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Andy Griffith, Matlock Star, Dead at 86

For one of the television courtroom’s most shrewd men, it’s time to say finally, “the prosecution rests.”

Andy Griffith, star of The Andy Griffith Show and Matlock, has passed away at the age of 86. Initially studying to become a preacher, Griffith started his acting career on television and Broadway, eventually playing affable widowed sheriff Andy Taylor of small town Mayberry on The Andy Griffith Show alongside Don Knotts and a young Ron Howard. The show ran for eight seasons, and eventually lead Griffith to play lawyer Ben Matlock on the television drama Matlock. A long way from Law & Order, maybe, but for many Griffith’s Matlock character was a television classic.

Since Matlock ended in 1995, Griffith appeared sporadically in films in addition to releasing several country gospel albums.