Andy Griffith Net Worth 2024: Age, Wife, Wiki and More

Last Updated on April 21, 2024 by Emily Foster

Andy Griffith Net Worth

Andy Griffith Net Worth

$60 Million

Andy Griffith, an esteemed actor, comedian, singer, and producer, amassed a net worth of approximately $60 million.

Over the span of his career, from 1944 to 2012, he left behind a remarkable legacy in the entertainment industry, becoming a beloved figure across America.

Best known for his iconic roles on “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Matlock,” his success in both television and music highlights his versatility and enduring appeal.

Biography Table for Andy Griffith

Full NameAndrew Samuel Griffith
Date of BirthJune 1, 1926
Place of BirthMount Airy, North Carolina, U.S.
Date of DeathJuly 3, 2012
Cause of DeathHeart attack
Net Worth at Death$60 Million
ProfessionActor, comedian, singer, producer
Years Active1944–2012
Notable RolesAndy Taylor (The Andy Griffith Show), Ben Matlock (Matlock)
AwardsGrammy, Emmy lifetime achievement award
Spouse(s)Barbara Edwards (m. 1983–2012)
Children2, including Andrew Samuel Griffith Jr.

Early Life and Education of Andy Griffith

Andy Samuel Griffith was born on June 1, 1926, in Mount Airy, North Carolina, embodying the essence of southern roots with a twist of creative flair.

His parents, Carl Lee Griffith and Geneva Griffith, faced the harsh realities of economic struggle, marking Andy’s early life with humble beginnings.

As an only child, Andy was taken in by relatives because his parents couldn’t afford to buy a house.

These early experiences, living out of dresser drawers for a crib and sharing tight spaces, laid the groundwork for his profound appreciation for family and community.

Growing up on the south side of Mount Airy, often referred to as the wrong side of the tracks, Andy’s childhood was steeped in the rich musical traditions of the area.

Despite being a shy student, he found solace and expression in music, which became a sanctuary from the daily challenges he faced.

His talent in music began to shine at Mount Airy High School, where he joined the drama program and was nurtured by influential figures like Ed Mickey, a minister at Grace Moravian Church who taught him to sing and play the trombone in the church’s brass band.

His passion for the arts grew as he became a significant student performer in The Lost Colony, a play by Paul Green performed on Roanoke Island.

Andy thrived in this role, often portraying variety of roles, including Sir Walter Raleigh.

This experience was pivotal, helping him step out of his shell and making him popular among his peers who came to laugh and applaud his performances.

In 1944, Andy graduated from high school and took his aspirations to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

There, he pursued a Bachelor of Music degree, graduating in 1949.

His college years were marked by his deep involvement with the Carolina Playmakers, where he showcased his talent in student operettas like The Chimes of Normandy, and Gilbert and Sullivan’s classics such as The Gondoliers, The Mikado, and H.M.S. Pinafore.

Beyond his studies, Andy was the president of the UNC chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, America’s oldest fraternity for men in music, which further honed his skills and network within the musical community.

After his graduation, he taught music and drama at Goldsboro High School in Goldsboro, North Carolina, where he would influence future generations, including notable figures like Carl Kasell.

As someone who cherished my own North Carolinian roots, I’ve always felt a kinship with Griffith’s journey from a small town to the screens of America.

His story resonates deeply with those of us who have seen the transformative power of arts education in rural communities. His life’s work serves as a testament to the impact of nurturing young talents in every corner of the nation.

The Ascendant Career of Andy Griffith

Andy Griffith’s career began to take shape with his distinct flair as a monologist. In the early career days of Griffith, he captured audiences with “What It Was, Was Football”, a monologue where he played a naïve country preacher attending his first football game.

This piece, released as a single by Colonial Records in 1953, quickly became a hit, climbing to number nine on the charts by 1954. This early success was a hint of the comedic genius that was to bloom in his subsequent roles.

His comedic talent was further showcased in March 1955, when Griffith starred in Ira Levin’s one-hour teleplay, “No Time for Sergeants”, aired on The United States Steel Hour, a popular television anthology series.

His portrayal of a bumbling country boy drafted into the United States Air Force was so beloved that it was expanded into a full-length theatrical version that debuted on Broadway in New York City.

This performance earned him a Tony Award nomination for Distinguished Supporting or Featured Dramatic Actor at the 1956 Tony Awards, though he lost to Ed Begley.

Despite this setback, Griffith won the 1956 Theatre World Award, confirming his rising status in the New York stage scene.

His portrayal of Will Stockdale, an earnest and bemused airman, resonated deeply with audiences who found his Southern charm hard to resist.

It was this role that Andy Griffith later reprised in the film version of “No Time for Sergeants” in 1958.

The film, which also featured Don Knotts as a neurotic corporal performing manual-dexterity tests, marked the beginning of a lifelong association between Griffith and Knotts, setting the stage for future collaborations.

Griffith’s impact extended beyond the silver screen into television situation comedy, inspiring the creation of “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.”, a spin-off of the iconic The Andy Griffith Show.

However, his talent was not confined to television alone; Griffith returned to Broadway to play the title role in the musical “Destry Rides Again”, co-starring with Dolores Gray.

The score by Harold Rome backed performances that ran for more than a year, earning Griffith another Tony nomination in 1960, though he again lost, this time to Jackie Gleason.

In addition to his stage and television success, Griffith also portrayed a US Coast Guard sailor in the feature film “Onionhead” in 1958.

This role, however, did not meet critical or commercial success, showcasing that even in the face of challenges, Griffith’s career was richly varied and influential across multiple entertainment mediums.

Through each stage and screen appearance, Andy Griffith not only entertained but also left a lasting imprint on American culture, drawing from his roots and experiences to bring genuine, relatable characters to life.

As someone who grew up watching his performances, it’s clear that his work has woven itself into the fabric of American entertainment, resonating with a warmth and authenticity that few can rival.

