In a statement released hours after Griffith’s passing, Obama revealed he and his wife Michelle were “saddened” to hear the news of the TV icon’s death.
He said, “A performer of extraordinary talent, Andy was beloved by generations of fans and revered by entertainers who followed in his footsteps. He brought us characters from Sheriff Andy Taylor (The Andy Griffith Show) to Ben Matlock (Matlock), and in the process, warmed the hearts of Americans everywhere. Our thoughts and prayers are with Andy’s family.”
Griffith had a history with Obama, recording TV spots for the President’s 2008 election campaign and his health care reform act.
He was a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Obama’s predecessor George W. Bush in 2005.