Most country music fans know Randy Travis for his silky smooth baritone vocals. He released several hit songs over the course of his career. You can still hear his voice coming out of the speakers of fans who remember the good old days. In 2013, Randy had a massive stroke that pretty much ended his career.
That stroke didn’t just silence one of the most beautiful voices in country music, though. It also put an early end to Randy Travis’ acting career. He was in several television shows and feature films. His filmography includes The Rainmaker, Touched by an Angel, Black Dog, and many more. He also lent his voice to many animated projects. However, his first real acting role was in 1992. He played a down-on-his-luck musician named Billy Wheeler on Matlock.
That role was a huge step forward for Randy Travis. In fact, he learned a lot about acting in his first appearance on the show. On the morning that the world found out about the passing of Matlock star Andy Griffith, Travis called in to Fox Nashville to say a few words about the late actor, comedian, and musician. During that brief call. he talked about what Griffith meant to him as well as the acting lesson that he got from Griffith.
Andy Griffith Taught Randy Travis How to Act
During the call, Randy Travis said that he got to know Andy Griffith while shooting Matlock. He did two episodes of the show. So, he had some time to chat with the star. He told Fox Nashville that Griffith was one of the nicest, most down-to-earth, and easiest to like people he had ever met.
During that first episode, Travis had never done any real acting. Before that, his only role was an uncredited one in the 1988 film Young Guns. They were about to do a scene in which Randy Travis started out calm and was angry by the end. So, Griffith came out to his trailer to talk him through the scene. That turned into an impromptu acting lesson.
Randy Travis was grateful for the help. However, he said he almost laughed a few times during the lesson. According to Travis, it sounded so much like Sheriff Taylor talking to Opie that he really got a kick out of the scenario.
Randy Travis went on to say that Andy Griffith would be missed by many artists in the country music genre. He recalled that in the early days of his career, when he toured with several different performers, that many artists would go to sleep watching reruns of The Andy Griffith Show. He also said that a good portion of those artists could remember and quote the dialog from the classic series word-for-word.