Dramatic Role in “A Face in the Crowd” (1957)

The year 1957 marked a significant shift in the career of Andy Griffith with his film debut in “A Face in the Crowd”.

Unlike the affable characters he was known for, Griffith embraced a darker, more complex persona as a manipulative and power-hungry drifter who transforms into a demagogic television host.

This role was a stark departure from his previous work, showcasing his versatility and depth as an actor.

Directed by Elia Kazan and written by Budd Schulberg, the film presents a gripping tale of charisma corrupted by ambition, offering a critical look at the way media can be used as a gateway to political power.

Griffith’s performance is both riveting and disturbing, highlighting his capacity to tap into the darker facets of human nature.

His co-stars in the film included Patricia Neal, Walter Matthau, Tony Franciosa, and Lee Remick in her own film debut.

Neal and Matthau delivered compelling performances that perfectly complemented Griffith’s towering portrayal. The dynamic between Griffith and Neal, in particular, added a raw, palpable tension to the film, enhancing its dramatic impact.

In 2005, a DVD reissue of the film was released, featuring a mini-documentary with comments from Schulberg and various cast members, including Griffith, Franciosa, and Neal.

In an interview included in the reissue, Griffith recalls how Kazan prepared him for the shoot, focusing on the first scene where Griffith’s character is captivated by Remick’s portrayal of a teenaged baton twirler.

This preparation highlighted Kazan’s directorial prowess in eliciting complex performances from his actors.

This film has grown in popularity in recent decades, recognized for its ahead-of-its-time commentary on media and politics.

Although not initially a blockbuster upon being originally released, its relevance has only intensified, with its themes resonating more deeply in today’s media-driven landscape.

Griffith’s portrayal in “A Face in the Crowd” remains one of his most significant yet unexpected roles. It serves as a testament to his skill and willingness to explore characters beyond the genial, homespun roles that defined much of his early career.

As a viewer, watching Griffith tackle such a layered and challenging role always reminds me of the profound capabilities actors possess in shaping our understanding of complex societal issues through their craft.

Andy Griffith Net Worth
Andy Griffith

Evolution of Andy Griffith Television Roles

Andy Griffith’s entry into television began with his first appearance in 1955 on “No Time for Sergeants”, a one-hour teleplay aired on The United States Steel Hour.

This role set the stage for his lasting presence in television, showcasing his innate ability to captivate an audience with his warmth and humor.

His early television roles often highlighted his comedic timing and affable persona, laying the groundwork for his future in situational comedies and more complex characters.

In 1960, Griffith made two appearances on “Make Room for Daddy”, starring Danny Thomas. Here, he portrayed a county sheriff, justice of the peace, and editor of the local newspaper.

His character, after being stopped for running a stop sign in a little town, served as the backdoor pilot for “The Andy Griffith Show”, produced by Sheldon Leonard. Premiering in September 1960, the show introduced audiences to the fictional town of Mayberry, North Carolina, where Griffith starred as Sheriff Andy Taylor.

“The Andy Griffith Show”, which ran until 1968, became an iconic representation of small-town America. Griffith’s character, Andy Taylor, was a widower and the town’s sheriff and sage, filmed at Desilu Studios with exteriors in Culver City, California.

The show co-starred Don Knotts as Deputy Barney Fife, Griffith’s best friend and comedic partner, and Ron Howard as Opie Taylor, Taylor’s only child.

The chemistry between the cast members, particularly between Griffith and Knotts, brought a unique depth to the comedy, earning Knotts multiple Emmy Awards for his performances.

Despite his pivotal role in the show, Griffith was never nominated for an Emmy Award during the show’s run, a surprising fact given his significant contributions to its success.

He did, however, have a writing credit on the show and worked on the development of every script, ensuring the show’s quality and continuity.

After leaving “The Andy Griffith Show” in 1968, Griffith starred in various TV films and less successful series like “Headmaster” and “The New Andy Griffith Show”.

However, his most notable return to television was as Ben Matlock in the series “Matlock”, which ran from 1986 to 1995.

This show featured Griffith as a country lawyer with a Southern drawl and a flawless case record, revitalizing his career and proving his versatility as an actor.

Griffith’s television career reflected his growth as an actor and his ability to adapt to various roles, from a lighthearted sheriff to a savvy lawyer.

His legacy in television is marked not only by his characters but by his influence on the industry, demonstrating a range of performances that resonate with audiences even today

The Legacy of Matlock (1986–1995)

After leaving a still-popular show in 1968, Andy Griffith ventured into new territory, starting his own production company, Andy Griffith Enterprises, in 1972.

This move led to a series of less-successful television series such as “Headmaster” in 1970, “The New Andy Griffith Show” in 1971, “Adams of Eagle Lake” in 1975, “Salvage 1” in 1979, and “The Yeagers” in 1980.

Despite these varied roles, none achieved the iconic status of his earlier work, leaving Griffith searching for another defining role.

In 1983, after a period of rehabilitation from leg paralysis due to Guillain–Barré syndrome, Griffith made a triumphant return to television as the title character in the legal drama, “Matlock”.

This show aired initially on NBC and later on ABC, presenting Griffith as Ben Matlock, a country lawyer from Atlanta, Georgia, known for his Southern drawl and an uncanny ability for winning cases.

“Matlock” offered a blend of mystery and legal intrigue, with Griffith’s character often representing unfamiliar, struggling actors and childhood fans who saw Griffith as a father figure.

Co-stars like Nancy Stafford as Michelle Thomas (1987–1992) and Clarence Gilyard, Jr. as Conrad McMasters (1989–1993) enriched the narrative, creating a dynamic ensemble that resonated with viewers.

By the end of its first season, “Matlock” had become a ratings powerhouse on Tuesday nights, reflecting the show’s wide appeal and Griffith’s enduring charm.

