Taught high school music in Goldsboro, NC for three years after graduating from college
Struck out on a career as an entertainer; originally wanted to be a singer, but had more success with a monologue parodying popular Johnny Ray song "Please Mr. Sun"
Recorded "What It Was Was Football," one of the most popular comedic monologues of all time
Made TV debut guesting on an episode of "The Ed Sullivan Show" (CBS)
Read Mac Hayman's novel <i>No Time for Sergeants</i> and later found out that the Theatre Guild was presenting it as a play on TV, which was bound for Broadway; auditioned and won the role of Will Stockdale, playing it on TV's "U.S. Steel Hour" (ABC, CBS)
Made Broadway debut in "No Time for Sergeants"; received Tony nomination
Made feature film debut with a leading role in Elia Kazan's "A Face in the Crowd"
Appeared as a regular on the NBC variety series "The Steve Allen Show"
Returned to Broadway in the lead of the musicalized "Destry Rides Again"; received Tony nomination for Actor in a Musical
Starred as folksy sheriff and single father Andy Taylor on the popular CBS sitcom "The Andy Griffith Show"
Co-hosted his first TV variety special "The Andy Griffith-Don Knotts-Jim Nabors Show"
First TV producing credit, as executive producer of the "The Andy Griffith Show" spin-off "Mayberry R.F.D." (CBS)
First TV writing credit, "Looking Back", a nostalgic look at young people growing up during the 1930s
Starred as elite private school headmaster Andy Thompson on the CBS comedy-drama series "Headmaster"
Starred as Mayor Andy Sawyer on the CBS sitcom "The New Andy Griffith Show"
TV-movie acting debut, "The Strangers in 7A" (CBS)
Former production company Andy Griffith Enterprises
First TV production of Andy Griffith Enterprises, the TV-movie "Winter Kill" (ABC); also starred
Last leading role in a feature, "Hearts of the West"; took second billing to Jeff Bridges
Starred as Sheriff Sam Adams on the short-lived ABC crime drama series "Adams of Eagle Lake," which was produced by Andy Griffith Enterprises
Acted in first TV miniseries, "Washington: Behind Closed Doors" (ABC)
Starred as Harry Broderick on the ABC adventure series "Salvage 1"
Played Carroll Yeager on the short-lived ABC drama series "The Yeagers"
First supporting role on a TV series, the Western comedy "Best of the West" (ABC)
Played the title role of Benjamin L. Matlock on the courtroom drama series "Matlock" (NBC, 1986-1993; ABC, 1993-95); also co-executive produced
Executive produced and reprised Andy Taylor role in the TV-movie "Return to Mayberry" (NBC), the highest rated TV-movie of its season
Executive produced and hosted the CBS comedy compilation special "The Andy Griffith Show Reunion," which reunited cast members and included clips from the series
Landed supporting role in "Daddy and Them," starring Billy Bob Thornton, Laura Dern, and Diane Ladd
Guest starred on The WB's hit teen drama "Dawson's Creek"
Appeared as 'Old Joe,' the diner owner in the indie feature "Waitress"
Made final film appearance in the romantic comedy "Play the Game"