‘The Andy Griffith Show’: A Rare Look at Griffith’s Home Life When the Show Premiered

by Megan Molseed
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When you have a show literally named after you, some may assume the fame would go to your head. This was not the case for actor Andy Griffith, star of “The Andy Griffith Show.” 

ME-TV recently reported that when the hit sitcom premiered in 1960, Andy Griffith sat down with The Gettysburg TImes to discuss his show, his home life, and adjusting to the fame that comes with headlining his own sitcom. 

At the time, the television star was getting to know life in the fictional town of Mayberry, where Griffith played the lovable and easy-going sheriff, Andy Taylor. He was also getting to know his costar, little “Ronny” Howard. 

While talking with the Gettysburg Times over 60 years ago, Andy Griffith discussed raising his own children, and how that helped him connect with the young star that played his son, Opie on the “Andy Griffith Show.”

“These little kids can’t read, y’see,” Griffith told the Gettysburg Times about working with young actors. 

“Their folks read them the lines. I just think it’s marvelous that they remember as well as they do,” Griffith continued. “So I help ’em along a bit. Sorta move my lips when the camera isn’t on me, to give ’em a cue. It saves time in retakes.”

When the show premiered in 1960, Andy Griffith had two children, a son, Sam who was two years old, and a 10-month-old daughter named Dixie. 

Andy Griffith’s Home Life Always Came First

According ot the ME-TV article, Andy Griffith told the news outlet that he felt his children were his easiest audience yet, joking that this didn’t “amount to much when it came to helping him with his growing fame.

“I reckon they’re a little too young and a little too prejudiced to take their words as gospel,” Griffith joked during the interview. “Sam figures if I let him crawl all over me, I’m the best old man in the world. And if I jiggle Dixie on my knee, well she laughs, too. Can’t prove a thing by them.”

While The Andy Griffith Show cast was mostly far from the Hollywood party scene, it wasn’t unheard of for the cast to break out into impromptu bluegrass picking and dancing behind the scenes, according to the article. 

“It’s a happy company we’ve got,” ME-TV reported Andy Griffith said in the 1960 interview. “No one ever yells at anyone,” Griffith continued, adding that yelling is something he cannot stand. 

“Loud voices just irritate me,”  he said. “You’ll never get anything out of me by yelling. Or pushing. We just talk things over quiet-like and get a lot more done.”

In the interview, Griffith also talked about how he and his wife, Barbara led the life of a typical couple balancing careers and family- despite what some may think fame would bring. 

“I’m in bed and asleep by 10 or 10:30 at the latest,” Andy Griffith said. “And on weekends, well if Barbara, my wife, and I are up until midnight, talking or watching TV. It’s a big thing!”

Outsider.com