Andy Griffith's career included TV, Broadway and movies

The Associated Press Published:

Some of the highlights of Andy Griffith's career:

1953

Has a hit single as Deacon Andy Griffith with the comic monologue "What It Was, Was Football!"

1955

Becomes a Broadway star with the hit comedy "No Time for Sergeants," gaining a Tony nomination for best featured (supporting) actor. (Don Knotts also is in the play.) Reaches the record charts again with top 30 "Make Yourself Comfortable."

1957

Makes movie debut in "A Face in the Crowd," playing a homespun television commentator whose corruption is hidden from the public.

1958

Reprises Broadway role in film version "No Time for Sergeants"; once again, Knotts is in the cast.

1959

Returns to Broadway in "Destry Rides Again." Nominated for Tony as best actor in a musical.

October 1960

"The Andy Griffith Show" premieres on CBS. The gentle comedy, co-starring Knotts, Ron Howard, Frances Bavier and Jim Nabors, would become a television classic. It runs for eight years and has remained a favorite in reruns.

1964-70

Spinoff "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.," starring Nabors, runs on CBS.

1968-71

"Mayberry R.F.D.," the sequel show without Griffith but with the Mayberry setting and some continuing characters, runs on ABC.

September 1986: "Matlock," an hour-long drama series starring Griffith as a Southern defense lawyer, premieres on NBC. Later moving to ABC, it runs until 1995.

1996

Release of "I Love to Tell the Story -- 25 Timeless Hymns," an album of gospel songs. It wins Griffith a Grammy for best Southern gospel, country gospel or bluegrass gospel album.

2003

Statue of Andy and Opie from "The Andy Griffith Show" unveiled in Raleigh, N.C., part of a series of TV-related statues in various cities sponsored by the cable network TV Land.

2005

Receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civil award.

2007

Gains new acclaim playing the cranky diner owner in the hit independent film "Waitress."

2008

Teams with country star Brad Paisley on the video for Paisley's single "Waitin' on a Woman." It wins Country Music Association award for best video of the year.

2009

Plays the role of Grandpa Joe in the film "Play the Game."

-- Associated Press

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