Tuesday, July 3, 2012

R.I.P. Andy Griffith

{Andy Griffith [C] with Mayberry Statue, Mt. Airy, NC}
Actor Andy Griffith, made famous for his TV role as the widowed sheriff of the fictional town of Mayberry, NC as well as Matlock, has died at the age of 86.

The Andy Griffith Show was wildly popular during its eight year television run from 1960 to 1968. Griffith left the show with a year left on his contract but served as an executive producer of the spin-off show  Mayberry, R.F.D. and appeared in a handful of episodes in its first year.

Griffith left to pursue a career on the silver screen, with less success than he hoped. Perhaps it was because he could not shake the typecasting.  When he returned to television, he partially embraced that folksy persona in the legal drama Matlock, where he played a widowed country lawyer.

President George W. Bush awarded Griffith the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 "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." So that gentile down home typecasting might not have been all bad.

While Griffith made his Democrat leanings clear with his avid support of North Carolina Governors Bev Perdue (D-NC) and  Mike Easley (D-NC) as well as a government funded endorsement of Obamacare.

That being said, Griffith never managed to ultimately polarize his public.

Griffith studied for the ministry in his youth.  This is reflected in a couple of Griffith's memorable quotes.

"I was baptized alongside my mother when I was 8 years old. Since then I have tried to walk a Christian life. And now that I'm getting older I realize that I'm walking even closer with my God."

"You know when you're young you think you will always be. As you become more fragile, you reflect and you realize how much comfort can come from the past. Hymns can carry you into the future."

May his soul revel in walking closer to his Maker.

No comments:

Post a Comment