Former UNC President Bill Friday says Andy Griffith died this morning in Dare County. Friday, who is a close friend of the actor, confirmed that to WITN News.
Dare County Sheriff Doug Doughtie has also confirmed Griffith's death to WITN News.
Friday told us the 86-year-old actor died at his Roanoke Island home around 7:00 a.m. this morning.
Griffith was born in Mount Airy and attended UNC Chapel Hill where he earned a degree in Music. His first job out of college was choral director at Goldsboro High School.
His legacy role, which earned him the title of "America's Favorite Sheriff"on "The Andy Griffith" show, set in fictional Mayberry, put North Carolina on the map in the entertainment industry. The show ran from 1960-1968, propelling a handful of spin-off programs. Griffith also produced and starred in the television series "Matlock."
Visiting Eastern Carolina this morning, U.S. Senator Kay Hagan says Griffith was an iconic figure in the state. "His show was known not only in our nation, but around the world," Hagan told WITN's Brittany Creamer. "My thoughts and prayers are with his family."
Griffith received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 from President George W. Bush.
Dare County Sheriff Doug Doughtie confirms to WITN News that an ambulance went to Andy Griffith's home at 7 a.m. this morning.
The sheriff says he is checking to get more information on the condition of the person who the ambulance was called for.
The 86-year-old Griffith lives on Roanoke Island, not far from the Lost Colony, a play he performed in right after high school.
Griffith was born in Mount Airy, and is most known for his role as "Andy Taylor" from 1960 to 1968.
Stay with WITN News and witn.com for more on this developing story.