Celebrity deaths in 2014 - In Memoriam (Photos)

Slideshow posted in Photos | Wednesday, March 13, 2013

137 of 192: Andy Griffith, an actor known for 'The Andy Griffith Show' and 'Matlock,' died in North Carolina on July 3, 2012 at age 86.

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 and 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. (Pictured above)

(archives.gov)

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