Despite its success and four Emmy nominations, Griffith himself was never nominated for his work on “Matlock”, an oversight that puzzled many, considering the depth he brought to the role.

However, his contributions were recognized with a People’s Choice Award in 1987, affirming his impact on television and his ability to captivate audiences across generations.

Griffith’s portrayal of Matlock not only revived his career but also redefined his image from the folksy sheriff of Mayberry to a shrewd, savvy attorney who never lost a case.

Griffith’s role in “Matlock” remains one of his most memorable, highlighting his versatility and deep understanding of the characters he portrayed.

This series not only marked a significant chapter in his career but also left a lasting imprint on legal dramas, influencing how such characters would be portrayed in future television shows.

Other television appearances

Andy Griffith’s legacy extends beyond his iconic roles in “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Matlock.” Over the years, he made numerous other television appearances that showcased his versatility as an actor.

These guest spots allowed Griffith to explore a range of characters, further endearing him to audiences and cementing his status as a television staple.

Griffith’s career in television saw him appearing in a variety of well-known shows.

His ability to adapt to different genres was evident in his performances on Playhouse 90, The Mod Squad, Hawaii Five-O, and The Doris Day Show. Each appearance brought a new layer to Griffith’s already diverse career, showing him as a capable actor not confined to the roles of sheriff or lawyer.

In addition to these dramas and comedies, Griffith also appeared on popular shows like Here’s Lucy and The Bionic Woman, blending his comedic and dramatic skills. On Fantasy Island, he took on roles that were both enchanting and reflective, often leaving a memorable impact on the episode’s narrative.

One notable return to character was when he reprised his role as Ben Matlock on the show Diagnosis: Murder in 1997. This crossover was a treat for fans of both series, providing a seamless blend of Griffith’s later career character with another beloved television detective, played by Dick Van Dyke.

Griffith’s final guest-starring role was in an episode of Dawson’s Creek in 2001. Here, Griffith stepped into a contemporary setting, showcasing his timeless appeal and ability to connect with a new generation of viewers.

This appearance marked the culmination of a career filled with memorable roles that spanned several decades of television history.

Each of these roles, whether as a guest star or a recurring character, underscored Griffith’s breadth as an actor.

They kept him relevant in an industry that values adaptability and provided fresh contexts to appreciate his enduring talent.

From comedic sketches to serious drama, Griffith’s television appearances contributed richly to his legacy as a versatile and beloved actor.

Andy Griffith’s Journey in Film and Television Movies

Andy Griffith’s remarkable versatility as an actor is evident not only through his well-known television characters but also through his substantial body of work in films, including television films.

His film career began with a groundbreaking performance in “A Face in the Crowd” in 1957, where he starred alongside Patricia Neal. This role was a departure from his later, more familiar persona, as he portrayed a villainous television personality—a role that remains critically acclaimed.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Griffith appeared in a series of television films that showcased his range. In 1972, he took on a challenging role in “The Strangers in 7A”.

This was followed by a notable performance in the adaptation of the novel “Deathwatch” in “Savages”, also in 1974, where he played another villain.

That same year, he appeared in “Pray for the Wildcats”, further solidifying his ability to tackle diverse and complex roles.

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Griffith’s venture into dramatic television continued with “The Father” in 1976, a PBS television adaptation directed by Stacy Keach, based on Luigi Pirandello’s “Six Characters in Search of an Author”.

His performance here earned him his only Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor – Miniseries or a Movie.

He also starred in the television film “Murder in Texas” in 1981 and played a homicidal villain in “Murder in Coweta County” in 1983, co-starring Johnny Cash.

Additionally, Griffith appeared in important television miniseries such as “From Here to Eternity” and “Roots: The Next Generations”, both in 1979, and “Centennial” in 1978.

In “Washington: Behind Closed Doors” (1977), Griffith played a character loosely based on Lyndon B. Johnson, highlighting a fictionalized version of the Watergate scandal.

Griffith’s attempts to launch new series through his television films sometimes led to short-lived outcomes, such as with “Winter Kill”, which briefly launched “Adams of Eagle Lake” but was canceled after two episodes.

Despite strong ratings, films like “The Girl in the Empty Grave” and “Deadly Game” in 1977, where he played Police Chief Abel Marsh, did not successfully transition into ongoing series.

His film career also included roles in feature films, though these were less successful at the box office.

He appeared in the comedy “Hearts of the West” in 1975, co-starring Jeff Bridges, and played a gay villainous colonel in “Rustlers’ Rhapsody” in 1985, alongside Tom Berenger.

These films, while not achieving commercial success, highlighted Griffith’s willingness to explore a wide range of characters, enhancing his reputation as a versatile actor.

Singing and recording career

Andy Griffith’s talents extended beyond his acting; he also had a notable singing and recording career.

Griffith seamlessly blended his musical abilities with his acting roles, from his film debut in “A Face in the Crowd” to his beloved television roles in “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Matlock”.

In these performances, he occasionally showcased his singing talents, which were integral to the multifaceted persona he presented to his audience.

During the 1950s, Griffith made a name for himself not only through acting but also through his recordings of comic monologues. His venture into music recording saw him create an album of upbeat country and gospel tunes.

This musical aspect of his career was often intertwined with his television work, most notably during the run of “The Andy Griffith Show”.

Here, he included a version of the show’s theme, titled “The Fishin’ Hole”, where he not only whistled but also sang the lyrics, adding a personal touch that resonated with viewers.

In his later years, Griffith’s musical pursuits took a more serious turn as he recorded successful albums featuring classic Christian hymns. Signed with Sparrow Records, he achieved significant success with the release of “I Love to Tell the Story: 25 Timeless Hymns” in 1996.

This album, deeply rooted in Griffith’s personal faith, was certified platinum by the RIAA and won a Grammy Award for Best Southern, Country, or Bluegrass Gospel Album at the 1997 Grammy Awards.

