Film director Ron Howard, who played Andy Griffith’s son Opie on the iconic 1960s sitcom “The Andy Griffith Show,” is among the celebrities who are paying tribute to the television legend after learning of his death this morning, WTVA reports.
Griffith died at 86 at his home in North Carolina, as we reported earlier.
Howard was among the first of Griffith’s colleagues to comment publicly on his death, WTVA reported. Howard said in a tweet: “Andy Griffith His pursuit of excellence and the joy he took in creating served generations & shaped my life I’m forever grateful RIP Andy”.
Actress Patty Duke also tweeted, writing: “RIP dear Andy, you brought so much enjoyment to so many of us. I will miss you!”
CBS News reported that President Obama issued a statement about Griffith’s death, saying: “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 to Ben Matlock, and in the process, warmed the hearts of Americans everywhere.”
Lady Antebellum singer Hillary Scott posted: “Heaven gained a talented man today. Mr. Andy Griffith, thanks for giving me amazing memories with my family growing up watching your show!”
Rocker Nathan Followill of Kings of Leon gave a shout-out to a much-loved feature film from early in Griffith’s career: “RIP Andy Griffith. One of my favorite tv actors of all time. I can hear him whistling the (Andy Griffith Show) theme song all the way to the pearly gates. Do yourself a favor and watch A Face in the Crowd. One of the best performances ever.”
Actress Denise Richards, film director Kevin Smith and actor David Boreanaz also reflected on Griffith’s death, while country singer Chely Wright hailed Griffith as a “classic TV star,” adding, “He was one of the good guys.”
Entertainment Weekly’s Ken Tucker remembered Griffith in a tribute piece, writing: “Andy Griffith was one of the greatest performers in television history, in large part because he never looked as though he was performing. His portrayal of Mayberry, North Carolina, sheriff Andy Taylor is one of the most sustained feats of comic subtlety and grace in any medium.”
Meanwhile, a number of television networks announced plans for special marathons and programming blocks in honor of Griffith. Click here for a roundup of those specials based on the announcements that have been made thus far.
Favorite Andy Griffith clips have been popping up everywhere on the Internet. Here are a few more of ours: