‘The Andy Griffith Show’: A Look Back at the Life and Career of Andy Griffith

Andy Griffith is best known for playing Andy Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show. Here’s a look back at his life and career.

Andy Griffith’s movies and TV shows

Andy Griffith in 1957 |  CBS via Getty Images
Andy Griffith in 1957 | CBS via Getty Images

Griffith made his television debut in 1955 in a tele-play titled No Time for Sergeants. In 1957, he appeared in the film A Face in the Crowd. Griffith starred in the film version of No Time for Sergeants in 1958. That same year, he appeared in the movie Onionhead.

Griffith starred in The Andy Griffith Show from 1960 to 1968. The series led to spinoffs, including Mayberry R.F.D. and The New Andy Griffith Show. In 2003, the cast reunited for a reunion special titled Back to Mayberry. Griffith is also known for his appearances in Matlock, Salvage 1, From Here to Eternity,and Centennial.

Andy Griffith’s work outside of acting

Andy Griffith | Walt Disney Television via Getty Images
Andy Griffith | Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

Griffith had other accomplishments outside of acting. He also has credits as a producer and writer. Griffith made his production debut in 1968 with Mayberry R.F.D. He produced a total of 78 episodes until the series ended in 1971.

Griffith had two credits as a writer. His first writing credit was for The Ghost and Mr. Chicken in 1966 and his second writing credit was for What It Was Was Football in 1997. Furthermore, Griffith had 10 soundtrack credits.

Andy Griffith’s awards

In 1987, Griffith received a People’s Choice Award for Favorite Actor in a New TV Series for his starring role in Matlock. Ten years later, he won a Grammy award in the Best Southern, Country or Bluegrass Gospel Album category.

In 2005, Griffith was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George W. Bush. He also received a TV Land Legend Award (2004) and TV Land Single Dad of the Year Award (2003).

 ‘The Andy Griffith Show’

Richard Kelly, author of The Andy Griffith Show book, said the series was unique because it maintained its quality despite airing so many episodes over eight years. Many TV shows repeat themes and decline in quality as they continue to air, but according to Kelly, the series never lost its shine.

The Andy Griffith Show was so popular among television audiences that it was the No. 1 show in the nation during its final season. Kelly notes that even reruns of the show had high ratings. Executive producer/creator Sheldon Leonard told Griffith the show had the wrong name, according to Kelly. For Sheldon, the town of Mayberry was the real star of the show. Upon looking back, he felt the show should have been titled Mayberry.

During an interview with The Archive of American Television, Griffith said he watched reruns of The Andy Griffith Show on Turner. “Ted Turner told me that the Griffith Show helped him start his network,” he said. “We didn’t know when we started it that it was going to last that long or influence so many people. We were just trying to do a good show.”

Andy Griffith’s net worth at the time of his death

At the time of his death, Griffith had an estimated net worth of $60 million according to Celebrity Net Worth.

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