July 3rd, 2012
03:50 PM ET
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama released a statement on the death of actor Andy Griffith, calling him "extraordinary talent" and "revered".
Here is the statement in full:
"Michelle and I were saddened to hear about the passing of Andy Griffith this morning. A performer of extraordinary talent, Andy was beloved by generations of fans and revered by entertainers who followed in his footsteps. He brought us characters from Sheriff Andy Taylor to Ben Matlock, and in the process, warmed the hearts of Americans everywhere. Our thoughts and prayers are with Andy’s family."
Then-president George W. Bush awarded Griffith the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civil award, in a ceremony at the White House in November 2005 for being an"American icon of the stage, cinema, and television."
Griffith died at his home in North Carolina on Tuesday morning. He was 86.