The family confirmed the news with a brief statement relayed through Dare County Sheriff Doug Doughtie.
”Andy Griffith passed away at his home peacefully,” Doughtie said. “He has been laid to rest on his belovedRoanoke Island.”
Multiple news outlets reportedGriffith, 86, had been taken by ambulance to the hospital around 7 a.m. The family will release further information, the Associated Press reported.
Griffithhad suffered a heart attack and underwent quadruple bypass surgery in 2000.
The actor, writer, director, singer and producer was best known for The Andy Griffith Show, which ran from 1960 to 1968. Andy Taylor served the fictional town ofMayberry, NC, a place based onGriffith’s hometown ofMount Airy,NC.
The series was a huge hit, with its final season finishing first in the Nielsen ratings. TV Guide named the CBS program the ninth-best television show in history.
In 1983,Griffithwas stricken with Guillen-Barre syndrome, a muscular disease that left him partially paralyzed for three months. However, he made a full recovery and returned to acting after six months of private rehabilitation.
Griffithwent back to TV in 1986 to play the title character in the show Matlock for nine seasons. He turned the role of a southern, old-fashioned lawyer inAtlantawho (almost) always wins into another classic character.
Prior to Andy Griffith, he showed his comedic chops with the monologue What It Was, Was Football in 1953. It became one of the best-selling comedy records of all time.
Griffith’s breakout role came in the drama A Face in the Crowd (1957). He also starred in several TV movies and mini-series, including Murder inTexas (his lone Emmy nomination), Roots: The Next Generation and Fatal Vision.
He won a Grammy for his southern gospel album, Love to Tell the Story – 25 Timeless Hymns, in 1997. In 2005, President George W. Bush honoredGriffithby presenting him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Ron Howard wrote about his former Andy Griffith co-star Tuesday on Twitter, saying, “His pursuit of excellence and the joy he took in creating served generations and shaped my life.”
“I’m forever grateful,” Howard said. “RIP Andy.”