Friday, September 26, 2014

Star Spotlight: Andy Griffith

Best known as the friendly neighborhood #Sheriff of #Mayberry, wise father to #Opie and constant foil to the schemes of #ErnestTBass, Andy Griffith had a long, sustaining and versatile career, unmatched to many!

“I’m not just an entertainer. I’m an influence, a wielder of opinion, a force… a force” – Andy Griffith as #LonesomeRhodes (A Face In The Crowd, 1957)

Andy Griffith speaking, how may I entertain you today? Andy Griffith speaking, how may I entertain you today?

Andrew Samuel Griffith was born on 1 June 1926 in #MountAiry, #NorthCarolina.

As an infant he lived with relatives, for his parents were unable to financially support young Andrew. Eventually his father found work as a Carpenter and #AndyGriffith and his parents were reunited.

Although initially a shy #MountAiryHighSchool student, Andy Griffith began to come out of his shell when he learnt to make his peers laugh. Andy Griffith considered ministry work as well as teaching, but fell inlove with the stage and music and began acting in school shows.

Griffith made his movie debut in director #EliaKazan’s A Face in the Crowd (1957) as drifting guitar player and womanizer “Lonesome Rhodes”, which sky-rocketed him to fame. Stardom continued and came the role of bumptious Air Force rookie, #WillStockdale, in the TV and Broadway productions of No Time For Sergeants, which he later replayed in the film version.

In February 1960, after spending the next years on #Broadway, he first appeared as

#AndyTaylor, the laid-back sheriff of Mayberry, North Carolina, on an episode of The Danny Thomas Show. This one-shot was the pilot film for the Emmy-winning The Andy Griffith Show‘, in which Griffith starred from 1960 through 1968 and still remembered for today.

Smartly, Andy Griffith owned half of the series, ruling the set with an iron hand.

Follwoing the series final and an unsuccessful return to film and television, Andy Griffith focused on guest-star appearances, often surprising his fans by accepting cold-blooded villainous roles, closer to his first major role, in #AFaceInTheCrowd.

In 1985, he made a triumphal return to series television in Matlock, playing  the title character #Matlock, a folksy but very crafty #Southern defence attorney.

Unfortunately, during this period, he developed what was a life-threatening disease #Gillian-BarreSyndrome which did cause him to slow down career-wise, although he did continue to guest-star on several series as well as film several 2-hr Matlock specials.

Andy Griffith died on 3 July 2012 at his home in North Carolina. Griffith was married 3 times and left behind a widow and a son and daughter from his first marriage. He was laid to rest on his property within five hours of his death, as were his final wishes.

Even when ill, nothing could keep Andy Griffith from his fans.

Even gone, nothing could keep us from enjoying his work!

Outside Sources

The Biography Channel – Andy Griffith