Griffith’s ability to blend his musical talents with his acting brought a unique authenticity to his performances, enhancing his appeal and connection with his audience. His foray into gospel music, in particular, reflected a personal passion for hymns and spiritual songs, which he shared with audiences nationwide.

This aspect of his career not only showcased his versatility as an entertainer but also his deep personal convictions, making his work in music as impactful as his contributions to television and film.

Name dispute

In an unusual twist to his long and celebrated career, Andy Griffith found himself entangled in a name dispute that underscores the complexities of fame.

This legal battle began when William Harold Fenrick from Platteville, Wisconsin, decided to legally change his name to Andrew Jackson Griffith. Fenrick, whose new name echoed that of the famous actor, then ran unsuccessfully for sheriff of Grant County in November 2006.

The actor Griffith took legal action against Griffith/Fenrick by filing a lawsuit, asserting that Fenrick had violated trademark, copyright, and privacy laws by changing his name for the sole purpose of taking advantage of Griffith’s fame in an attempt to gain votes.

This case highlighted the potential misuse of a public figure’s persona and the implications it could have on their privacy and the public’s perception.

The legal proceedings culminated on May 4, 2007, when US District Court Judge John C. Shabaz made a landmark ruling.

The judge ruled that Griffith/Fenrick did not violate federal trademark law, as he did not use the Griffith name in a commercial transaction but instead used it to seek elective office, an act considered fundamental First Amendment protected speech.

This ruling not only resolved the dispute but also set a precedent regarding the limits of using celebrity names in public and political arenas.

This incident sheds light on the unexpected challenges that can accompany fame, especially for figures like Andy Griffith, whose name carries significant cultural weight.

The case also underscores the legal boundaries of name usage and the protection of personal identity against exploitation for commercial or political gains.

The resolution of this dispute reflects the nuanced balance between individual rights and public interest, serving as a reminder of the complexities that arise when the worlds of entertainment, politics, and personal rights intersect.

Andy Griffith’s experience with this name dispute is a rare glimpse into the protective measures that sometimes need to be taken to safeguard a celebrity’s legacy.

Andy Griffith Net Worth
Andy Griffith

Association with Don Knotts and Ron Howard

Andy Griffith’s collaborations with Don Knotts and Ron Howard were not just central to his career but also pivotal in shaping television history. Griffith’s association with Don Knotts began in 1955, when they co-starred in the Broadway play “No Time for Sergeants”.

This collaboration blossomed into a profound friendship and professional partnership that would last for decades. Knotts joined “The Andy Griffith Show” as the bumbling Deputy Barney Fife, contributing significantly to the show’s success over five seasons before his departure in 1965.

However, Knotts returned for multiple guest appearances, and they later reconnected on Griffith’s subsequent short-lived series “The New Andy Griffith Show” and had a recurring role on “Matlock” from 1988 to 1992.

In a poignant reflection of their friendship, Griffith visited a terminally ill Knotts at Cedars-Sinai shortly before he died of lung cancer in early 2006.

Griffith traveled from Manteo, North Carolina to Los Angeles to be with his old friend, demonstrating the depth of their bond. In an interview in January 2000, Griffith shared that, “The five years we worked together were the best five years of my life.”

Griffith’s relationship with Ron Howard began under different circumstances. They first met when Howard guest-starred on an episode of “Make Room For Daddy”, which led to the creation of “The Andy Griffith Show”.

Starting in 1960, the show ran for eight seasons, with Griffith and Howard portraying the iconic father-son duo of Andy and Opie Taylor.

Their collaboration continued in various forms, including guest appearances on “Mayberry R.F.D.” and a significant reunion in the 1986 TV special “Return to Mayberry”, where a now-adult Opie was about to become a father.

Beyond the confines of Mayberry, Griffith and Howard joined forces in 1993 and 2003 for CBS reunion specials.

Their last notable collaboration came in October 2008, when they reprised their Mayberry roles for an online video, “Ron Howard’s Call to Action”, which was posted on the comedy video website Funny or Die.

The video, which encouraged voting and endorsed Democratic candidates Barack Obama and Joe Biden, showcased their continued influence and relevance in American culture.

Reflecting on Griffith’s passing, Howard expressed deep admiration and respect for Griffith, noting how the joy, drama, comedy, and music of their shared experiences continued to inspire him.

He reminisced about Griffith’s supportive nature from his early years as a director, highlighting how the spirit of their collaborative set created a joyful, professional, and amazing environment.

Howard’s fond memories of writing scripts under Griffith’s encouragement when he was just seven years old underscored the profound impact Griffith had on his life and career.

Political Activities of Andy Griffith

Andy Griffith’s influence extended beyond television and film, deeply touching the political landscape as well, particularly within his home state of North Carolina.

Griffith’s political activities began to surface publicly around 2000, when he appeared in a campaign commercial endorsing Mike Easley for governor of North Carolina.

At the time, Easley was locked in a tight race against the former Mayor of Charlotte, Richard Vinroot.

As Easley was losing his lead in the polls, Griffith’s endorsement came at a crucial time, contributing significantly to what many observers dubbed the “Mayberry Miracle”.

Easley went on to win in November with 52% of the vote compared to Vinroot’s 46%.

In October 2008, Griffith’s political engagement was once again highlighted as he appeared alongside Ron Howard in a Funny or Die video.

This online video was an endorsement for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, showcasing Griffith’s ongoing commitment to supporting Democratic candidates.

His participation in this video underlined his role not just as an actor but as a powerful voice in political endorsements.

Over the years, Griffith also recorded television commercials endorsing other North Carolina governors, including Bev Perdue, and spoke at inauguration ceremonies, solidifying his standing as a respected figure in state politics.

Despite his significant influence, Griffith declined an offer from the Democratic party to run against Jesse Helms, a Republican U.S. Senator from North Carolina, highlighting his preference to support from the sidelines rather than hold office himself.

