ANDY GRIFFITH BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY:
Andy Griffith was born on June 1st, 1926 in Mount Airy, North Carolina with the birth name Andy Samuel Griffith, born to parents Geneva and Carl Lee as an only child. He was raised by other relatives while his parents tried to become financially secure enough to afford a home for themselves. When he was three years old, his father found work as a carpenter and the family was finally able to buy a home and have Andy move back in with them. After graduating from Mount Airy High School, where he first developed an interest in music and drama, Griffith went on to earn a college degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in music.
After completing his college degree he briefly taught English at Goldsboro High School in Goldsboro, North Carolina. He then found work as a monologist where he would deliver stories such as, "What it Was, Was Football". He released a single in 1953 and it reached number nine on the charts by 1954.
Soon Griffith was working on the television series, "The United States Steel Hour" and also performing on Broadway. He was in a production of, "Destry Rides Again" and "No Time for Sergeants" earning him a Tony Award nomination. Then in 1958 the same role was made for the film, "No Time for Sergeants".
Some of his other early career film roles to follow were on, "A Face in the Crowd" (1957) co-starring Patricia Neal, Walter Matthau, Anthony Franciosa and Lee Remick, "Onionhead" (1958) co-starring Felicia Farr, Walter Matthau, James Gregory, Erin O'Brien, Joey Bishop, Roscoe Karns, Claude Akins and Ray Danton, "No Time For Sergeants" (1958) starring alongside Nick Adams, Murray Hamilton, Will Hutchins, Don Knotts, Myron McCormick, Dub Taylor and William Fawcett and his most well known role from early on in his career on the television series, "The Andy Griffith Show" (1960-1968) starring with his good friend Don Knotts and Ron Howard as Opie, Frances Bavier as Aunt Bee, Jim Nabors as Gomer Pyle and a cast of characters. The show took place in Mayberry, North Carolina.
By 1967 the show was still doing well and Griffith was under a contract to complete one more season, however he chose to quit the show and pursue a career as a film actor. He did still serve as executive producer on the show once a week.
In 1972, Griffith chose to create his own production company called Andy Griffith Enterprises which produced a number of television shows and films. He also continued to act appearing on the television movie, "Murder in Texas" (1981) for which he was nominated for an Emmy.
Some of his other television role appearances include, "Headmaster" (1970), "The New Andy Griffith Show" (1971), "Adams of Eagle Lake" (1975), "Salvage 1" (1979), "The Yeagers" (1980) and "Diagnosis: Murder" (1997).
Another role he is very well known for was in the television series, "Matlock" (1986-1995), which he not only starred in but produced as well. He did return to his role from The Andy Griffith show in 1986 for televisions reunion, "Return to Mayberry" and again appeared in two more reunion specials in 1993 and 2003.
Griffith was never short of work and throughout his career he appeared on many television movies as well such as, "The Strangers In 7A" (1972), "Go Ask Alice" (1973), "Winter Kill" (1974), "Pray for the Wildcats" (1974) and "Savages" (1974). Along with film roles and television movie roles, he was also seen in a variety of mini series such as, "From Here to Eternity" (1979), "Roots: The Next Generations" (1979), "Centennial" (1978) and "Closed Doors" (1977).
Some of his other roles that were not as successful were roles in the films, "Hearts of the West" (1975), "Rustlers' Rhapsody" (1985), "Spy Hard" (1996), "Holiday Romance" (1999), "Daddy and Them" (2001) and a feature film titled, "Waitress" (2007).
Griffith had an amazing acting resume and also a decent recording career. Recently he has recorded some successful albums of classic Christian hymns with Sparrow records such as in 1996 releasing, "I Love to Tell the Story: Timesless Hymns".
Andy Griffith has married there times throughout his lifetime. His first wife was Barbara whom he wed in 1949 and they had two children who are adopted, before the marriage ended in 1972. He then married Solica Casuto in 1975 and they were together until 1981. Griffith then chose to marry for a third time to Cindi Knight in 1983 and the couple remain married today.
He has remained friends with a number of other successful actors throughout the years such as his longtime friend, R.G. Armstrong whom he met when he was at UNC. He has also held a great relationship with Don Knotts whom he met in 1955 when they worked on the Broadway stage together. Knott's made frequent appearances on, "The Andy Griffith Show" and became a regular. Don Knott's passed away in 2006 from complications having to do with lung cancer. Another close friend is actor now director, Ron Howard whom he made acquaintance with in 1960 as Ron played the part of Andy's son Opie and worked on a number of shows together in their earlier years of being in the entertainment industry.
In 2008 "A Face in the Crowd" was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
Griffith's last known role was in 2009. He has been battling illness from old age and in 2007 had to undergo quadruple heart-bypass surgery in Los Angeles, California. He did however appear in a number of commercials including a Medicare commercial in 2010 advocating the health care reform bill proposed by President Barack Obama, however after receiving hundreds of death threats the commercials were pulled off the air.
Andy Griffith was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W.Bush on November 9, 2005.
A star is on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to honor Andy Griffith for his contributions to Television.
Andy Griffith passed away on July 3, 2012 at his home on Roanoke Island in Dare County, North Carolina at the age of 86.
2009 Play the Game
2008 Ron Howard's Call to Action
2007 Christmas Is Here Again
2006 The Very First Noel
2001 Daddy and Them
2001 Dawson's Creek
2001 Family Law
1999 A Holiday Romance
1998 Scattering Dad
1997 Diagnosis Murder
1997 What It Was Was Football
1997 Close Combat: A Bridge Too Far
1996 Spy Hard
1994 The Gift of Love
1986 Under the Influence
1986 Return to Mayberry
1985 Crime of Innocence
1985 The Love Boat
1985 Rustlers' Rhapsody
1984 Fatal Vision
1983 Murder in Coweta County
1982 Fantasy Island
1982 For Lovers Only
1982 Saturday Night Live
1981 Best of the West
1981 Murder in Texas
1980 The Yeagers
1979 Salvage 1
1979 Roots: The Next Generations
1979 From Here to Eternity
1977 Deadly Game
1977 The Girl in the Empty Grave
1977 Washington: Behind Closed Doors
1976 Frosty's Winter Wonderland
1976 Six Characters in Search of an Author
1976 Street Killing
1976 The Bionic Woman
1975 Hearts of the West
1975 Adams of Eagle Lake
1974 Winter Kill
1974 Pray for the Wildcat
1973 Here's Lucy
1973 Go Ask Alice
1973 The Doris Day Show
1972 Hawaii Five-O
1972 The Strangers in 7A
1972 Mod Squad
1971 The New Andy Griffith Show
1968-1969 Mayberry R.F.D.
1969 Angel in My Pocket
1960-1968 The Andy Griffith Show
1966 Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.
1964 The Danny Kaye Show
1961 The Second Time Around
1960 The Danny Thomas Show
1958 No Time for Sergeants
1958 Playhouse 90
1955-1958 The United States Steel Hour
1957 A Face in the Crowd
1957 The Steve Allen Plymouth Show