Matlock actor Andy Griffith dies


Actor Andy Griffith, whose portrayal of a small-town sheriff made The Andy Griffith Show one of American television's most enduring TV programmes, has died at his North Carolina home.

The television station WITN quoted a longtime friend as saying that the 86-year-old actor died at his home on Roanoke Island.

The Dare County Sheriff's dispatcher would say only that ambulance was called to Griffith's residence but would not comment further.

Griffith created another memorable character, the folksy defense lawyer in Matlock in the 1980s and '90s, but it was his portrayal of Sheriff Andy Taylor on the The Andy Griffith Show in the 1960s that gave him a place in US television history.

The show portrayed life in the friendly, slow-moving fictional town of Mayberry, North Carolina, which was widely believed to have been based on Griffith's own hometown, Mount Airy, North Carolina.

He often recorded and won a Grammy award in 1996 for a gospel album. Griffith was married three times, most recently to Cindi Knight in 1983. He had two children.