Mayberry, RIP: Andy Griffith Dies at Age 86

The actor Andy Griffith - known for roles such as Sheriff Andy Taylor in The Andy Griffith Show and the title character in Matlock - is dead at the age of 86.

Though best known for comic work, his career as an actor included films such as No Time for Sergeants and 1957's A Face in the Crowd, the sort of diatribe about the negative potential of televsion that Hollywood studios churn out with regularity. Griffith is absolutely wonderful as "Lonesome" Rhodes, a con man drifter who eventually rises to prominence as a television-show host with the apparent ability to turn elections (you know he's a nut job when he inveighs against Social Security!). Undone by his own arrogance and moral hypocrisy, Rhodes suffers a (temporary) career collapse when a rant about how dumb his viewers are goes out over the airwaves. It's a great performance, though the movie tells us more about how the film industry worried about the rival TV business than anything about mass media.

According to Wikipedia, when it came to politics, Griffith mostly pushed Democratic candidates; he stumped for Obama in 2008 and cut ads in favor of both the Affordable Care Act and Medicare. But in 2009, Jesse Walker hipped Reason readers to a take on Sheriff Andy Taylor that figured the lawman as the exemplar of the night-watchman state.

Check that out here.

Headline tip: @stevesilberman

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  • Pip||

    Big fan until he took the propaganda money.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Matlock Andy Taylor, by the way.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    The squirrels ate my "greater than" sign, but the cantankerous criminal defense attorney was a bigger joy to watch than Mayberry's Crime Prevention Unit.

  • AlmightyJB||

    They refuse to take part in your blasphemy.

  • John||

    Lee Remick, one of the most underrated classic Hollywood babes was in Face in the Crowd.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Didn't see that movie. Loved her in the Omen though. Yeah, I had a crush on her.

  • John||

    Beautiful face and a great body. Thin but not too thin. She was very classy and understated looking.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Matlock used to be one of my favorite "not working today so what the hell" TV shows.

  • Killazontherun||

    Heard Ron Howard directed a short, Eat My Dust II, for the new Oliver Stone flick. That's the rumor, and I'm sticking to it.

  • Pro Libertate||

    RIP, Sheriff Taylor.

    I liked that Salvage 1 show, too.

  • Drake||

    I will still watch Sheriff Taylor when it's one. This one made me laugh hard at about 17 minutes in with the hillbilly duel. It might be the only time I actually saw him fire his gun.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMDDM0yqM7w

  • CE||

    I don't recall Sheriff Taylor shooting anybody's dog. He didn't seem too strict with the moonshiners either, even after they shot at him.

  • Suki||

    It was a gateway show into disarming America.

  • SIV||

    No. When the SHTF (out of town fugitive felons) Sheriff Taylor wisely chose a lever action carbine. A weapon far superior to Barney's revolver, or even a pump shotgun, in a gunfight at anything but the closest of quarters

  • jester||

    Pray for the Wildcats. The Andy I'll always remember.

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