In July 2010, Griffith took to the screen once more, this time starring in advertisements for Medicare. These ads were aimed at educating the public on benefits available due to recent health care reforms, once again showing his commitment to public service through his celebrity status.

Griffith’s political engagements reflected his deep personal beliefs and his desire to leverage his fame for causes and candidates he believed in.

His actions not only impacted election outcomes but also showed his dedication to public service and his willingness to use his platform to influence political and social change.

Griffith’s career thus encapsulates not just the life of an entertainer but that of a civic-minded individual who saw and seized opportunities to make a difference beyond the entertainment industry.

His involvement in politics, particularly through endorsements and public service announcements, played a key role in shaping public opinions and outcomes in his beloved home state of North Carolina.

Andy Griffith’s Personal Life

The personal life of Andy Griffith reveals a narrative as rich and eventful as his professional career.

His journey began at the University of North Carolina in 1945, where as a student he was initiated as a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, a national social music fraternity for men.

This marked the start of a lifelong engagement with music, which paralleled his acting career.

In 1949, Griffith married Barbara Bray Edwards on August 22. Together, they adopted two children: a son, Andy Samuel Griffith Jr., known as Sam Griffith, born in 1957, and a daughter, Dixie Nann Griffith.

However, their marriage ended in divorce in 1972. Tragically, Sam passed away in 1996 due to alcoholism, a profound loss for Griffith.

Shortly after his first marriage ended, Griffith found love again with Solica Cassuto, a Greek actress. They were married from 1973 to 1981.

His third and final marriage was to Cindi Knight, whom he married on April 12, 1983. Griffith met Knight while she was a cast member in “The Lost Colony”, a theater production in which Griffith had also starred early in his career.

They remained married until Griffith’s death, showcasing a long-lasting and supportive relationship.

Griffith’s personal life also included a less publicized aspect of his relationships within the industry. He had an ongoing affair with Aneta Corsaut, who played Helen Crump on “The Andy Griffith Show”.

This affair was considered an open secret among the cast and crew, adding a layer of complexity to his off-screen persona.

Griffith passed away on July 3, 2012, from a heart attack at the age of 86 years old.

He remained in his beloved home in Manteo on Roanoke Island, North Carolina, where he was buried in the family cemetery on Roanoke Island.

His legacy is survived by three granddaughters through his daughter, Dixie, and his contributions to television and film continue to be celebrated.

Griffith’s personal experiences, marked by both joy and tragedy, deeply influenced his professional life and the heartfelt performances that won him the affection of millions.

His ability to weave his personal authenticity into his roles made him a beloved figure in American culture.

What Was Andy Griffith’s Net Worth?

Andy Griffith, an American actor, singer, and producer, left behind a substantial financial legacy upon his death in July 2012.

Renowned for his beloved and iconic characters such as Sheriff Andy Taylor in “The Andy Griffith Show” and the titular lawyer in “Matlock”, Griffith’s career spanned over five decades, earning him a respected place in the entertainment industry.

At the time of his death, Andy Griffith’s net worth was estimated at around $60 million, a testament to his enduring appeal and successful career in television and music.

Griffith’s wealth was not just a reflection of his acting prowess but also his savvy involvement in the production of shows and his music career.

As a talented actor and gifted singer, Griffith managed to diversify his earnings through various avenues.

His roles in television were not just limited to performing; his involvement behind the scenes, particularly in the production aspects of his shows, significantly boosted his financial status over the years.

Andy music career also contributed to his wealth, notably through his gospel music albums.

His album “I Love to Tell the Story: 25 Timeless Hymns” not only won a Grammy Award but also enjoyed commercial success, further enhancing his net worth.

This album exemplified his versatility as an artist, showcasing his ability to connect with audiences in multiple formats.

By the time of his death, when adjusted for inflation, his net worth would be equivalent to about $66 million in today’s dollars.

This figure reflects not just his success but also his ability to remain relevant in a rapidly changing industry over several decades.

Griffith’s financial success was directly attributed to his various acting roles, his involvement in production, and his music career.

Each element of his career contributed layers to his net worth, highlighting the multifaceted nature of his talents.

Despite being best known for his television roles, his financial acumen and diverse career choices allowed him to amass a considerable fortune.

Andy Griffith’s legacy in the entertainment industry is marked not only by the beloved characters he brought to life but also by his financial achievements, which reflect his broad impact as both a creative force and a savvy businessman.

The Enduring Legacy of Andy Griffith: Net Worth and Cultural Impact

Andy Griffith, renowned for his portrayal of Sheriff Andy Taylor on “The Andy Griffith Show,” which aired from 1960 to 1968, crafted a character that became a staple of American television.

His wise, patient, and kind-hearted sheriff won the hearts of millions and became emblematic of American values.

This role, alongside his turn as Ben Matlock in “Matlock,” cemented his place in the pantheon of iconic television characters.

Griffith’s net worth at the time of his death was estimated at $60 million, a testament to his successful career in television, film, and music.

His financial success was significantly bolstered by his roles in beloved series, his production work on various television projects, and his music albums, particularly in the gospel and country genres.

His album “I Love to Tell the Story: 25 Timeless Hymns” was especially successful, earning him a Grammy Award for Best Southern, Country, or Bluegrass Gospel Album in 1997.

Andy’s most famous role, Sheriff Andy Taylor, not only showcased his acting skills but also reflected the values he grew up with in Mount Airy, North Carolina—the real-life inspiration for the fictional town of Mayberry.

This setting allowed Griffith to explore themes of community and kindness, ideals that resonated deeply with audiences and were reflective of his own upbringing.

Despite his numerous awards and nominations, Griffith was never awarded an Emmy Award for his roles on “The Andy Griffith Show” or “Matlock,” although he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005, one of the highest civilian honors in the United States.

