AP - Actor Andy Griffith, who made homespun Southern wisdom his trademark as the wise sheriff in "The Andy Griffith Show" and the rumpled defense lawyer in "Matlock," died this morning at age 86.
In a statement today, it said Griffith died about 7 a.m. at his Roanoke Island, Dare County, North Carolina. Sheriff J.D. Doughtie said the family will release more information shortly.
Griffiths had suffered a heart attack and underwent quadruple bypass surgery in 2000.
Griffith's career spanned more than a half-century on stage, film and television, but he would always be best known as Sheriff Andy Taylor in the television show set in a North Carolina town not too different from his own hometown of Mount Airy.
His career also included stints on Broadway, notably "No Time for Sergeants", movies such as Elia Kazan's "A Face in the Crowd", and records.
He was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts Hall of Fame in 1992 and in 2005, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, one of the country's highest civilian honors.