On Tuesday, TV legend Andy Griffith died of natural causes at the age of 86. While the actor’s famous friends and co-stars publicly mourn the beloved Griffith on Twitter, fans of the late actor are left to remember some of his finest contributions on television and in film. And he has plenty of fans here at Hollywood.com — below, read some of our staff’s favorite Andy Griffith moments, and pay tribute to the actor yourself in the comments below.
Matt Patches: As a young kid, I was slightly aware of Griffith’s contributions to the world of television, but my first real taste of the man’s talents came from an unlikely source: 1996’s Spy Hard. The absurdist comedy pit two fantastic actors, the Shakespearean-trained Leslie Nielsen and the nicer-than-nice Griffith, against each other in a spy adventure ripped straight from the James Bond playbook. Fearlessness is key when tackling a wickedly funny role, and Griffith’s willingness to “go there” may never be represented quite like it was when he strapped on plastic arms to chase Agent WD-40 around with an axe.
Aly Semigran: Being a hardcore Simpsons fan, I can’t help but associate Griffith’s classic Matlock with being the beloved program of choice for Abe Simpson and his fellow residents at the old folks home. While I’ll occasionally find myself singing along to “We love you, Matlock, oh yes we do” with all the gusto of someone 85-years-old and up, I think my favorite thing about the reference is it showed how much Griffith could cross so many generations. Sure, he may have been geared to the older set, but younger pop culture enthusiasts like myself had to appreciate the talent and impact he had. We love you Matlock, oh yes we do.
Kelly Schremph: My mom was absolutely addicted to the TV show Matlock. So, every morning when I was little, I’d wake up to her watching re-runs of the show and I’d sit down and join her. It sort of became like a morning ritual. Who knew Andy could inspire such mother-daughter bonding times?
Lindsey DiMattina: My grandfather always used to try and use Andy’s jokes as his own. Let’s just say we knew it wasn’t his material (Andy did a much better job), but we always laughed anyways to make grandpa feel good about himself.
Brian Marder: It was somewhat shocking to see Griffith pop up in 2007’s Waitress -— one of his final roles -— and even more jarring was the against-type performance he gave as a (mis)perceived curmudgeon who secretly had a heart. Fitting, perhaps.