Yes, Deputy Barney Fife was a cartoon and the Andy Griffith Show was never about cops and robbers. But in the midst of the gentle comedy in a fictional small North Carolina town was a sheriff with wisdom, compassion, and heart.
Griffin first achieved fame with a brilliant spoken monologue, What It Was, Was Football, in the 1950s, and eventually starred in more than two dozen movies and in a total of five television series. He did both comedic and dramatic roles, and he was a gospel singer.
But it was Sheriff Andy Taylor, as portrayed on the Andy Griffith show beginning in 1960 and continuing in reruns to this day, for which Griffith is best known and by which generations of people met their first small-town sheriff.
You can listen to Griffith’s spoken monologue, What It Was, Was Football, here.