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Officials, stars and fans react to the death of Andy Griffith

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 11:29 AM EDT, Wed July 4, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Andy Griffith "created an aura of reality on the set," Barbara Eden says
  • Griffith "was prepared for the day he would be called Home to his Lord," his wife says
  • He "warmed the hearts of Americans everywhere," President Obama says
  • Film director Ron Howard: Griffith's "pursuit of excellence ... shaped my life"

(CNN) -- Stars, officials and loved ones weighed in Tuesday with their tributes to TV actor Andy Griffith, who died at age 86 in his home state of North Carolina:

-- Cindi Griffith, Andy Griffith's wife: "Andy was a person of incredibly strong Christian faith and was prepared for the day he would be called Home to his Lord."

-- President 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."

White House mourns the death of Andy Griffith

-- Jim Nabors: "I was saddened this morning to learn of the passing of my good friend Andy Griffith. He was a legend. My thoughts and prayers are with Andy's family."

-- Ron Howard: "His pursuit of excellence and the joy he took in creating served generations & shaped my life," the film director, who played Opie Taylor on "The Andy Griffith Show," said on his Twitter page. "I'm forever grateful RIP Andy."

Andy Griffith, famous for his starring role in "The Andy Griffith Show," was an actor, director, producer and Grammy-winning Southern gospel singer and writer. He died Tuesday, July 3, at 86. Click through the gallery to see a glimpse of his career and life. Andy Griffith, famous for his starring role in "The Andy Griffith Show," was an actor, director, producer and Grammy-winning Southern gospel singer and writer. He died Tuesday, July 3, at 86. Click through the gallery to see a glimpse of his career and life.
Andy Griffith through the years
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Photos: Andy Griffith\'s life and career Photos: Andy Griffith's life and career
Eden: Griffith was a 'wonderful man'
Griffith co-star: Andy one of a kind

-- Barbara Eden: "His talent created an aura of reality on the set," said Eden, who appeared on "The Andy Griffith Show" before starring in "I Dream of Jeannie." "He was so honest and so centered, sometimes you didn't know if you were having a discussion with him or if you were doing the lines."

-- North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue: "North Carolina has lost its favorite son. 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."

-- Nancy Stafford, Andy Griffith's co-star on "Matlock": "I'm heartsick....I am forever grateful for the 5 wonderful years I worked with Andy. They were a highlight of my life -- I've never laughed so hard or learned so much! He has left an indelible mark on my life -- and the lives of countless millions. He was a consummate professional, an American treasure, and a dear man."

-- Larry King: "Sad to hear news of Andy Griffith's death," the former CNN talk show host tweeted. "He was a terrific actor, a great comedian, an endearing person. He lived a long & fruitful life."

-- Country singer Brad Paisley: "An actor who never looked like he was acting, a moral compass who saved as many souls as most preachers, and an entertainer who put smiles on more faces than almost anyone; this was as successful a life as is pretty much possible. Andy Griffith made the world a better place, and I was so proud to call him a friend."

-- Actor Jeff Daniels: "Growing up, I watched ("The Andy Griffith Show") religiously," Daniels tweeted. "One of the reasons why I now do what I do. RIP Andy."

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