Television legend Andy Griffith is dead at the age of 86.  He died this morning in North Carolina.  Griffith’s role as small-town Sheriff Andy Taylor on the 1960s series “The Andy Griffith Show” made him a household name.   The show was one of the most popular television series in history, and is still seen in re-runs.  In 1986, Griffth produced and starred in another successful show, “Matlock.”  Upon accepting a People’s Choice Award for the series, he said the fiery defense attorney was his favorite role.  Griffith also starred on Broadway, in numerous TV series and movies, and recorded a Grammy-winning gospel album.  He was nominated twice for a Tony Award.

Andy Griffith was born June 1st, 1926, in Mount Airy, North Carolina.  He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Griffith married three times, and was a father to two adopted children.  His son Andy died of alcoholism in 1996.  Griffith suffered from Guillain-Barre Syndrome in 1983, and couldn’t walk for several months.  In 2000, he underwent a quadruple bypass.

In addition to his TV roles, Griffith also served as host for CBS’ “Sears Mystery Theater” in 1979 and recorded several standup comedy albums.