andy-griffith

Andy Griffith died of heart attack

July 5, 2012 at 5:46 PM ET

His portrayal of a small-town sheriff on "The Andy Griffith Show" left an enduring impression on American television.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Actor Andy Griffith, beloved as a small-town sheriff on the popular television program "The Andy Griffith Show," died of a heart attack, according to his death certificate.

Griffith, 86, died on Tuesday at his home in coastal Manteo, North Carolina. According to his death certificate, he was buried in a family cemetery, an employee at the Dare County Register of Deeds Office said on Thursday.

The certificate noted that Griffith had suffered for years from coronary artery disease, hypertension and hyperlipidemia, a condition related to high cholesterol.

Griffith's role as Sheriff Andy Taylor on "The Andy Griffith Show" in the 1960s cemented his place in television history. The show depicted life in the friendly, slow-moving fictional town of Mayberry, which was widely believed to have been based on Griffith's own hometown, Mount Airy, North Carolina.

The actor also created another memorable TV character, playing the folksy criminal defense lawyer in "Matlock" in the 1980s and 1990s.

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