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Andy Griffith, Actor and Friend to Country Music, Dead at 86

Brad Paisley

Andy Griffith never had a No. 1 hit or a gold record, but he was a voice generations of country music artists and fans revered and respected. The actor, best know as the star of ‘Matlock’ and ‘The Andy Griffith Show,’ died Tuesday morning at his home in eastern North Carolina.

Younger country music fans know Griffith as the old-timer who befriends Brad Paisley in the singer’s ‘Waitin’ on a Woman’ video. The version of the song in which Griffith speaks his lines is included on Paisley’s ‘Play’ album from 2008.

The love fans had for Griffith as an actor and humanitarian was universal. He rose to fame during eight seasons of ‘The Andy Griffith Show,’ on which he played the uncompromisingly ethical Sheriff Andy Taylor. The show took place in the fictional Mayberry, N.C., a town known for it’s amusing if simple problems. Ideas valued by country music fans were regularly worked into the show, making it popular in reruns today. From time-to-time Griffith himself — a Grammy Award winning Southern gospel singer — would sit in to pick along with those troublesome Darlings.

WITN reports that Griffith died around 7AM on July 3. According to, emergency crews responded to a call at his Dare County, N.C. home at that time. The cause of his death has not yet been revealed. The actor and Presidential Medal of Freedom winner was 86-years-old. He is survived by his wife, Cindi, and a daughter, Dixie.

See Country Stars We've Lost in 2012

Watch Andy Griffith in Brad Paisley’s ‘Waitin’ on a Woman’ Video’

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