It's going to be hard to walk down that familiar walk from the top of Mulholland Drive without whistling a tune and thinking about Andy Griffith.
The star of The Andy Griffith Show, who taped the opening while walking with little Ronnie Howard, died Tuesday morning at his home in North Carolina at the age of 86.
Not a typical Hollywood personality, fellow actors have a lot of good things to say about him, and he was much loved. Flowers were placed on his Hollywood Walk of Fame star at 6418 Hollywood Boulevard, and a special commemoration was planned for noon by the Hollywood Historic Trust.
A television icon, Griffith starred in The Andy Griffith Show, Mayberry R.F.D. and the long-running Matlock. The "Andy Griffith House" from the TV show Matlock is still on the Universal Studios backlot. He also worked many times on the CBS Studios Radford lot in Studio City.
In the 1970s he bought the at 10500 Camarillo Avenue and lived there until the 1990s. He bought a home Toluca Lake home at 10452 Kling St. in 2004 and had roles in 70 films and TV shows since 1957. At 83, he appeared in 2008's Play the Game and 2007's Waitress. He's also a Grammy-winning Southern gospel singer.
He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George Bush in 2005.
Griffith died Tuesday morning at his home in Manteo, N.C.
Director Ron Howard, who played “Opie Taylor” on The Andy Griffith Show, released the following statement about his friend:
“His love of creating, the joy he took in it whether it was drama or comedy or his music, was inspiring to grow up around. The spirit he created on the set of The Andy Griffith Show was joyful and professional all at once. It was an amazing environment. And I think it was a reflection of the way he felt about having the opportunity to create something that people could enjoy. It was always with respect and passion for the opportunity and really what it could offer people in a very unpretentious and earthy way. He felt he was always working in service of an audience he really respected and cared about. He was a great influence on me. His passing is sad. But he lived and a great rich life.”