Born in Mount Airy, North Carolina, Andy Griffith broke into the entertainment industry at the young age of 29 with his starring role as Will Stockdale in the one-hour teleplay, No Time for Sergeants. Though it was his first role, the teleplay was a hit, garnering multiple Emmy nominations and transitioning to a full-blown Broadway play and a feature film, also starring Andy Griffith.
From there, Griffith made his way through the ranks of Hollywood, landing leading roles in both film and television. Then came the 1960 smash hit series, The Andy Griffith Show. His eight years as Sheriff Andy Taylor sent Andy Griffith’s career skyrocketing, earning him both the admiration of the entertainment industry and a considerable net worth.
In 1967, Griffith hung up his sheriff’s hat in search of new challenges and found his way to the titular role of Ben Matlock in the legal drama Matlock. In just one season, Andy Griffith turned Matlock into a ratings powerhouse, boosting both Griffith’s reputation and bank account even further.
The Andy Griffith Show and Matlock are by Griffith’s biggest successes. However, the acclaimed actor has 70 other acting credits to his name. With his dozens of roles and nearly six decades in the entertainment industry, Andy Griffith accumulated a staggering net worth – here’s all the details.
Andy Griffith’s Net Worth Was Around $60 Million
As Andy Griffith is one of very few Hollywood stars to have his own museum, it’s no surprise that at the time of his death in 2012, he had amassed a considerable fortune. Between his roles as an actor, gospel singer, writer, and television producer, Andy Griffith accumulated a net worth of around $60 million.
During his time with The Andy Griffith Show, Griffith made around $84,000 per year. While this might seem like a meager amount, keep in mind that this was $84K in the 1960s. Today, that sum is worth about $800,000.
Additionally, Andy Griffith was part-owner of The Andy Griffith Show, one of the most successful sitcoms of its time. This means he received royalties and residuals on top of his base salary, a rarity at the time. Most early TV actors earned nothing beyond their contracted salary; they had no rights to the reruns.
Who Inherited Andy Griffith’s Fortune When He Died?
On July 3, 2012, beloved actor Andy Griffith passed away after suffering a heart attack at the age of 86 in his home in Manteo, Roanoke Island, North Carolina. He was buried in the Griffith family cemetery on the island within hours of his passing.
It’s unknown where, exactly, Andy Griffith’s fortune went after his death. However, it’s rumored that half went to his wife and the other half to his daughter. Following Griffith’s passing, the actor’s widow, Cindi Griffith sparked controversy when she received a permit to demolish the late star’s home less than a year after his death.
Both locals and friends of Andy Griffith were outraged by the news. In an interview with USA Today, Della Basnight, friend of Andy Griffith, spoke openly about the affront. “When he gave her the power to do anything,” Basnight said. “I don’t think he thought she would want to do that.”
Ira David Wood, another friend of Griffith’s chimed in as well. “I always assumed the property would be eventually preserved and opened to the public,” he said. “I imagine Cindi has her reasons. And I don’t pretend to know what they are. It’s a beautiful bit of property with a lot of memories attached to it. I just hope they’re not moving too fast.”