‘The Andy Griffith Show’: Everything to Know About Andy’s Backyard Wedding

by Atlanta Northcutt
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The Andy Griffith Show is as timeless as they come. However, Griffith’s relationship with his second wife Solica Cassuto isn’t nearly as timeless seeing as the couple later divorced after eight years of marriage.

Griffith and Cassuto aren’t two individuals you’d typically put together. They were very different from each other with the sheriff of Mayberry being a conservative, country, and manly-man. Solica was the complete opposite of the actor, as she was an open, free-spirited flower child.

“A more unlikely couple you never saw,” Ken Berry wrote in the book Andy and Don: The Making of a Friendship and a Classic American TV Show.

Griffith and Solica Marry In Backyard Ceremony

Perhaps the two balanced each other out. Either way, their differences didn’t disrupt the love they shared, and the two wed in the mid-70s.

In 1973, Griffith and Greek actress Solica Cassuto tied the knot in a simple backyard wedding.

The wedding was simple, yet elegant. A large harp was positioned in the middle of the backyard where the intimate ceremony took place. While standing side-by-side sharing their vows, the two looked as different as night and day. Ken describes the bride as looking “like a flower child”.

“I don’t mean that in a bad way,” Berry explains. “But the image that Andy has — you would just never pick them as a couple.”

The backyard where the wedding was held was a special place for the newlyweds, seeing as it was part of the first home the couple shared together. Bing Crosby had previously owned the house, and Griffith said that he and Solica would occasionally play Crosby’s records.

“We pretend it’s Bing singing in our shower,” Griffith jokingly told Detroit Free Press during a 1975 interview. He also said that Solica was a great wife who “puts up with me and my children”, is a fine person, and cares about my kids.”

Following the small, intimate wedding, the couple went off to spend a lovely honeymoon together.

Andy Griffith Takes His New Wife To His Hometown

In a 1977 interview with The Times, the actor expressed how he would bring his wife back to his hometown of Mt. Airy, North Carolina. Andy had a special connection with the area, as he would escape Hollywood to enjoy the small town, mountains, privacy, and peace and quiet. She visited the family’s farm and met Andy’s loved ones and their livestock.

Andy gushed about being a “happy man” during that time. He also recognized that Solica would be completely out of her comfort zone as the “flower child” bride meeting his family. But he added, “So are the relatives.”

When asked what the couple would do for fun in his hometown, Griffith responded, “We can fish.” This response sounds like one that would come straight from the sheriff of Mayberry on The Andy Griffith Show.

Differences Divide The Couple

However, the cultural differences between the two finally divided the couple, and they divorced in 1981.

Griffith explained to The Star-Phoenix that it was another culture shock that Andy felt was “too painful.”

Griffith married his first wife Barbara Bray Edwards in August of 1949. The husband and wife adopted two children named Dixie Nann Griffith and Andy Samuel Griffith Jr., who went by Sam. Unfortunately, Sam died in 1996 after years of struggling with alcoholism. Andy and Barbara divorced in 1972, and Griffith was quick to remarry his second wife Cassuto. They didn’t have any children together.

Andy Griffith found success on the Andy Griffith Show, but he also found happiness and true love with a fellow actor named Cindi Knight while on the set of Murder in Coweta County. They married in 1983 and stayed together until 2012 when Griffith passed away from a heart attack at the age of 86.

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