Rest in Peace, Andy Griffith: The Earth Has Lost a Good Man
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Rest in Peace, Andy Griffith: The Earth Has Lost a Good Man

By Dustin Rowles | Miscellaneous | July 3, 2012 | Comments ()


Andy Griffith has passed away. He was 86 wonderful years old, and the man had a great life, and touched a lot of people over the course of it. By all accounts, there wasn't a nicer guy in television, and if you've seen interviews with him, he was exactly as you'd imagined him: The same guy you watched on "The Andy Griffith Show" and "Matlock," a kind, gentle, wonderful old soul with a heart as big as North Carolina.

In addition to his two most famous shows (and their subsequent iterations in spin-offs and television movies), Griffith made a few films (most famously A Face in the Crowd and No Time for Sergeants) and he recorded a few albums, mostly old-timey numbers because that's the way Andy Griffith was: Old school. He was also perfectly cast one of my favorite films of all time, Waitress, and everything about that role reminded me of what a pleasure it was to grow up watching him on television.

Maybe his biggest legacy, however, was in the way the man touched people, the lasting impression he left on friends like Don Knotts and the influence he had on Ron Howard. Not for nothing, but for latchkey kids growing up in the 80s and 90s, he not only provided a moral compass, he also provided something of a second home: A comfortable, familiar, and gentle place that came in and left with a whistle.

Earth has lost a good man, folks, but the afterlife has gained a treasure. Rest in Peace, Andy Griffith.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Young_Grandma_Ben

    As a North Carolinian, this has been a gently sad season. First Doc Watson, and now Andy Griffith. As I said to a friend when I heard the news, "Tarheel Heaven must be getting livlier by the second! I bet Fred Kirby and Edward R. Murrow ran out of things to talk about years ago." We will miss you Andy. I made my trek up to Deep Gap a few weeks ago. Guess I'll head over to Mt. Airy this weekend to pay my respects...

  • Melody

    Aw man. I grew up with The Andy Griffith Show. I can still whistle the entire theme song. He was a lovely man.

  • MadMike

    Fare thee well, General Rancor! RIP...

  • logan

    My friends and I still quote the Andy Griffith show. it was pure corn but like Dustin said there are worse shows to raise your kids on.
    He was a good actor "A Face in the Crowd" proved that but people just saw him as simple and he went with it. I always wondered what he really wanted to do.

  • Mr. Rowles, I hope I have been a good enough person when I die for you to write my obituary; this and the one you wrote for Nora Ephron are such wonderful tributes. And, Mr. Griffith, when you get back to Mayberry, please let Aunt Bee and Barney Fife know I miss them, too. RIP.

  • Marina

    This is the first time I've shed tears over a celebrity passing since Mr. Rogers. RIP, Mr. Griffith, and thank you for all you've done.

  • john

    My parents watched the Andy Griffith show every night before the news came on. In the summer, I know exactly what my mom is doing each time every day because reruns of Matlock are on. Every single day she is watchin that show.

  • Kenny G.

    If you want to see Andy playing a bad guy...look up the TV movie, PREY FOR THE WILDCATS.
    He will be missed.

  • mona_sterling

    I loved his example of fatherhood more than anything. Right up there with Atticus Finch as world's best dad. I hope he's somewhere playing a guitar with a kid nearby.

  • Green Lantern

    What a wonderful legacy to leave behind. Hope there are plenty of Ritz Crackers in heaven, Andy. Maybe I'll eat some with you one day.

  • Jerce

    Even though he was 86, I am still saddened by his death. He never failed to give a wonderful performance, no matter what the role was.
    He had to pass away to make me realize that he is one of my favorite actors ever.

  • Jayne

    Beautiful Dustin.

  • BWeaves

    I remember seeing Andy Griffith play Sheriff Andy Taylor in a skit on The Danny Thomas Show. Andy played him as the funny, backwoods character he played on his comedy recordings. The skit was a hit, and was spun off as The Andy Griffith Show. Because the other actors, like Don Knotts, were also comedians, Andy decided to become the smart, straight man, instead. And it worked.

    Can you name another show where the main character is a policeman who NEVER has any crimes to solve?

  • Darlene

    This is sad, sad news. My daughter (who is 8 1/2) and I have been streaming The Andy Griffith Show
    on Netflix for several days now. She complained for about 5 seconds
    that the show was in black and white, and then was captivated and
    delighted by it. I know he lived a long, fantastic life, but this world
    is less wonderful for his loss. RIP Andy Griffith. You are missed.

  • "Well do a good day's work and act like somebody" Andy Griffith

  • John W

    RIP Andy Griffith.

  • DenG

    I remember how shocked and delighted I was when I first saw A Face in The Crowd. Andy played a bad guy and played him loud and well.
    Walter Matthau's character Mel Miller got to say these fitting words: "You gotta be a saint to stand all the power that little box can give you." Yeah.

  • Miss Laaw-yuhr

    His twinkle eyed codger in Waitress really did solidify his place in my heart.The world needs more kindly gents of his ilk to un-ironically inspire us to do better.

  • Bert_McGurt

    Awwwww. That's sad news this morning.

  • exwxgirl

    Thank you Dustin. A touching tribute, and so true. Andy was a true legend in our time.

  • POINGjam

    It was real nice of him to leave that check for Keri Russell.

  • Pookie

    I remember my brother and I as kids laying on the floor and watching ” The Andy Griffith Show” and wondering where were all the goddamn black people. There wasn't a bigger fan of ” Matlock” than me.

  • Pat C.

    Oh, that could be said about almost any TV show in the 1950s and early 1960s.

  • e jerry powell

    On the other edge of the city limits, dear. This was North Carolina...

  • AngelenoEwok

    This one's hitting me harder than I would have expected. My grandfather is the same age as Griffith.

  • Kolby

    Aw, man.

  • Pinky McLadybits

    My sentiments exactly.

  • The Pink Hulk

    Love you. You know that. But the word "goddamn" under a picture of Andy Griffith really just doesn't fit. "Great" would suffice. :)

  • The Pink Hulk

    You rule, Rowles.

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