Although he became a household name over the years, Andy Griffith’s successful acting career came to a head when his hit series “The Andy Griffith Show” made its debut in 1960.
According to IMDb, The Andy Griffith Show follows widower Sheriff Andy Taylor and his son Opie. The duo lived with Taylor’s Aunt Bee in Mayberry, North Carolina. While there were virtually no crimes to solve in the small town, Taylor would spend his time philosophizing and hang out with his cousin, Deputy Barney Fife. Starring alongside Griffith on the series was Ron Howard, Don Knotts, Frances Bavier, Colin Male, and Howard McNear.
“The Andy Griffith Show” first premiered on October 3, 1960. Over the years, the series won various awards, including a couple of Emmys for Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role by an Actor or Actress (Don Knotts); and Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Comedy (Frances Bavier). Andy Griffith also secured a Single Dad of the Year award at the 2003 TV Land Awards.
So, when did “The Andy Griffith Show” come to an end? The last episode of the hit series was on April 1, 1968. The show has a total of eight seasons and 249 episodes. However, the cast and crew would reunite for various shows. This includes the reunion telemovie “Return to Mayberry” as well as the spinoff “The New Andy Griffith Show.”
The castmates would also come together for other reunion specials such as “The Andy Griffith Show: Back to Mayberry.”
Prior to the End of ‘The Andy Griffith Show,’ Andy Griffith Spoke About Why the Show Was So Popular
During an interview with The New York Times, Andy Griffith spoke about “The Andy Griffith Show” and its popularity. “I think it is because we, everyone on eat show, have a real sense of community. Of kindness toward one another. The basic rule by which we live comes through on the program. Kindness comes through.”
Andy Griffith further explained that the show also has a number of featured performers. They are each with a “definite” character that the show’s writers were able to write into any episode. “But equally important is the character of Mayberry itself. We try to make it a real little community with its small problems and those of its people put forth comedically.”
When asked about his character, Andy Taylor, Andy Griffith stated, “I get enormous satisfaction from my role as Andy Taylor.”
However, Andy Griffith went on to add that he would like to go out for other roles. When asked if if critics were correct by stating he performs the same role over and over again, Griffith added, “Andy Taylor contains the best part of myself. The best part. There are other parts of me never seen on the scene.”