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Friend: Andy Griffith dead at 86; NC reacts

DARE COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Legendary actor Andy Griffith has died, according to a close friend, multiple news outlets are reporting.

The news came from former University of North Carolina President Bill Friday, a close friend of Griffith’s.

Emergency medical crews were called this morning to the North Carolina home of actor Andy Griffith, the Dare County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to ABC News.

Griffith is best known for his 1960s TV show “The Andy Griffith Show” set in the fictional town of Mayberry, NC. He also starred in the late 1980s and early ’90s in the crime drama “Matlock,” which filmed its last three seasons in Wilmington.

Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) learned of Griffith’s death while doing an interview at WWAY.

“He put North Carolina on the map,” Sen. Hagan said. “Mayberry, NC. So many people have heard about it and responded, and although it’s a fictional town, Andy Griffith is an iconic figure that I think represents the best of southern hospitality and a southern gentlemen. I’ve met him. I know a lot of people that know Andy Griffith very well, and, oh, my goodness, North Carolina has benefited from this man’s presence.”

Hagan’s Republican colleague in the US Senate Richard Burr and his wife Brooke also offered their condolences.

“Brooke and I were very sad to learn of the passing of Andy Griffith today,” Sen. Burr said in a statement. “Andy was a true North Carolina icon who introduced many people across the country and across the world to our great state for the first time. While his passing is sad, the legacy he leaves through his work on television and in his community will remain timeless, and future generations will be able to enjoy and appreciate his talent for years to come.”

More: continued here

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