Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
Andy Griffith, 1926-2012
A reflection of small-town America
Hearing news of Andy Griffith’s death made me pause [“Iconic actor Andy Griffith a pivotal figure,” news, July 4] as yet another beloved icon of my childhood has slipped into eternity. Griffith as Andy Taylor was the folksy, wise protagonist sheriff with perhaps the world’s easiest job — that’s because it was in Mayberry. In Mayberry, after all, nobody ever got shot. Maybe now and then Don Knott’s deputy Barney Fife would issue a parking ticket, if it was a busy day.
Although Southern-bred characters were his forte, his acting range was far more versatile. In 1983’s gripping made-for-TV film “Murder in Coweta County,” Griffith was hypnotically effective.
Griffith soon after entered a second career with an amiable Southern version of Perry Mason in the legal drama “Matlock.” Some of that generation of actors made you forget they were acting, which is the highest compliment for an actor.
Griffith’s version of life in small-town America, like the catchy whistling tune that was his first TV show’s theme, has an appeal and an innocence that endures. It would not be an exaggeration that Griffith, his body of work and Mayberry itself all reflected part of what was always best about America.
— Carlo Caraccioli, Kent