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Andy Griffith dead at 86 (updated)


Film and television star Andy Griffith died Tuesday morning at 86 in his North Carolina home, former UNC President Bill Friday told WITN and his family confirmed in a statement to the Charlotte Observer.

According to WAVY News 10, emergency medical personnel attended to Griffith around 7 a.m., but the nature of the call has not been released.

Griffith is best known for starring in his self-titled comedy, "The Andy Griffith Show." He played Andy Taylor, a sheriff in a town with no crimes to solve.

Griffith left the still-popular TV series after eight years, acting in other side projects until landing a lead role as criminal defense attorney in "Matlock":

Griffith was an arts and culture Renaissance man, also dabbling in directing, starting his own production company and winning a 1997 Grammy Award for "Best Southern, Country/Bluegrass Gospel Album." 

The New York Times has a full report on Griffith's life, as does the L.A. Times, which focuses on his impact on the entertainment industry.