Best known as Sheriff Andy Taylor of “The Andy Griffith Show,” Andy Griffith died this morning at age 86. If you’re of a certain age, you’ll remember that show with its cast of colorful characters, including Opie (Ron Howard), Aunt Bea (Francis Bavier), Gomer (Jim Nabors) and of course the nervous deputy Barney Fife (Don Knotts), whose gun was always empty, with Andy retaining one bullet in case of emergency.
The show ran from 1960-1968, and was immensely popular. I watched it nearly every week. The NYT notes:
But the 35 million viewers of “The Andy Griffith Show” would have been reassured to learn that even at the peak of his popularity, Mr. Griffith drove a Ford station wagon and bought his suits off the rack. He said his favorite honor was having a 10-mile stretch of a North Carolina highway named after him in 2002. (That was before President George W. Bush presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005.)