Center for Strategic Communication

Andy Griffith, who charmed audiences for half a century as an actor, comedian, and gospel singer, died today in his home in Manteo, North Carolina. He was 86.

Griffith, known for his iconic roles as the sheriff of Mayberry and the defense attorney Ben Matlock, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005.

This afternoon, President Obama marked his passing, saying, "A performer of extraordinary talent, Andy was beloved by generations of fans and revered by entertainers who followed in his footsteps."