He might have received immortality for his iconic work on The Andy Griffth Show in the 1960s and become a punchline on elderly viewing habits for his Matlock series in the 1980s and 1990s, but Andy Griffith had a long and varied career that touched just about every medium of popular culture.
Griffith’s career in show business started in early 1950s as a monologist, telling humorous stories from a rural Southern perspective. His career as a comedian led to work primarily on the Broadway stage with some appearances on television.
Griffith’s career took off with his starring role in the 1957 Elia Kazan film, A Face in the Crowd. He played Lonesome Rhodes, a character loosely based on radio and TV host Arthur Godfrey. The film was a dark commentary on what it took to become a media celebrity and would gain popularity and acclaim as the years went on.
Griffith would spend most of the remainder of his career on television, starring in the series mentioned above and various guest appearances. However, he would take the occasional film role in films such as Rustler’s Rhapsody, Spy Hard and Waitress.