Andy Griffith, 86, was pronounced dead at his home on Roanoke Island at 7 a.m. on Tuesday. Griffith’s family released a press statement stating that Griffith “has been laid to rest on his beloved Roanoke Island.” The cause of his death was not specifically stated.
In a statement issued through the Andy Griffith Museum in Mont Air, North Carolina, his wife, Cindi Griffith, said, "Andy was a person of incredibly strong Christian faith and was prepared for the day he would be called Home to his Lord,” according to a report by CNN.
Griffith was famous for “The Andy Griffith Show”. He was a music graduate from the University of North Carolina. His role in the television series “Matlock” in the 1980s and 1990s was much lauded. He won a Grammy for gospel singing as well. He had to his name an illustrious career spanning theatre, movies, music, as a producer and actor.
Celebrities and fans are expressing their sadness and love for Andy. Gov. Beverly Perdue said, "North Carolina has lost its favorite son," according to a report by Chicago Tribune. She added, "Throughout his career, he represented everything that was good about North Carolina: a small town boy and UNC graduate who took a light-hearted approach to some of the attributes he grew up with and turned them into a spectacularly successful career. And regardless of where that career took him, he always came back to North Carolina and spent his final years here."
President Obama also took note of Griffith’s death. The president said the actor had “warmed the hearts of Americans everywhere. A performer of extraordinary talent, Andy was beloved by generations of fans and revered by entertainers who followed in his footsteps.”
In 2005, President George W. Bush honored Griffith with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for “demonstrating the finest qualities of our country and for a lifetime of memorable performances that have brought joy to millions of Americans of all ages."
Griffith had earned himself the honors of being a member of the Television Hall of Fame. He was also inaugurated into the Christian Music Hall of Fame and Museum in 2007. In 1996, his album, I Love to Tell the Story -- 25 Timeless Hymns, earned him a Grammy as well.
Griffith was diagnosed with muscular disease Guillain-Barre syndrome in 1983, but had made a full recovery. He also had a bypass surgery in 2000 and again in 2007 had a hip surgery after having suffered a fall.
Griffith had been married three times. He is survived by his wife, Cindi Knight, and has left behind two children from his first marriage.