This edition of Biography chronicles the life of one of America's most endearing entrertainers, Andy Griffith. Griffith made his television debut on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1954. That same year, he won a role in the TV version of Ira Levin's play, No Time for Sergeants. When the play was produced on Broadway in 1955, it became a hit, and Griffith was nominated for a Tony Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor. He was also a regular, with friend Don Knotts, on the NBC variety series, The Steve Allen Show, from 1959 to 1960.
A short time later CBS gave him his own sitcom, The Andy Griffith Show, in which he played the gentle, philosophical small-town Sheriff Andy Taylor. The show was a tremendous success, consistently ranking among the most popular sitcoms during the entirety of its eight-year run. Knotts co-starred from 1960 to 1965, as Taylor's high-strung deputy sheriff, Barney Fife. The young Ron Howard also co-starred, as the sheriff's red-haired son, Opie.
Griffith made a triumphant return to TV stardom in 1986 as the title character in the courtroom drama series Matlock, which aired during prime time on NBC from 1986 to 1992 and on ABC from 1993 to 1995. Meanwhile, fan allegiance to The Andy Griffith Show has continued through re-runs.
~ John Patrick Sheehan, Rovi