Andy Griffith had to prove he was still a good actor after The Andy Griffith Show ended
"They all told me, 'You're not Andy Griffith. You're Andy Taylor,'" Griffith said.
Andy Griffith had a very successful career that lasted for decades. He was destined for greatness, starring in films and TV shows and releasing Grammy-winning musical projects.
Behind every success story, there's a chapter detailing the hardships an actor faced to prove their worth. Griffith had to work hard to become a TV Hall-of-Famer, and even after the success of The Andy Griffith Show, he was forced to prove his acting abilities.
In November 1992, Andy Griffith was inducted into the TV Hall of Fame. After the ceremony, the actor spoke with an Associated Press writer about The Andy Griffith Show and his then-current series Matlock. The writer asked, "And then [you'll] hang it up?" which surprised Griffith.
"I'm never going to retire. I cannot live without comedy. I suppose that when we film the last Matlock, it's reasonable to assume that my career might be over, but I can't see it that way," the actor said.
Griffith, then only 66 years old, felt there was no reason to end his career after Matlock, especially since the road to becoming a TV icon wasn't easy.
"It came too hard to give up easily. There were times in my life when I was sure I would not make it as an actor. I once tried for a part in a barbershop quartet and was cut. I was once cast opposite Mae West, and she cut me. I thought I would never get another part," he added.
The Andy Griffith Show is a series many generations of families can watch and appreciate. With its success, you'd think people would've been running to work with Griffith, but that didn't happen.
"After The Andy Griffith Show ended, I could not get a part for a long time. I tried everywhere, but they all told me, 'You're not Andy Griffith. You're Andy Taylor. We don't need Andy Taylor.' So I could get only the role of a heavy. I became known as a heavy. I had to prove again that I was an actor."
Making Andy Griffith prove he could play other parts seems absurd because his credits already showed that he wasn't just Andy Taylor. Yet, he did what he had to do.
"I took what I could get because I cannot live without acting. It's my life."