Beloved actor Andy Griffith dies at 86

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by Laura Matovina

MANTEO, N.C. (AP) -- Andy Griffith, whose homespun mix of humor and wisdom made "The Andy Griffith Show" an enduring TV favorite, has died. He was 86.

Dare County Sheriff Doug Doughtie says in statement Griffith died Tuesday at about 7 a.m. He says the family will release further information.

His starring role as a small-town sheriff drew upon his own upbringing in Mount Airy, N.C. The show also starred Don Knotts and was one of the top hits of the 1960s and a perennial in reruns.

Griffith later played a shrewd Southern lawyer in another successful series, "Matlock."

Before taking on television, he won wide praise in the 1950s in the Broadway comedy "No Time for Sergeants" and the dramatic film, "A Face in the Crowd."

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