Ron Howard learned about more than just the film industry while playing Opie on The Andy Griffith Show. He also learned how to be a classic TV-worthy father.
Howard and Sheriff Taylor star Andy Griffith worked together on the classic series for eight years before the franchise continued with made-for-TV movies and spinoff shows that both actors had their hands in for decades. During their time together, the two formed a unique bond and remained famously close until Griffith passed in 2012.
That bond was similar to real-life fathers and sons. Griffith helped protect and lead Howard while Howard learned about the industry. And apparently, Andy Taylor spread his wisdom as well.
During a joint interview with The Calgary Herald, Howard and Griffith reminisced about their The Andy Griffith Show days. And Howard mentioned that he and his wife, Cheryl, used to ask, “What would Andy do?” when they faced parenting challenges. The couple raised four children; daughters Bryce, Paige, and Jocelyn, and son, Reed.
Andy Griffith Claimed He was Nothing Like His On-Screen Persona
Andy Griffith did not like to take credit for his character’s wisdom, however. While chatting with American Profile, he noted that the public saw Sheriff Taylor as TV’s best dad. In fact, TV Land even named him the “No. 1 television father of all time.” But Griffith said he was not at all the same man as his character.
“Don’t pay any attention to that; that is a persona,” he shared. “I am not any favorite dad; I am not any kind of all-American person. I am just a 79-year-old person. I worship, and I am kind of private.”
The actor was always extremely humble about his real-life personality. He admitted many times that fans blurred the lines between him and Mayberry’s main lawman, but he always claimed he was not as good of a man as Andy Taylor. On one occasion, though, he did share that there were at least a few similarities between the two Andys.
While talking to The Associated Press, according to MeTV, Griffith once said, “I guess you could say I created Andy Taylor. Andy Taylor’s the best part of my mind. The best part of me.”
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