Photo by Douglas A. Sonders/Getty Images
UPDATE: Actor Andy Griffith died this morning in his home in North Carolina, Dare County Sheriff J.D. “Doug” Doughtie confirmed early this afternoon. Local TV stations had reported the news in the morning, but most national networks and wire services were awaiting independent confirmation before asserting that the actor had died.
"Mr. Griffith passed away this morning at his home peacefully and has been laid to rest on his beloved Roanoke Island," Doughtie told the Associated Press, reading from a family statement.
Ron Howard, who played Griffith's son on the Andy Griffith Show took to Twitter: "His pursuit of excellence and the joy he took in creating served generations & shaped my life I'm forever grateful RIP Andy."
July 3, at 10:48 a.m.: Andy Griffith, the star of the Andy Griffith Show and Matlock, died Tuesday morning at 86. Former University of North Carolina President Bill Friday, a close friend, told WITN News in North Carolina that the actor died at his home in Dare County at around 7 a.m. Dare County Sheriff J.D. “Doug” Doughtie later confirmed to WAVY that emergency medical crews went to Griffith’s home Tuesday morning, although the nature of the call has not been disclosed.
Griffith underwent quadruple heart-bypass surgery in 2000 and had hip surgery in 2007 after a fall, reports USA Today.