Tuesday, July 3, 2012

In Memoriam: Andy Griffith

Ladies and gentleman it's official Matlock has passed away!  Reading this news to me was one of the saddest parts of the day.  I grew up watching both The Andy Griffith Show (begrudgingly, my dad loved it), Matlock which I loved.  I have this thing for watching old people solve crimes, Murder She Wrote, Burke's Law, Perry Mason, Diagnosis Murder, and of course Matlock.

Andy Griffith first on to the scene in the 1950s in variety shows like Ed Sullivan and The Steve Allen Show, but it was the role of Sheriff Andy Taylor that made him the most famous.  Andy Griffith starred in The Andy Griffith show from 1960-1968.  The show that made Ron Howard a name, and set him on the path the become and eventual Oscar winner.  The Andy Griffith Show was a semi-spin off from the The Danny Thomas show wherein one of the episodes was entitled "Danny Meets Andy."  The show also had two spin offs Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C and Mayberry R.F.D.  The gang got back together for a television movie entitled Return to Mayberry (1986).

1986 was a great year for Andy Griffith because not only did he return to Mayberry, but he created the character of Ben Matlock.  Matlock was about a defense lawyer in Atlanta who did his best to prove that his client was innocent of the crime.  The show ran for 9 years, and left the air in 1995 on the precipice of the new wave in television drama.  The show was a massive hit with older crowds, and relaunched his career.

Grffiths most recent role in the film Waitress earned him a lot of praise, but the actor was never a magnet for awards; he was only nominated for one Emmy for a television movie.  This man was treasure, and will be greatly missed.  I am going to need to find an episode of Matlock to watch to ease the pain.  Andy Griffith was 86.

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