LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Television icon Andy Griffith has died at the age of 86.
Born in Mount Airy, N.C., on June 1, 1926, Griffith died Tuesday morning at his home in Manteo, N.C., according to the Dare County Sheriff’s Office.
A spokesperson from Twiford Funeral Homes confirms that Griffith was laid to rest immediately on Tuesday.
“Andy Griffith died peacefully in his sleep early Tuesday morning July 3, 2012 at his home. He has been laid to rest on his beloved farm on Roanoke Island. Mr. Griffith’s favorite causes were Outer Banks Conservationists and the Andy and Cindi Griffith Scholarship Fund at UNC-Chapel Hill,” the funeral home said in a statement.
Griffith rose to fame while on the “The Andy Griffith Show”, which ran from 1960 to 1968 on CBS. He also starred on “Mayberry R.F.D.”, “Matlock” and several other television shows. He even made a guest appearance on “Dawson’s Creek.”
Director Ron Howard, who played Opie Taylor on “The Andy Griffith Show,” released the following statement about his friend:
“His love of creating, the joy he took in it whether it was drama or comedy or his music, was inspiring to grow up around. The spirit he created on the set of The Andy Griffith Show was joyful and professional all at once. It was an amazing environment. And I think it was a reflection of the way he felt about having the opportunity to create something that people could enjoy. It was always with respect and passion for the opportunity and really what it could offer people in a very unpretentious and earthy way. He felt he was always working in service of an audience he really respected and cared about. He was a great influence on me. His passing is sad. But he lived and a great rich life.”
Griffith made his film debut in 1957′s A Face in the Crowd. In addition to acting, he was a director, producer and Grammy Award-winning Southern Gospel singer and writer.
President George W. Bush awarded Griffith the Presidential Medal of Freedom on November 9, 2005.
Griffith, who was married three times, is survived by his wife, Cindi Knight, and two children from his first marriage.