‘The Andy Griffith Show’: Griffith Spoke on His Father’s Influence, Said He ‘Never Understood’ Showbusiness

by Will Shepard

Andy Griffith was one of America’s favorite TV father figures during his time on The Andy Griffith Show. He played the role of a single dad who raised a kind, respectful, and intelligent son. Consequently, he was praised as the role model father.

But, his relationship with his own father was a little bit more complicated. Even though Griffith played the part of Opie’s father so well on The Andy Griffith Show, it wasn’t necessarily representative of his own relationship with his father.

During an old interview with On the Record, Griffith talked about his father’s influence. He was an only child, so his parents’ influence on his life was remarkable. His father, in particular, played a huge role in shaping his life.

The interview is kept light, but could there be a deeper set of feelings that Andy had about his relationship with his dad? You can be the judge of that question.

Andy Griffith Discussed Father’s View on Acting

Nonetheless, Ralph Emery asked Andy Griffith how his parents’ influence shaped his acting career. So, Griffith began to talk about how much his father contributed to his ability in front of the camera.

He explained that he got his musical talent from his mother. Then, he talked about how his father – and his mother – only finished fourth grade.

“But my father was extremely bright and had a brilliant sense of humor. I still do takes that my father would take. If he saw a beautiful woman,” Andy explained how his dad would turn around mesmerized.

“We’d listen to the Lone Ranger, and at the end, they’d say who was that masked man? They’d say that was Lone Ranger.” Acting out what his father would do, Griffith turned, shaking his head, and exhaled in a whistle.

“I loved my father,” Griffith continued. “He lived to be 80. He smoked cigarettes every minute of his life. And, he didn’t know, nor did I know that I was going into showbusiness. He never understood why. A nightclub full of people would come to hear one person talk and laugh at what he would say. He never understood that.”

Whether or not Griffith’s father was supportive of his acting career, The Andy Griffith Show star forged ahead anyway. There are certainly valuable things that he picked up from his mother and father.

It seems that The Andy Griffith Show fans have Griffith’s dad to thank for his comedic ability. So, while there was clearly an excellent relationship between the two men, do you think there was something deeper that Griffith wanted?