Andy's family was Baptist and he attended the Grace Moravian Church in North Carolina where he met pastor Ed Mickey who helped him better develop his faith and his music. Mickey was also a community band leader and taught him to sing and play the trombone. Andy considered becoming a minister but switched his major to music at the University of North Carolina.
His quick wit and southern drawl endeared him to audiences from the very beginning. He did monologues, worked in the theater and was best known there for his role as Will Stockdale in No Time for Sergeants, where he was nominated for a Tony Award in 1956.
His role as a rural county sheriff actually began on an episode of Make Room for Daddy in 1960, and was so popular that it spun off into the Andy Griffith Show in fictional Mayberry, North Carolina.
Sheriff Andy Taylor:
Spouses and Children:
He married Greek actress Solica Cassuto in 1973 and they divorced in 1981.
He married Cindi Knight in 1983.
America Remembers "Paw":
"Well, if ever television offered American dads a reason to emulate a sitcom character, this was the show. Andy taught Opie by example, with life lessons about honesty, compassion, respect. And when he screwed up, as fathers are wont to do, he admitted his mistake. Mayberry was a town of hilarious eccentrics, yet no laugh ever overshadowed the moral compass that guided the show -- the love between father and son." - Allan Walton, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"It was the quintessential American ideal of fatherhood, a Norman Rockwell painting set in motion. By some accounts, Griffith kept his character conspicuously single to let the show focus more on the father-son dynamic, a part of family life that he thought America was already starting to appreciate less. He gave us a father figure who was firm yet merciful, tender but manly, not quite perfect but never bumbling. He was the kind of father every boy wanted and every man hoped to be." - Michael Overall, Tulsa World
"But for teachin’ a young ’un about life and death and right and wrong, how could anyone be better than Andy Taylor? As we watched Opie turn from a child into, well, Ron Howard, it was Andy’s steadfast, honest, devotion that taught us as many lessons as it did his play-acting son.... For a couple generations, Taylor’s portrayal of the Southern sheriff in Mayberry was the gold standard for parenting. His was also the bar we adults tried to reach as people." - Editorial, The Log Cabin Democrat