibly popular.
His skits eventually landed him a spot on The Ed Sullivan Show, and his first major role in the 1957 film "A Face in the Crowd," and several more roles in Holywood movies. Then, in 1960, he got the chance to create his own show about small town life. The rest is TV land history.
Besides playing the sheriff of Mayberry, Griffith also play a cantakerous, but wise, lawyer in seersucker suit for the show "Matlock."
Griffith was also a singer and guitar player, he received a Grammy in 1997 for best Southern Country Bluegrass or Gospel Album, and was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005.
Jim Jenkins, writer for the North Carolina paper News and Observer