July 3: Andy Griffith passed eight years ago today

By on July 3, 2020

(Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum)

(Photo courtesy of the North Carolina State Archives, NCDNCR)

On the anniversary of the death of one of the most famous residents of Dare County, this tribute was posted on the Facebook page of the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum. As we post this, “Andy Griffith Show” episodes are running on the TV LAND channel until 8 p.m. tonight. The show never loses its gentle appeal.

On this day, eight years ago, Andy Griffith passed away at his Roanoke Island home.

Occasionally, locals would see Griffith around town. Manteo residents would bump into him at the hardware store, grocery, or while he was having his hair cut downtown. Having Griffith as a resident made the islanders proud. The beloved star got his acting start at UNC Chapel Hill and spent summers from 1947 to 1953 acting in “The Lost Colony” on Roanoke Island.

On November 14, 1953, Griffith’s monologue, “What It Was, Was Football,” was released by the Colonial label in Raleigh, N.C. The comedic routine helped start Griffith’s career, which led him to Broadway. He starred in movies and television shows including playing Andy Taylor in “The Andy Griffith Show,” which ran from 1960 to 1968.

Griffith went on to star in movies and television shows and become a Grammy Award-winning singer. Roanoke Islanders didn’t forget Griffith and celebrated his starring role in 1957 by showing “A Face in the Crowd” at the Ye Olde Pioneer Theater in Manteo.

And Griffith never forgot Roanoke Island. He eventually purchased property there where he lived with his wife Cindi, a former Lost Colony dancer. He even filmed a two-part episode of his hit show “Matlock” on the island, casting locals as extras. Eventually, Griffith returned to Dare County and his Roanoke Island home where he lived until his death.



See what people are saying:

  • Lemonshirt

    I was so proud that Andy G was a native North Carolinian that I named my son after him. ..who now is a Dare Co resident. Proud of both of ’em now.

    Friday, Jul 3 @ 2:50 pm