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Beloved actor, gospel singer Andy Griffith dies at age 86

Recommended by Alicia Purdy

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, July 3 2012 2:25 p.m. MDT

Our take: Andy Griffith, star of the 1960s "The Andy Griffith Show" and the legal drama "Matlock," died today at his home in North Carolina. Griffith's faith was in the spotlight more than his acting chops in his later years as he shifted to showcasing his talents as a musician and Gospel singer, releasing an album in 1996, "I Love to Tell the Story: 25 Timeless Hymns," that went platinum.

Actor Andy Griffith died on Tuesday morning in Dare County, North Carolina, reports WITN.com.

Dare County Sheriff Doug Doughtie confirmed to the website that an ambulance went to the 86-year-old's home at 7 a.m. this morning.

Griffith's good friend and former President of the University of North Carolina, Bill Friday, told WITN that the actor had passed away. The details surrounding Griffith's cause of death are not yet available.

Griffith was best known for his role as Sheriff Andy Taylor in The Andy Griffith Show, which ran from 1960 to 1968, and later known for his role as a criminal defense lawyer on "Matlock," which ran from 1986 to 1995. The actor was honored with the TV Land Legend Award in 2004, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George W. Bush in 2005. Griffith was also a singer and musician, and his 1996 album "I Love to Tell the Story: 25 Timeless Hymns" went platinum.

Read more about Andy Griffith on The Huffington Post.

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