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Throughout his life, Griffith was married three times and had two children with his first wife, Barbara Bray Edwards.

Their son, Andy Griffith Jr., known as Sam, tragically passed away in 1996. The complexities of his personal life, juxtaposed with his public persona, added depth to the characters he played.

Griffith’s career was marked not only by his entertainment roles but also by his lasting impact on the arts and his philanthropic efforts.

His legacy is characterized by the timeless entertainment and wholesome values he brought to the screen, which continue to resonate with audiences around the world.

The portrayal of Sheriff Andy Taylor and Ben Matlock has left an indelible mark on American culture, embodying the wise and moral American everyman.

Griffith’s work is celebrated for its positive portrayal of small-town life and the importance of community and kindness, underscoring his remarkable achievements in entertainment.

Philanthropy and Andy Griffith’s Legacy in the Arts

Throughout his illustrious entertainment career, Andy Griffith not only left an indelible mark on television and music but also on philanthropy.

His commitment to supporting the arts and education is a testament to his desire to give back to the community that shaped him.

A key aspect of his philanthropic efforts was the establishment of the Andy Griffith Scholarship Fund at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

This scholarship was designed to support students pursuing careers in the arts, reflecting Griffith’s own journey and his deep understanding of the challenges faced by aspiring artists.

His initiative ensures that his legacy extends beyond his contributions to television and music, fostering new generations of talent in the arts.

Griffith’s dedication to philanthropy showcases his broader commitment to community and development, emphasizing the role of the arts in enriching lives and encouraging personal growth.

By founding the scholarship fund, Griffith provided a platform for young artists to cultivate their skills, underscoring his belief in the transformative power of the arts.

The impact of Griffith’s philanthropy is a vital part of his legacy, demonstrating that his contributions to culture went far beyond his on-screen roles.

His foresight in supporting the arts has allowed countless individuals to explore and develop their artistic passions, perpetuating his influence on the entertainment industry and beyond.

Andy Griffith Net Worth
Andy Griffith

Legacy and Inheritance: The Enduring Impact of Andy Griffith

Andy Griffith’s legacy in entertainment and philanthropy is undeniable, marked by a long and successful career that resonated with audiences across generations.

At the time of his death, Griffith’s net worth was a significant reflection of his accomplishments, not only as an actor but also as a shrewd investor in his projects and endeavors.

While the specifics of his will and the distribution of his estate remain largely private, it is known that his considerable wealth was left to his immediate family, including his daughter, Dixie, and his widow, Cindi Knight.

These details, while kept from the public eye, suggest a planned approach to preserving his financial legacy, ensuring his family’s security and honoring his life’s work.

Griffith’s enduring impact on the entertainment industry is celebrated not only through his memorable performances but also through his philanthropic legacy, which continues to support aspiring artists.

His efforts to nurture talent and give back to the community have made him a beloved figure well beyond the characters he portrayed.

Fans and beneficiaries of his charitable initiatives continue to honor Griffith’s memory by supporting the arts and fostering new talents, furthering his influence and ensuring that his legacy will thrive for many years to come.

Through these efforts, Griffith’s life and work continue to inspire and impact the world, proving that his contributions went far beyond the screen and into the very fabric of the communities he touched.

Andy Griffith’s legacy and inheritance are thus a testament to a life well-lived, characterized by significant cultural contributions, a commitment to philanthropy, and wise stewardship of his success.

His story remains a beacon for those in the arts and entertainment, reminding them of the power of generosity and the importance of legacy. 

Health Challenges and the Passing of Andy Griffith

Throughout his life, Andy Griffith faced several serious health problems, which began to prominently affect him later in his career.

His first major health issue occurred in April 1983 when he was diagnosed with Guillain–Barré syndrome, a rare disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the nerves.

This diagnosis left him unable to walk for seven months, as he experienced paralysis from the knees down.

Despite these challenges, Griffith continued to work and make public appearances. However, his health issues persisted, and on May 9, 2000, he underwent quadruple heart-bypass surgery at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Norfolk, Virginia.

This surgery was a significant procedure that highlighted the serious nature of his cardiovascular health concerns.

Later, Griffith also faced mobility issues, leading to hip surgery on September 5, 2007, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

These health problems marked a period of medical challenges that Griffith navigated with the support of his family and medical professionals.

Ultimately, Andy Griffith passed away on July 3, 2012, at his home on Roanoke Island in Manteo, North Carolina.

The cause of death was a heart attack, occurring just a day before his 86th birthday. His death certificate listed hypertension, coronary artery disease, and hyperlipidemia as underlying health conditions that contributed to his demise.

In accordance with his prior arrangements, there were no public services held; Griffith was buried in the family cemetery on the island within five hours of his death. This quick and private burial reflected his family’s wishes for a quiet and dignified farewell.

The health struggles and eventual passing of Andy Griffith marked the end of an era for fans and the entertainment community, leaving behind a legacy of resilience in the face of personal health challenges and a body of work that continues to influence and entertain.

Celebrating the Legacy of Andy Griffith: Awards and Honors

Andy Griffith’s illustrious career brought him widespread recognition, not only through his performances but also through numerous prestigious awards and honors. His contributions to entertainment and culture were acknowledged at the highest levels.

In 2005, Griffith was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush, one of the highest civilian honors in the United States, recognizing his significant contribution to American entertainment and his positive impact on the national culture.

This accolade was a testament to his enduring influence as a beloved figure in television and music.

Griffith was also an inductee into the Television Hall of Fame, class of 1991, an honor that highlighted his exceptional contributions to the television industry over the decades.

Additionally, his contributions to music were recognized when he won the Grammy Award for Best Southern, Country or Bluegrass Gospel Album for “I Love to Tell the Story – 25 Timeless Hymns” in 1997.

He also received Grammy nominations for Best Comedy Album for “Hamlet” in 1960 and “Just As I Am” in 1999.

