(Reuters) - Actor Andy Griffith, whose portrayal of a small-town sheriff made "The Andy Griffith Show" one of American television's most enduring shows, has died at his North Carolina home at age 86, the Dare County Sheriff said on Tuesday.
"At approximately 7:00 AM, July 3, 2012, Andy Griffith passed away at his home on Roanoke Island, Dare County, North Carolina. The family will release further information shortly," Sheriff J.D. "Dough" Doughtie said in a written statement.
"We appreciate your concern and I extend my condolences to the family."
Griffith created another memorable character, the folksy defense lawyer in "Matlock" in the 1980s and '90s, but it was his portrayal of Sheriff Andy Taylor on the "The Andy Griffith Show" in the 1960s that gave him a place in U.S. television history.
The show portrayed life in the friendly, slow-moving fictional town of Mayberry, North Carolina, which was widely believed to have been based on Griffith's own hometown, Mount Airy, North Carolina.
(Reporting by Bill Trott and Jane Sutton; Editing by Eric Beech)