Many in the community are saddened over the death of Andy Griffith on Tuesday morning.
While locals talk and put their thoughts about Griffith on Facebook in Mount Airy, N.C. residents have begun placing flowers and other mementos at the foot of the Andy and Opie statue.
Griffith, who went from hometown boy to film and television star and, ultimately, international icon, died Tuesday morning at his beachfront home in Manteo and, according to a statement from the Dare County Sheriff’s Office, has been “laid to rest” on Roanoke Island.
The famous sheriff was 86 years old.
Emergency personnel were called to home on Roanoke Island shortly after 7 a.m. Tuesday, and Dare County Sheriff Doug Doughtie said Griffith died at that time in his home. A cause of death has not been released.
By 1 p.m., the sheriff’s office said Griffith had already been buried.
The star, who is identified with the iconic hometown sheriff Andy Taylor in the fictional town of Mayberry, had been in declining health for more than a decade. He suffered a heart attack in 2000. At that time Griffith underwent quadruple bypass surgery.
In 1947, Griffith was cast in the still-running production of “The Lost Colony” on Roanoke Island. He held several roles in the production, until finally earning the role of Sir Walter Raleigh.
Later Griffith made his name as a comedian, with such classic routines as “What it Was Was Football” and “Romeo and Juliet,” and then moved into movies, where he was cast in what became a break-out role in the 1957 film “A Face in the Crowd.”
Griffith made additional film and television appearances before reaching fame starring as Sheriff Andy Taylor on “The Andy Griffith Show” from 1960 to 1968, and later portrayed a shrewd Southern lawyer in “Matlock.”
“The Andy Griffith Show” is still one of the most popular syndicated shows, regularly showing on cable television and as local programming in markets throughout the South. “Matlock,” too, makes regular appearances on cable television.