Beyond these awards, Griffith’s legacy is immortalized in physical tributes and memorials across North Carolina.

The Andy Griffith Museum in Mount Airy, which opened on September 26, 2009, is a 2,500-square-foot facility that houses the world’s largest collection of Griffith memorabilia, drawing fans and scholars alike to explore his life and career.

A statue of Griffith and Ron Howard as Andy and Opie from “The Andy Griffith Show” stands in Pullen Park in Raleigh, North Carolina, with a second statue erected outside the Andy Griffith Museum in his hometown.

These statues are beloved landmarks that celebrate his most famous television roles.

Furthermore, Griffith was posthumously honored with inductions into the Country Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1999, the Christian Music Hall of Fame in 2007, and the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2010, acknowledging his musical talents and contributions to gospel and country music.

An 11-mile stretch of US Highway 52 that passes through Mount Airy was rededicated as the Andy Griffith Parkway, serving as a permanent reminder of his impact on his hometown and the state.

Griffith’s legacy is also celebrated in the world of music with the Andy Griffith signature model guitar, commissioned by C.F. Martin & Company, which serves as a symbol of his passion for music and his status as a cultural icon.

Through these awards, honors, and commemorations, Andy Griffith’s legacy is cemented not just in the annals of entertainment history but also in the hearts of those who continue to admire his work and the values he represented.

His life and career are celebrated as exemplars of excellence and heartfelt authenticity.

The Musical Legacy of Andy Griffith

Andy Griffith, widely recognized for his iconic roles on television, also had a substantial impact on the music industry with his numerous albums.

His musical career highlighted a different facet of his talent, showcasing his ability to connect with audiences not just through characters but through song.

In 1953, Andy Griffith began his recording career with the comedic monologue What It Was, Was Football, released under Capitol Records.

This record, where Griffith humorously describes a football game from the perspective of a bewildered preacher, quickly became a hit and established him as a versatile entertainer.

His success in music continued with the 1958 album Just for Laughs and Shouts the Blues and Old Timey Songs in 1959, which featured guest appearances by renowned bluesmen Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry.

These albums demonstrated his range and ability to blend different musical styles, from heartfelt blues to lighter comedic tunes.

In 1961, Griffith released Songs, Themes and Laughs from the Andy Griffith Show, capturing the spirit of the show through its music.

This was followed by Somebody Bigger Than You and I in 1972, blending traditional gospel music with his signature storytelling style.

The mid-90s saw a resurgence in Griffith’s musical output with the critically acclaimed I Love to Tell the Story: 25 Timeless Hymns in 1996.

This album was particularly well-received, earning him a Grammy Award and reinforcing his place in the pantheon of great American vocal artists.

It was accompanied by other notable works like Precious Memories, 33 Timeless Hymns in 1995, and Just as I Am: 30 Favorite Old Time Hymns in 1997.

The Christmas Guest and Bound for the Promised Land: The Best of Andy Griffith Hymns, both released in 2003, continued to showcase his deep roots in the gospel and hymnal tradition.

These collections were followed by The Collection and Pickin’ and Grinnin’: The Best of Andy Griffith, also in 2003, summarizing his extensive and diverse musical career.

Through albums like Destry Rides Again, the 1959 Original Broadway Cast Album released by Decca Records, and Andy and Cleopatra released by Capitol Records in 1964, Griffith’s voice and musical talent reached an audience beyond his television fan base, cementing his legacy as a true American original in both screen and sound.

His music remains a testament to his artistic versatility and a significant, though often overshadowed, part of his artistic output.

Andy Griffith Net Worth
Andy Griffith

Exploring Andy Griffith’s Filmography

Andy Griffith, an iconic figure in American entertainment, not only captivated television audiences but also made significant inroads in the film industry.

His filmography is a testament to his versatility and depth as an actor, spanning from powerful dramas to light-hearted comedies.

Griffith’s film debut was in the 1957 film A Face in the Crowd, where he delivered a stunning performance that was a departure from the genial characters he would later become known for.

This role showcased his ability to portray complex, nuanced characters and set a high standard for his future roles.

In 1958, Griffith starred in No Time for Sergeants, a film that solidified his reputation as a leading man in Hollywood.

This was followed by another 1958 feature, Onionhead, where he again demonstrated his dramatic chops.

Griffith continued to build his filmography with The Second Time Around in 1961 and Angel in My Pocket in 1969, each film highlighting his skill at blending humor with sincerity.

The 1970s and 1980s saw Griffith in films like Hearts of the West (1975) and Rustlers’ Rhapsody (1985), where he often played characters that leveraged his folksy, relatable persona. In 1996, he took a turn towards comedy in Spy Hard, proving his timeless appeal in the genre.

Griffith’s later years featured roles in films such as Daddy and Them (2001), where he played more mature, often patriarchal figures.

His voice work in The Very First Noel (2006) and as Santa Claus in Christmas Is Here Again (2007) showed his range extended into voice acting, bringing beloved characters to life for a new generation.

One of his final roles was in Play the Game as Grandpa Joe in 2008, where Griffith’s performance was both heartwarming and poignant, encapsulating a career that had touched hearts across many decades.

Griffith also appeared in various short subjects and specials, like Rowan & Martin at the Movies (1968) and the notable 1997 release of What It Was, Was Football, revisiting his early stand-up days.

His participation in Waitin’ on a Woman, a 2008 music video by Brad Paisley, and Ron Howard’s Call To Action, also in 2008, where he reprised his role as Andy Taylor, kept him relevant and beloved by new audiences.

Andy Griffith’s filmography reflects not just a prolific career but the evolution of an artist who could continually reinvent himself while staying true to his roots.

His legacy in film is characterized by a blend of humor, humanity, and a deep resonance that echoes through his diverse roles.

