Who knew volleyball would be the link between Andy Griffith and his third wife. In fact, it was at a game where Griffith met Cindi Knight.
In 1978, Knight, who was a dancer and actress, found herself in a play called “The Lost Colony” in Manteo, N.C. She met Griffith at a volleyball game her “Lost Colony” castmates were hosting. Andy Griffith, who had a summer home in Manteo, and Knight soon became friends.
Knight, who is from Jacksonville, Fla., decided to pursue an acting career and move to Los Angeles in 1980. Griffith would act as adviser for Knight during her career.
Andy Griffith Receives Much-Needed Support From Knight
As it turns out, according to a 2012 article in the Jacksonville Times-Union, Griffith and Knight wed in 1983. She was married to Griffith for 29 years. Knight left acting behind to take care of an ill Griffith, who in 1983 suffered from Guillain-Barre Syndrome. It’s a viral nerve infection that affected Griffith’s ability to walk and move.
She got Griffith back into good health and played an advisory role in his career along side being his wife. So, she switched roles with her husband as it turns out.
“This woman has brought me more joy than I’ve ever known,” Andy Griffith said in an Associated Press interview. The 29-year age difference between Griffith and Knight didn’t matter to them, they both said.
They remained married until Griffith’s death on July 3, 2012, at 86 years old. He died, ironically, in Manteo.
Griffith Tackles Role In Spy Spoof Film With Leslie Nielsen
So many people are used to seeing Griffith in his iconic roles as Sheriff Andy Taylor and Ben Matlock. But there was one movie where he stretched beyond those roles.
Griffith played General Rancor in the movie “Spy Hard,” starring Leslie Nielsen. In the movie, Nielsen plays Secret Agent Dick Steele, also known as “WD-40.”
General Rancor is Steele’s nemesis. It leads to a final showdown between Rancor, Steele and his partner Agent 3.14 Veronique Ukrinsky, played by Nicolette Sheridan. Steele and Ukrinsky looked to stop Rancor from taking over the world.
In the end, Rancor doesn’t win and Steele comes out as victorious. One could believe both Griffith and Nielsen had a lot of fun. They probably shared a few laughs as veteran actors might find themselves doing in this type of movie.