Actor Andy Griffith, best known for “The Andy Griffith Show,” died Tuesday in Dare County, North Carolina at the age of 86. His friend, former UNC President Bill Friday, confirmed his death to WITN News.
Few can forget “America's Favorite Sheriff” from his self-titled show, which ran from 1960 to 1968. The story, set in fictional Mayberry, North Carolina, centers on Griffith, a widower, his deputy Barney Fife (Don Knotts), spinster Aunt Bee (Frances Bavier), and son Opie (Ron Howard).
"His pursuit of excellence and the joy he took in creating served generations & shaped my life I'm forever grateful RIP Andy," Howard tweeted on Tuesday.
His most memorable film role was in 1957's "A Face in the Crowd," an examination of fame and power.
Griffith, who also produced and starred in the legal drama “Matlock,” was born in Mount Airy, North Carolina in 1926. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 from President George W. Bush.
UPDATE: The body of Andy Griffith was buried Tuesday morning on Roanoke Island, less than five hours after he died, reports CNN. At the request of his family, Griffith's body was lowered into a grave on the island at about 11:30 a.m. ET, according to a funeral spokesperson who declined to be named, citing the sensitivity of the matter. "It had been planned for some time," said the spokesperson, who declined to reveal where on the island the body was buried. "This was the wish of his family."