Turner Classic Movies Spotlight legendary actor Andy Griffith (1926 – 2012) died in his home today (July 3, 2012) due to unknown causes at his home on Roanoke Island, North Carolina. TCM will air four films in tribute to his life July 18th. Among the lineup is A Face in the Crowd (1957), Griffith’s debut film role as a drifter who uses his charm to rise to stardom.
Griffith’s legacy spanned decades on both the big and small screens; most notably starring in the popular television programs The Andy Griffith Show (1960-1968) and Matlock (1986-1995). The two programs are in contrast to one another as The Andy Griffith Show was a sitcom, while Matlock was a legal drama; the element that connects them is Griffith’s role as a sheriff. Griffith began his career as comedian recording monologues with the most popular being What It Was, Was Football (1953), told from the point of view of a rural man attempting to understand a football game. He then starred in a television play based on the novel No Time For Sergeants in 1955 that would lead to a Broadway rendition of the same novel later that year, as well as a feature length film in 1958.
A Face in the Crowd was the actor’s first film, and would lead to dozens of film and television appearances, as well as guest roles, leading into the late 2000s, with his last film being the independent production Play The Game (2009) as a widowed grandfather who re-enters the dating scene after six decades.
Aside from film and television, Griffith produced several Southern Country, gospel albums beginning during his time on The Andy Griffith Show. He recorded several albums featuring Christian hymns for Sparrow Records; the most notable being I Love to Tell the Story: 25 Timeless Hymns (1996), which was certified platinum by the RIAA.
Andy Griffith appealed to audiences of all ages and will be missed.
Source: CBS News
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