Iconic television actor and gospel singer Andy Griffith has passed away at the age of 86. No cause of death has been confirmed, with the actor being laid to rest on Roanoke Island.
UNC President Bill Friday announced the death, which was later confirmed by the local sheriff. Andy Griffith is survived by his wife, Cindi Knight, who issued the following statement
"Andy was a person of incredibly strong Christian faith and was prepared for the day he would be called Home to his Lord. He is the love of my life, my constant companion, my partner, and my best friend. I cannot imagine life without Andy, but I take comfort and strength in God's Grace and in the knowledge that Andy is at peace and with God."
Andy Griffith was a regular on the Ed Sullivan show in the early 50s, but found ever-lasting fame on The Andy Griffith Show, which ran from 1960-1968, and can still be seen in syndication today. The character of small town sheriff Andy Taylor made Andy a household name and a TV icon. He would later parlay that fame into the role of lawyer Ben Matlock on Matlock, which ran from 1986-1995 and spun itself off into a number of stand-alone television movies.
In 2008, Andy Griffith reprised his role of Andy Taylor for a Ron Howard short film at the time of President Barack Obama's election to President of the United States. His last role was in Play the Game, which found a recently single grandpa learning new tricks on the dating field.
Andy Griffith has two children with Barbara Griffith, whom he divorced in 1972.