Andy Griffith had trouble living up to the high standards of Andy Taylor

Griffith himself on his shortcomings as a husband.

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When we tune in for hundreds of episodes over years and years, it's nearly impossible not to equate the actors with their roles. Typecasting happens when we can't distinguish the characters from the people that play them. It happened to Max Baer, Jr. It happened to Bob Denver. It happened to George Lindsey. And those are just a few of the folks who went through the trouble of speaking on the issue to the press.

Television is such a powerful medium that we constantly conflate TV characters with the actors who play them.

Because Mayberry is presented as such an ideal small town with such charming residents, we want to take it at face value. We want to believe there's a Mayberry and a Sheriff Taylor and an Opie and a Barney. Because if they exist, then maybe the world is a little friendlier than it can seem outside our own front door. 

That's the magic of television, though. It can make us believe things that aren't true. 

Take Andy Griffith, the iconic actor who made us all believe in the benevolence of local law enforcement. His Sheriff Taylor was the image of levelheaded fatherhood. On The Andy Griffith Show, Griffith made us believe in him as a just, forthright, honest man with everyone's best intentions at heart. While that may have been the case for Sheriff Taylor, the details of Griffith's interior life paint a different picture.

The summer of 1963 was, arguably, the peak of Andy Griffith's career. The season marked a production hiatus between The Andy Griffith Show's third and fourth seasons. With no new episodes to write about, the press instead turned their attention towards Griffith's marriage, which many predicted was splintering. 

TV Radio Mirror was able to get Griffith to speak candidly about the problems in his home life. He was so forthcoming that the supermarket tabloid was able to run a seven-page piece about the salacious details. The most damning passages, from Griffith himself, came as TV Radio Mirror pressed the actor about the burdens his wife faced supporting a Hollywood icon.

"I'll give you a direct answer," said Griffith. "And that is that I guess I am somewhat arrogant sometimes, sure. But so's everybody. And I do have a purty violent temper. Ah sure do. Both at work and at home."

Luckily for viewers like us, Andy Taylor lives in morally upright, rose-tinted amber in re-runs forever.

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9 Comments

FLETCH 4 months ago
Actually, this article doesn't even scratch the surface of Andy's "shortcomings" He was nothing like Sheriff Taylor. Ill tempered, vindictive, infidelity, alcohol issues, etc etc
obectionoverruled 4 months ago
Even as a twelve year old, I could never figure out how two grown men like Sheriff Taylor and his sidekick Deputy Barney Fife could go from season to season with girlfriends like Helen Crump and Thelma Lou. Gads I’d have married Thelma when I was in sixth grade; she was a knockout!
Drujon 4 months ago
He and “Ms. Crump” had an affair.
Maverick66 4 months ago
He sounds all too human. No one can live up to the standard of "perfect" in real life. At least he recognized his shortcomings and perhaps remedied/diminished some of them over time.
Runeshaper 4 months ago
Sad to hear about his personal life being like that.

On a separate note, I do believe in "the magic of television"!
LoveMETV22 4 months ago
" With no new episodes to write about,
𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗽𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗶𝗻𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿 𝗮𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗼𝘄𝗮𝗿𝗱𝘀 𝗚𝗿𝗶𝗳𝗳𝗶𝘁𝗵'𝘀 𝗺𝗮𝗿𝗿𝗶𝗮𝗴𝗲,which many predicted was splintering."
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Credit to Andy Griffith for sharing details about his personal life with, "TV Radio Mirror, "the supermarket tabloid." (which he didn't need to do). However he was direct and honest that he had shortcomings.
cperrynaples 4 months ago
It's strange they put a Matlock tag and not a TAGS tag! Yes, many stars were in both shows, but there was NO actual reference to Matlock in this story! Therefore, it should have been tagged TAGS [and yes I see the redundency!
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