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|Also Known As:||Andrew Samuel Griffith||Died:||July 3, 2012|
|Born:||June 1, 1926||Cause of Death:||Heart Attack|
|Birth Place:||Mount Airy, North Carolina, USA||Profession:||Cast ... actor writer comedian teacher|
With his folksy, down-to-earth charm and winning smile, actor Andy Griffith brought a warm sincerity to his most popular roles - small-town Sheriff Andy Taylor on "The Andy Griffith Show" (CBS, 1960-68) and the crafty southern lawyer Ben Matlock on "Matlock" (NBC/ABC, 1986-1995). Prior to becoming a friendly face in many American living rooms, Griffith was a talented musician with early aspirations to be an opera singer. But instead he rose to fame as a monologist, delivering a parody of the Johnny Ray son "Please Mr. Sun" and the woodsy "What it Was, Was Football" (1953), one of the most popular recorded monologues of all time. Griffith turned to television with "No Time for Sergeants" (1955) - a role he reprised for the 1958 film of the same name - and made his feature debut with a thunderous dramatic performance as a manipulative, power-hungry grifter who becomes a television host in Elia Kazan's "A Face in the Crowd" (1957). He was a regular on "The Steve Allen Show" (1956-1964) before introducing Sheriff Andy Taylor alongside Ron Howard's Opie on the seventh season of "The Danny Thomas Show" (1953-1964). Following several spin-offs of "Andy Griffith" throughout the decades, he reprised his stardom as "Matlock" and made many noted guest appearances well into the new millennium. Meanwhile, over the course of his career, Griffith returned to his first love of music and won a Grammy for a 1997 gospel album. Often exerting strong creative control over his efforts, Griffith brought a sense of realism, charm and honesty to his shows and characters that managed to never stray into caricature, and whose appeal endured for generations of viewers.
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