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Reaction to Andy Griffith's death widespread

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Reaction to Andy Griffith's death has been widespread, among fans of his television roles to Tar Heel politicians.

Family statement

Andy Griffith's family released this statement at about noon Tuesday:

Andy Griffith passed away, after an illness, during the early morning on July 3 at his home in Manteo, N.C., with his wife Cindi at his side. He was 86 years old.

Mr. Griffith has been laid to rest on his beloved Roanoke Island. His favorite causes were Outer Banks Conservationists and the Griffith Scholarship Fund at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Cindi Griffith, wife of Andy Griffith

“Andy was a person of incredibly strong Christian faith and was prepared for the day he would be called Home to his Lord. He is the love of my life, my constant companion, my partner, and my best friend. I cannot imagine life without Andy, but I take comfort and strength in God’s Grace and in the knowledge that Andy is at peace and with God.”

Ron Howard

The Hollywood director who played Andy's son, Opie, on The Andy Griffith Show tweeted this:

"Andy Griffith His pursuit of excellence and the joy he took in creating served generations & shaped my life I'm forever grateful RIP Andy"

Pres. Barack Obama

"Michelle and I were saddened to hear about the passing of Andy Griffith this morning. A performer of extraordinary talent, Andy was beloved by generations of fans and revered by entertainers who followed in his footsteps. He brought us characters from Sheriff Andy Taylor to Ben Matlock, and in the process, warmed the hearts of Americans everywhere. Our thoughts and prayers are with Andy’s family."

Gov. Bev Perdue

“North Carolina has lost its favorite son. Andy Griffith graciously stepped into the living rooms of generations of Americans, always with the playful charm that made him the standard by which entertainers would be measured for decades.

Throughout his career, he represented everything that was good about North Carolina: a small town boy and UNC graduate who took a light-hearted approach to some of the attributes he grew up with and turned them into a spectacularly successful career. And regardless of where that career took him, he always came back to North Carolina and spent his final years here.

In an increasingly complicated world, we all yearn for the days of Mayberry. We all will miss Andy, and I will dearly miss my friend.”

Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton

"I am saddened to hear of the passing of Andy Griffith, a true legend. I have been a longtime fan and it was my pleasure to come to know him. Andy Griffith was not only an icon for North Carolina, but he was a genuine person and a true gentleman. Lucille and a send our thoughts and prayers to Cindi and the entire Griffith family."

Sen. Richard Burr

“Brooke and I were very sad to learn of the passing of Andy Griffith today. 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.”

Sen. Kay Hagan

From Twitter: "Andy Griffith was great man who embodied southern hospitality & put North Carolina on map by making Mayberry famous. He will be missed"

Former N.C. House Speaker Joe Hackney

"He is one of those enduring figures of North Carolina history. Everybody loves him. That's a testament to his staying power that his shows are still running everyday across North Carolina. I saw one the other day. It was great to have him on our side time to time. He was beloved by everyone regardless of political party."

Rep. Sarah Stevens, R, Surry

"It's the loss of an icon, it's a great memory for our town. We do honor a lot of the tradition and moral fiber that he presented to Mount Airy. He still has a lot of friends there. His best friend Emmett, my niece's grandfather on the other side was Otis. We have a lot of fond memories of Andy Griffith and The Andy Griffith Show."

N.C. Division of Tourism, Film & Sports Development

"Andy Griffith was a great North Carolinian, and he made countless contributions to tourism in our state. His hometown of Mt. Airy, the real-life Mayberry, continues to charm nostalgic visitors from all over the world. After playing the role of Sir Walter Raleigh in “The Lost Colony” in Manteo, Griffith loved the Outer Banks so much that he made his permanent home there. His hit show “Matlock,” filmed at Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington as well as many other locations along the North Carolina coast, gave an early boost to the state’s film industry. Griffith’s first public performance of “What It Was Was Football” was in a ballroom at the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill. Andy Griffith embodied the immense pride that so many North Carolinians feel about our home state, and we will miss him dearly.”

News 14 Carolina's Rebecca Fath has reaction from fans in the Triangle ClientIP: UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP