July 3, 2012

Andy Griffith Dies (1926-2012)

Andy Griffith, who starred in two legal tv shows, has died at the age of 86. Mr. Griffith, who played the gentle and wise Sheriff Andy Taylor of Mayberry, North Carolina in "The Andy Griffith Show" in the 1960s and later Ben Matlock in "Matlock" from 1986 to 1995, became a familiar face not just in the US but around the world as well as a pop culture icon. Grampa Simpson on "The Simpsons" is a faithful "Matlock" fan, and in one episode of the show, the Mayor of Springfield decides to rename the downtown expressway the "Matlock Expressway" as a vote-getting ploy.

Mr. Griffith got his start as a  comedian. One of his most famous monologues was "What It Was, Was Football,"  which he later recorded, and which became a hit single. He starred in the movies A Face In the Crowd (1957) and No Time For Sergeants (1958), and several other films throughout his long career, and made a number of tv movies. He was also known for his recordings. More here from NPR.

Selected Bibliography

Neil Genzlinger, Sheriff Who Gave Stature To Small-Town Smarts, New York Times, July 4, 2012, at A1.

Gail Levin Richmond, Matlock, in Prime Time Law: Fictional Television as Legal Narrative (Robert M. Jarvis & Paul Joseph eds., Carolina Academic Press, 1998) at 55.

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