Andrew Samuel "Andy" Griffith (June 1, 1926 – July 3, 2012) was an American actor, television producer, Grammy Award-winning Southern-gospel singer, and writer. A Tony Award nominee for two roles, he gained prominence in the starring role in director Elia Kazan's film A Face in the Crowd (1957) before he became better known for his television roles, playing the lead characters in the 1960–1968 situation comedy The Andy Griffith Show and in the 1986–1995 legal drama Matlock.
Griffith was born in Mount Airy, North Carolina, the only child of Carl Lee Griffith and his wife Geneva Nunn. He was born on the same day and year as Marilyn Monroe. As a baby, Griffith lived with relatives until his parents could afford to buy a home. With neither a crib or a bed, he slept in dresser drawers for several months. In 1929, when Griffith was three, his father began working as a carpenter and purchased a home in Mount Airy's "blue-collar" southside.
Griffith grew up listening to music. His father instilled a sense of humor from old family stories. By the time he entered school he was well aware that he was from what many considered the "wrong side of the tracks." He was a shy student, but once he found a way to make his peers laugh, he began to come out of his shell and come into his own.
Beginning in 1960, Griffith starred as Sheriff Andy Taylor in The Andy Griffith Show for the CBS television network. The show took ...