Old School Americana & Nostalgia


How Andy Griffith Created Andy Taylor Out of His Own Best Qualities

How Andy Griffith Created Andy Taylor Out of His Own Best Qualities

If you loved the down-to-earth qualities of Sheriff Taylor in The Andy Griffith Show, then you would’ve been a big fan of Andy Griffith because the character was based on him. Well, “parts” of him. 

The classic TV series was hugely successful in its time, and that was obviously in part because of Sheriff Taylor. When The Andy Griffith Show was airing, the namesake lead said fans assumed the character and the actor were one and the same. But Griffith always insisted that he was not as good of a person as the humble sheriff. Whether or not that’s true, we’ll never know. However, he did admit on at least one occasion that there were some truths to the rumors. 

While speaking to The Associated Press, via MeTV, Griffith said, “I guess you could say I created Andy Taylor. Andy Taylor’s the best part of my mind. The best part of me.” He also noted that despite that, he was neither as “nice” nor as smart as his television persona. 

‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Star Remained Close to His Castmates

Some people claimed that Andy Griffith was very different from his character. His daughter, Dixie, described him as a great father, just like Andy Taylor. But she noted that he was quiet and somber. She explained to Closer Weekly that the death of his son, Andy Griffith Jr., and his three failed marriages affected him deeply. 

Daniel de Visé, writer of Andy & Don: The Making of a Friendship and a Classic American TV Show, also told the publication that the legendary actor sometimes had an “explosive” temper. 

“He punched out a car window and put his fists through doors,” de Visé shared. 

However, despite any rumors surrounding Griffith’s personality, it didn’t seem to hurt his relationships with his The Andy Griffith Show castmates. He had a famously close friendship with Barney Fife actor Don Knotts until Knotts’ passing in 2006, and he remained close to Opie star Ron Howard until Griffith’s passing in 2012. 

Dixie told Closer that “he loved Ron very, very much. They had a deep and abiding respect for each other, and they remained friends till the end.”

Howard also shared the same sentiment in a statement the day Andy Griffith died. 

“His love of creating, the joy he took in it whether it was drama or comedy or his music, was inspiring to grow up around,” he said. “The spirit he created on the set of The Andy Griffith Show was joyful and professional all at once. It was an amazing environment.”