Andy Griffith’s Best Quotes: Thoughts on Acting, Getting Older and Life’s Lessons

by Emily Morgan
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Andy Samuel Griffith was so much more than his character, Andy Taylor, on “The Andy Griffith Show.” Besides being an actor, he was a comedian, television producer, southern gospel singer, and writer.

His successful career spanned seven decades in music and television. Known for his Southern drawl and classic good looks, Griffith was a Tony Award nominee for two roles. He also gained prominence in the starring role in director Elia Kazan’s film A Face in the Crowd before he became better known for his television role as Sheriff in the fictional town of Mayberry, North Carolina.

After years of success, there’s no doubt he delivered some memorable quotes throughout his life. 

On Gaining Respect 

“When a man carries a gun all the time, the respect he thinks he’s getting might really be fear. So I don’t carry a gun because I don’t want the people of Mayberry to fear a gun. I’d rather they respect me.”

As Mayberry’s Sheriff, Andy Taylor knew he had all eyes on him. His character became the perfect example of how any man should garner respect. Instead of demanding respect, Taylor proved himself worthy of it without using force. Even though the show was filled with mostly light-hearted moments, Taylor’s lessons of life were always well-received. 

On Acting

“If you think and feel what you’re supposed to think and feel, hard enough, it’ll come out through your eyes – and the camera will see it.”

Don’t let the casual banter of The Andy Griffith Show fool you: its lessons on life were sincere, which made the show such a success. Griffith’s talent as an actor is evident in his dedication to his lines and the characters he played.

Andy Griffith On His Southern Pride

“I am proud of my connections to Carolina and pleased to know that some results from a lifetime of work on television, film, stage, and recordings will have a permanent home in Chapel Hill.”

Even though it didn’t take long for Griffith to rise to fame, he remained loyal to his North Carolina roots. Unlike many stars, he didn’t let the glamour of Hollywood stray him away from his friends and family back home. 

Life’s Little Lessons

“Don’t pick your peaches till they’re fuzzed up good.” 

This one is many fans’ personal favorite. While it may be a simple metaphor about life— its meaning remains true. Griffith reminds us that we should work hard to make a successful life and to always stay patient. 

Getting Older

“You know when you’re young you think you will always be. As you become more fragile, you reflect and you realize how much comfort can come from the past.”

Griffith always had a way of seamlessly describing a feeling so many struggle to put into words. In this quote about being young, he perfectly sums up the feeling of staying young forever and longing to go back to that time. 

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