Andy Griffith, 86, rushed to hospital - report
Andy Griffith, an 86-year-old actor known for "The Andy Griffith Show" and "Matlock," was rushed to a North Carolina hospital on Tuesday, July 3, according to ABC News.UPDATE: It has been confirmed that Andry Griffith has died.
Local news outlet WITN News had reported that morning that the actor had died, quoting his friend, former University of North Carolina President Bill Friday, but there was no immediate confirmation.
The veteran actor was taken to the hospital after emergency medical services responded to a call from his home in Roanoke Island, North Carolina, ABC News quoted the Dare County Sheriff's office as saying.
After the initial death report, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce announced that flowers will be placed on Griffith's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 12 p.m. local time. It is located at 6418 Hollywood Boulevard. Griffith received the honor on Feb. 6, 1960.
Griffith was mourned on Twitter by Ron Howard, who starred with him on "The Andy Griffith Show." The two also reprised their roles in a 2008 Funny Or Die online video called "Ron Howard's Call to Action" that supported then-presidential candidates Barack Obama, who won the November election.
"His pursuit of excellence and the joy he took in creating served generations & shaped my life. I'm forever grateful. RIP Andy," Tweeted the director and actor.
Griffith rose to fame playing the role of Sheriff Andy Taylor, nicknamed "America's Favorite Sheriff," in the 1960s series "The Andy Griffith Show." He also produced and starred in the TV legal drama "Matlock," which aired from 1985 to 1995. His last on-screen role was in the 2009 romantic comedy movie "Play The Game," which also starred Doris Roberts of "Everybody Loves Raymond."
Griffith suffered from several health problems in the last decade or so of his life - he underwent quadruple heart-bypass surgery in 2000 and hip surgery in 2007, according to USA Today.
Griffith is survived by his third wife, Cindi Knight. They have no children together. He and his first wife, Barbara Bray Edwards, had a daughter and a son, who died at age 40 in 1996 after battling alcoholism.
Griffith was nominated for one primetime Emmy throughout his career - given for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Special for the 1981 TV movie "Murder in Texas."
Griffith was also a gospel singer and won a Grammy in 1996 for Best Southern, Country or Bluegrass Gospel Album for the record "I Love to Tell the Story - 25 Timeless Hymns."
In 2005, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush.