Tuesday, July 03, 2012

He Had the Good Sense Not to Fight the Role That Defined Him for Generations

From The Wrap:

Andy Griffith: He Had the Good Sense Not to Fight the Role That Defined Him for Generations

Published: July 03, 2012 @ 11:34 am
By Steve Pond

"I fit in a real peculiar slot," wrote Andy Griffith in 1959. At the time, he might have been right: He was a North Carolina-bred actor and occasional musician and comic who'd studied to be a preacher and made his film debut in "A Face in the Crowd," a tough Elia Kazan satire about a scheming country boy who becomes a TV star.

But before long, Griffith's slot didn't seem peculiar at all. The following year, "The Andy Griffith Show" debuted on CBS, and the next eight years presented an Andy Griffith that would come to be an indelible part of the television and pop culture of the era: slow-talkin', easygoin', good-hearted, folksy Andy.

Also read: Andy Griffith Dead at 86

Griffith had the sense not to fight the role that defined him for generations; he occasionally ventured into darker waters in his work, but he knew that he would forever be Sheriff Andy from Mayberry.

Andy Griffith and Don Knotts

And to all appearances he was fine with that from the time the show debuted until Griffith's death this week at the age of 86.

The accolades, for the most part, went elsewhere: Co-star Don Knotts won most of the Emmys for "The Andy Griffith Show" (the series' namesake was never even nominated), while Griffith's onscreen son Ron Howard went on to become a Hollywood heavyweight.

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