Andy Griffith Television work

1955No Time for SergeantsWill StockdaleGriffith’s television debut, nominated for Emmy, best program of the year
1960Make Room for DaddyAndy TaylorEpisode: “Danny meets Andy Griffith”, Andy and Opie Taylor first introduced in season seven
1960–1968The Andy Griffith ShowSheriff Andy Taylor249 episodes
1966–1968Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.Andy Taylor2 episodes, 1 uncredited
1968–1969Mayberry R.F.D.Andy Taylor5 episodes
1970HeadmasterAndy Thompson13 episodes
1971The New Andy Griffith ShowAndy Sawyer10 episodes
1972The Mod SquadGeorge CarterEpisode: “Big George”
1972The Strangers in 7AArtie SawyerTV movie
1972Hawaii Five-OArnold LovejoyEpisode: “I’m a Family Crook, Don’t Shoot!”
1973Go Ask AlicePriestTV movie
1974Pray for the WildcatsSam FarragutTV movie
1974Winter KillSheriff Sam McNeillTV movie
1974SavagesHorton MadecTV movie
1975Adams of Eagle LakeSheriff Sam Adams2 episodes
1976The Bionic WomanJack StarkeyEpisode: “Angel of Mercy”
1976Street KillingGus BrennerTV movie
1976Six Characters in Search of an AuthorThe FatherTV movie
1976Frosty’s Winter WonderlandNarrator (voice)TV short
1977Washington: Behind Closed DoorsEsker Scott AndersonTV mini-series, 6 episodes
1977The Girl in the Empty GravePolice Chief Abel MarshTV movie
1977Deadly GamePolice Chief Abel MarshTV movie
1978–1979CentennialProfessor Lewis VernorTV mini-series, 10 episodes
1979Salvage 1Harry Broderick20 episodes
1979From Here to EternityGeneral Barney SlaterTV mini-series, 3 episodes
1979Roots: The Next GenerationsCommander Robert MunroeTV mini-series, Episode: “#1.6”
1980The YeagersCarroll Yeager2 episodes
1981Murder in TexasAsh RobinsonTV movie
1982For Lovers OnlyVernon BlissTV movie
1982Fantasy IslandJudge Roy BeanEpisode: “Legends/The Perfect Gentleman”
1983Murder in Coweta CountyJohn WallaceTV movie
1983The Demon Murder CaseGuy HarrisTV movie
1984Fatal VisionVictor WorheideTV mini-series
1985Crime of InnocenceJudge Julius SullivanTV movie
1986Diary of a Perfect MurderBen MatlockTV movie
1986Return to MayberryAndy TaylorTV movie
1986Under the InfluenceNoah TalbotTV movie
1986–1995MatlockBen Matlock / Charlie Matlock181 episodes
1993The Andy Griffith Show ReunionHimselfTV special
1994The Gift of LovePhil DoucetTV movie
1995GrampsJack MacGruderTV movie
1997Diagnosis: MurderBen Matlock2 episodes
1998Scattering DadHiramTV movie
1999A Holiday RomanceJake PetersonTV movie
2001Dawson’s CreekAndrew LanierEpisode: “A Winter’s Tale”
2003The Andy Griffith Show Reunion: Back to MayberryHimselfTV special
Television work Table


Andy Griffith’s remarkable journey from a small-town entertainer to a national treasure exemplifies his profound impact on American culture.

His legacy extends beyond his memorable roles on screen, touching upon his musical talents, philanthropic efforts, and the genuine warmth he shared with those around him.

Griffith’s life and career continue to inspire and influence, reinforcing his status as an enduring icon whose contributions to television and film are celebrated by generations past and present.

Common Questions About Andy Griffith

Andy Griffith remains a beloved figure in American culture, known for his roles as a consummate actor and comedian. Here are some common questions about his life and career:

What was Andy Griffith’s net worth at his death?

At the time of his death, Andy Griffith’s net worth was estimated to be around $60 million. His successful career in television and film, combined with his ventures in music, significantly contributed to this figure.

When and where was Andy Griffith born?

Andy Griffith was born on June 1, 1926, in Mount Airy, North Carolina. This charming town would later serve as the inspiration for the fictional setting of Mayberry in The Andy Griffith Show.

What is Andy Griffith’s most famous role?

Andy Griffith’s most famous role was as Sheriff Andy Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show. The show aired for eight seasons and became one of America’s most beloved television series, showcasing Griffith’s talent for blending warmth and wisdom.

How many times was Andy Griffith married?

Throughout his life, Andy Griffith was married three times. His relationships, like his career, were followed with great interest by his many fans.

Did Andy Griffith have any children?

Yes, Andy Griffith had two children. His family life, though kept relatively private, was occasionally spotlighted in the media.

What awards did Andy Griffith win?

Andy Griffith was awarded a Grammy Award for his comedy album “Just for Laughs.” Although he was nominated for multiple Emmy Awards throughout his career, he did not win any for his roles in his most iconic television shows.

What was Andy Griffith’s personality like?

Known for his warm and friendly personality, Andy Griffith was admired for his approachable demeanor, which endeared him to both colleagues in the entertainment industry and fans around the world.

What philanthropic causes did Andy Griffith support?

Andy Griffith was deeply involved in various philanthropic causes, particularly those related to community support and charitable causes. He used his fame to help raise awareness and funds for numerous organizations.

How old was Andy Griffith when he passed away?

Andy Griffith was 86 years old at the time of his death in 2012, leaving behind a legacy that spans significant contributions to both television and film.

What was Andy Griffith’s first big break in show business?

Andy Griffith’s first significant break came with his comedy monologue “What It Was, Was Football”, which became extremely popular and helped launch his career in the entertainment industry.

What critically acclaimed film did Andy Griffith star in?

Andy Griffith received critical acclaim for his role in the film A Face in the Crowd, which showcased his ability to tackle more serious and complex characters, different from the genial, folksy persona most are familiar with.

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