TV actor Andy Griffith dies at 86 in North Carolina

President George W. Bush presented the Medal of Freedom to actor Andy Griffith in 2005. Griffith died Tuesday at the age of 86. (Photo by Jason Reed/Reuters.)

Beloved TV-actor Andy Griffith died Tuesday morning at his home in Dare County, North Carolina. He was 86 years old.

Bill Friday, former president of the University of North Carolina, confirmed his death to WITN News. Friday, a friend of the actor, said Griffith died around 7 a.m.

Griffith was perhaps best known for his his lead role as Sheriff Andy Taylor in “The Andy Griffith Show.” The show ran from 1960 to 1968 and led to several successful spin-off programs. He also produced and starred in the hit legal drama, “Matlock,” from 1986 to 1995. He won a People's Choice Award for his work on the show in 1987.

Griffith was born in Mt. Airy, N.C., and later earned a degree in music from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was a regular on the “Ed Sullivan Show” in the 1950s, according to IMDB.

In 2000, he underwent quadruple heart-bypass surgery and in 2007 had hip surgery after a fall. There was no immediate word on a specific cause of death.

Griffith received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 from President George W. Bush.

Will you help our nonprofit newsroom today?

Every week, more than 2 million listeners tune into our broadcast and follow our digital coverage like this story, which is available to read for free thanks to charitable contributions from listeners like you. But less than 1% of our audience supports our program directly. From now through the end of the year, every gift will be matched dollar for dollar by a generous donor, which means your gift will help us unlock a $67,000 challenge match.

Will you join our growing list of loyal supporters and double your impact today?