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One of TV’s most beloved names, The Andy Griffith Show star Andy Griffith enjoyed more success than most in their careers. Launching Matlock later in his years, the legal drama resulted in a second mammoth hit for the actor.

At the time of his death in July 2012, the television legend left a considerable accumulation of wealth. Here’s more on Griffith’s net worth and who likely inherited it.

Actor Andy Griffith as attorney Benjamin Matlock
Actor Andy Griffith | NBCU Photo Bank

Griffith’s death stirred an outpouring of grief and tributes

When the veteran actor died on July 3, 2012 at age 86, the world mourned for Griffith and his family, and remembered the man who had created two enduring hit programs.

Ron Howard who played his young co-star on the Griffith Show wrote at that time in The Hollywood Reporter: “He treated me really well, but he made it a learning experience, not in a stern, taskmaster kind of a way, but I was really allowed a real insight into creativity and how things work and why some scenes were funny and others weren’t,” he said. “That insight has served me really well over the years. Andy was really kind to me, always playful and fun, but, by the same token, he wanted to get the work done.”

And Griffith’s Matlock co-star Nancy Stafford said, “I’m heartsick….I am forever grateful for the 5 wonderful years I worked with Andy. They were a highlight of my life – I’ve never laughed so hard or learned so much! He has left an indelible mark on my life – and the lives of countless millions. He was a consummate professional, an American treasure, and a dear man.”

Griffith’s incredible net worth when he died

The actor’s net worth at the time of his death was estimated at around $60 million. Griffith starred in acclaimed films such as 1957’s A Face in the Crowd and No Time for Sergeants in 1958. He also took a stab at other series throughout the years. But, aside from Matlock, his overarching success came with the Griffith Show. He was part-owner of his self-named program, along with its producers Sheldon Leonard and Danny Thomas.

Because of his ownership of the classic show, according to Daniel de Visé in his 2015 book Andy and Don: The Making of a Friendship and a Classic American TV Show, Griffith accrued some wealth and that was thanks, in good part, to his sharp-minded manager Richard Linke.

“Dick Linke knew that he and his client weren’t big names in Hollywood,” the author wrote. “For either man to wield real clout on the Griffith Show, both would need to ante up.”

The move Griffith and his manager made that would eventually make them rich


‘Matlock’: The 2 Hit Spin-Offs That Came Out of Andy Griffith’s Legal Drama

Linke borrowed early in the show’s run “several hundred thousand dollars, enough to make Andy half owner of the show and to give them, together, a majority stake. Griffith’s ownership interest would give him a measure of artistic control. In time, the arrangement would also make Andy and Dick wealthy men.”

At the actor’s death, his widow Cindi Griffith inherited her husband’s estate. It is undetermined whether his daughter Dixie was included in his will.