White House mourns the death of Andy Griffith
Actor Andy Griffith is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in a White House ceremony November 2005.
July 3rd, 2012
03:50 PM ET

White House mourns the death of Andy Griffith

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.

Topics: Medal of Freedom • The Vault

soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Walter

    Sheriff Taylor was my first TV role model dad, and I am African-American, lol. Who didn't want a sheriff for a dad after watching that show? Particularly a dad that was quietly quite the lady's man, lol. Although, I think I turned out more like Barney, lol. RIP Andy...well don't let Barney disturb too much of it.

    July 3, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • KSE


      July 3, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
  2. Thinkaboutit

    What a great actor , a great christian man, he had such class and radiated on the screen like no other actor has or ever will..Im so glad I recently purchased a dvd from The Andy Griffith Show .I have the one with Ernest T Bass throwing rocks through the window to get a girls' attention, also the one where Aunt bee got drunk, great stuff!! Mr Griffith you will be missed.See you in heaven brother.

    July 3, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • Suzanna

      That is so cool! Precious post! I loved him all the years through too!

      July 4, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
  3. peterblood71

    As far as Sheriff Taylor as a role model is concerned "it don't matter if you're black or white…" Unfortunately the world is full of more blundering Barney's than smooth, assured, packin' no heat & moral Sheriff Andy Taylors.

    July 3, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • Suzanna

      How very and sadly true. And none lovable like Barney. Just goofy and clueless.

      July 4, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
  4. MissingRonnieR

    On days like today you realize how meaningless most politicians are. Today this generation has lost a true friend. Andy Griffith was a star and then a legend that never let America down. He was your dad and your granddad at their best. There is no one else like him and that is a shame. Hero’s do not always play sport, have power, or possess women. Some times they are honest, and simple people who regardless of success or fame remain the kind and wholesome people they started out as. God speed Andy Griffith, son of Carolina and common man

    July 3, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
  5. KSE

    And don't forget 'No Time for Sergeants' the1958 Film from stage performance he did in NY that made him toast of the town and quite famous. Andy was born with a star on his shoulder.

    July 3, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
  6. Scales of Justice

    Andy Griffith and Carroll O'Connor – entertainment at its best. Thanks fellows.

    July 4, 2012 at 1:29 am |
  7. Frank Marshall Davis

    Shows like this would never make it today, values and decency are all but gone on television.

    July 4, 2012 at 5:38 am |
  8. Jim

    Andy Griffith was one of the last american heroes. The way he lived his life was display for all of us to see, admire and follow. Unfortunately we have no heroes (other than the military) in America today. The so called maninstream media gives attention to garbage like Lilo, Snooki, Tiger, Lebron and of course the man they are in love with the Blamer in Chief Obama. I wonder why CNN does not research why Brian Terry (the marine killed by Fast and Furious guns enabled by DOJ)...oh wait that would make Obama (the drone killer) look bad because the truth is really bad. CNN does have time to research why Valeri Plame and the Abu Gharab tortures were so bad. That a President of this country handpicks people to kill without congressional approval nor a weapons program so badly botched that results in the death of American soldiers and many Mexicans does not matter...Andy you will be missed and in a better place.

    July 4, 2012 at 7:49 am |
  9. Jacqueline

    I have always loved the Andy Griffith show as well as Matlock. I still watch both of them today. Those are two great shows.

    July 4, 2012 at 9:26 am |
  10. Eva Cole

    Was reading the morning paper about Andy's death and watching Andy on TV. We need more shows like this back on TV

    July 4, 2012 at 9:35 am |
  11. Footwear And Boots Models

    Amazing issues here. I am very happy to look your post. Thank you so much and I am taking a look ahead to touch you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?

    July 4, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  12. Stu Nahan

    Whistle the intro with me, lets forget the world and go fishin

    July 4, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
  13. Suzanna

    Thank you! Best and most true and sincere post I have had the honor to read in far too long.

    July 4, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
  14. Alycia Schulz

    I share in the mourning and loss of Andy Griffith. His presence in Mayberry gave me hope! I also want to say it speaks volumes of our President and First Lady to express their sympathy in his passing. We live in a great country. Happy 4th of July!

    July 4, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
  15. Wilson

    Andy's greatest contribution, imo, was A Face in the Crowd. After which, he was whisked into lesser social impacting roles. Glenn Beck is Lonesome Roads, the imposter.

    July 5, 2012 at 1:12 am |
  16. John milner


    July 5, 2012 at 3:03 am |
  17. Ernest

    Mr. Griffith, I salute you, i have tried to pattern my parenting skills to reflect those of Andy Talor...God bless

    July 5, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
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    August 29, 2012 at 8:14 am |