Griffith, the actor who played folksy Sheriff Andy Taylor in the fictional town of Mayberry, died today at the age of 86.
Griffith died at about 7 a.m. at his home on Roanoke Island, according to Dare County, North Carolina, Sheriff J.D. "Doug" Doughtie.
Best known for his role on "The Andy Griffith Show," the University of North Carolina music graduate also starred as a murder-solving Southern attorney in the television series "Matlock" during the 1980s and 1990s. He was also known for his roles in movies and on the stage, as a producer and as a Grammy Award-winning gospel singer.
"North Carolina has lost its favorite son," Gov. Beverly Perdue said.
"Throughout his career, he represented everything that was good about North Carolina: a small town boy and UNC graduate who took a light-hearted approach to some of the attributes he grew up with and turned them into a spectacularly successful career," she said. "And regardless of where that career took him, he always came back to North Carolina and spent his final years here."
Actor and director Ron Howard, who played Griffith's son, Opie Taylor, on "The Andy Griffith Show," said he is "forever grateful" to the actor.
"His pursuit of excellence and the joy he took in creating served generations & shaped my life," Howard said on Twitter.