4 Jul 2012

US actor Andy Griffith dies

10:06 am on 4 July 2012

The US actor behind the popular 1960s comedy The Andy Griffith Show has died at the age of 86.

Andy Griffith portrayed Sheriff Andy Taylor in the slow-moving fictional town of Mayberry, North Carolina, which was widely believed to have been based on Griffith's own hometown, Mount Airy, in that state.

There was little crime to fight in Mayberry so the stories centred on the sheriff and his interactions with the quirky townspeople.

Don Knotts, who played the overeager Deputy Barney Fife, won five Emmy awards for his portrayal of the bungling side-kick.

The show also featured a young Ron Howard, who later went on to direct movies such as Cocoon and The Da Vinci Code.

Griffith later became known as the folksy defence lawyer in Matlock in the 1980s and 1990s.

He was married three times and had two children.

The actor died at his North Carolina home on Tuesday.