Former UNC President Bill Friday says Andy Griffith died this morning in Dare County.  Friday, who is a close friend of the actor, confirmed that to WITN News.

Friday tells us the 86-year-old actor died at his Dare County home around 7:00 a.m. this morning.

Griffith attended UNC Chapel Hill where he earned a degree in Music.  According to, Griffith was a regular on the Ed Sullivan show in the 1950’s.

His legacy role, which earned him the title of “America’s Favorite Sheriff”on “The Andy Griffith” show, set in fictional Mayberry, put North Carolina on the map in the entertainment industry.  The show ran from 1960-1968, propelling a handful of spin-off programs.  Griffith also produced and starred in the television series “Matlock.”

Griffith received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 from President George W. Bush.

Griffith was born in Mount Airy.  His first job out of college was choral director at Goldsboro High School.

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