‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Was Regularly Snubbed by the Emmys

Classic comedy The Andy Griffith Show aired on CBS for eight years beginning in 1968. 

Though the show has endured through the decades and amassed generation after generation of new fans, one thing it didn’t collect over its original run was Emmy statuettes.

Left to right: 'The Andy Griffith Show' actors Andy Griffith, Ronny Howard, and Frances Bavier
Left to right: ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ actors Andy Griffith, Ronny Howard, and Frances Bavier | CBS via Getty Images

‘The Andy Griffith Show’ debuted over 60 years ago

Premiering in October 1960, The Andy Griffith Show was a hit from the very beginning. Up until its final season in 1968, the series was consistently in the Nielsen top 10. Something about Mayberry and its friendly townspeople appealed to viewers.

Andy Griffith told the Television Academy Foundation in 1998: “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.

“It was family-oriented, it was about a little town and all the people who lived in it. As [ one of the show’s directors] Bob Sweeney used to say, ‘It looks like an ordinary little town but it has a little border of insanity around it.’”

The 2 cast members who won Emmy Awards

Of the entire cast of the comedy, only the show’s Aunt Bee actor Frances Bavier and Don Knotts were Emmy winners.

Bavier was presented with a statuette in 1967 for Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.

The consistent winner from the show, however, was Don Knotts, who took home five Emmys for his Supporting Actor role as Barney Fife on the show. His wins took place in 1961, 1962, 1963, 1966, and 1967, the last two awards going to the actor for his guest appearances on the Griffith Show after his departure from the series in 1965.

Andy Griffith never won an Emmy for his eponymous TV show

Although his name was on the show and he had proven himself as a strong actor and writer on the program, Andy Griffith didn’t receive any Emmy nominations for the Griffith Show.

His only Emmy nom was for Outstanding Supporting Actor for his role in the 1981 television film Murder in Texas. The actor was finally honored by the Television Academy with a Hall of Fame award in 1992.

“Andy had never won an Emmy, an Oscar, or a Tony,” wrote Daniel de Visé, author of Andy and Don: The Making of a Friendship and a Classic American TV Show. “Yet, he had attained a celebrity that transcended those honors. Like Lucille Ball or Johnny Carson, Andy had connected with American society to its core. The Andy Griffith Show had shaped popular culture.”

De Visé also touched on Griffith’s lack of Emmys while Knotts boasted an armful of awards, stating that it was a topic not discussed between the two men.

“Don’s Emmys were the one subject Andy would not broach with his old friend,” de Visé wrote. “In all their years together on the Griffith Show, Don later recalled, Andy never acknowledged Don’s trophies or offered congratulations. It was too painful a topic.”

“I’ve never won anything in my life and I don’t expect to,” Griffith told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I’m not angry about that. It would be nice to have one when my mother comes over, or a cousin comes to visit. But I can manage without it.”

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