Blogs » Camille's Corner » TV Icon Andy Griffith dead at 86

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My heart feels heavy today after hearing about Andy Griffith’s death. I even shed a few tears. The beloved actor died at the age of 86 due to an unspecified illness.

Some would say he lived a full life, others would say he’s gone too soon. Regardless of your point of view, it is a sad day for Hollywood and mankind.

The North Carolina native’s successful career reached several generations. How can anyone forget the iconic show named after the recently deceased celebrity? Even if you didn’t watch the eight-year series, you knew the theme song of the infamous whistle. He showed a glimpse into the culture of single parenting.

My mother still watches the show to this day. I enjoy watching it with her as I am able to see her childhood glow on the screen. She just gets so tickled seeing the Tony Award nominee share Barney, Aunt Bee and Opie. Andy Griffith’s show was ranked the ninth best show in television history. This family-friendly show rightfully earned a spot in the entertainment landscape.

I remember Andy Griffith most fondly as the brilliant, yet frugal, defense lawyer Ben Matlock. He was so entertaining with his seersucker suits and banjo. Although he always kept that down-home charm, he was a titan in the courtroom.

My favorite part of the hour-long program was the last ten minutes, when he began to set up the guilty party. He started his line of questioning fairly open-ended questions while his opponents made relevance objections all the time. And in his defense he told the judges, “Your honor I’m getting to it.” The judges would tighten his suspenders at time by asking him to get to the point.

The Harvard Law graduate would leave the culpable witness speechless. Those moments were priceless. Friends have affectionately called me “Grandpa Simpson” because I won’t take phone calls during “Matlock.” Great programming erases lines of time; 20 to 40 years from now the crime-drama will be relevant.

I never had a chance to meet the Grammy Award-winning gospel singer, but I respected him for keeping true to his convictions. Griffith was inducted into the Country Gospel Music Hall of Fame and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bush on November 9, 2005.

Andy Griffith may be gone but not forgotten.