RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — People always thought Andy Griffith and Andy Taylor were one and the same.
But Griffith himself would say he wasn't as wise as the small-town sheriff he created in the TV show that bore his name -- and wasn't as nice.
Griffith, who died today at his North Carolina home at the age of 86, told The Associated Press five years ago that he had some of the qualities of the cranky diner owner in the movie "Waitress," one of his last roles -- and also some of the qualities of his most manipulative character, from the 1957 movie "A Face in the Crowd."
As for Sheriff Taylor, Griffith said, "Andy Taylor's the best part of my mind. The best part of me."
According to a man who knew him for years, Griffith handled "with great grace" all of the people who wanted to "talk to Andy Taylor." Craig Fincannon says, "Everyone felt like he was their best friend."
161-r-20-(Opening, from "The Andy Griffith Show")--This is the opening from "The Andy Griffith Show." ((note announcer over music)) (3 Jul 2012)
<<CUT *161 (07/03/12)>> 00:20
158-a-08-(Andy Griffith, in 1996 AP Radio interview)-"Hall of Fame"-Andy Griffith told the AP in 1996 that he never got the recognition he deserved from the people who give out the Emmys. ((cut used in wrap)) (3 Jul 2012)
<<CUT *158 (07/03/12)>> 00:08 "Hall of Fame"
167-r-05-(Andy Griffith, as Lonesome Rhodes, from his first movie "A Face in the Crowd")-"opinion, a force"-This is sound of Andy Griffith from his first movie,"A Face in the Crowd," in which he played a character much different from Sheriff Taylor. (3 Jul 2012)
<<CUT *167 (07/03/12)>> 00:05 "opinion, a force"
164-a-20-(Andy Griffith, actor-singer, in interview in 1996)-"jealous of Dick"-In this April 1996 interview, Andy Griffith said "The Andy Griffith Show" wasn't as easy as it looked. (3 Jul 2012)
<<CUT *164 (07/03/12)>> 00:20 "jealous of Dick"
GRAPHICSBANK: ANDY GRIFFITH headshot, actor, with 1926-2012 lettering, finished graphic (3 Jul 2012)
APPHOTO NYET838: FILE- This undated file image originally released by Viacom shows cast members from "The Andy Griffith Show," from left, Don Knotts as Deputy Barney Fife, Ron Howard as Opie Taylor and Andy Griffith as Sheriff Andy Taylor. Griffith, whose homespun mix of humor and wisdom made "The Andy Griffith Show" an enduring TV favorite, died Tuesday, July 3, 2012 in Manteo, N.C. He was 86. (AP Photo/Viacom, file) (2 Jun 1999)
<<APPHOTO NYET838 (06/02/99)>>
APPHOTO NYET841: FILE - This Jan. 1983 file photo shows actor Andy Griffith posing in Los Angeles to promote his upcoming CBS-TV film, "Murder in Coweta County". Griffith, whose homespun mix of humor and wisdom made "The Andy Griffith Show" an enduring TV favorite, died Tuesday, July 3, 2012 in Manteo, N.C. He was 86. (AP Photo/Wally Fong, file) (31 Jan 1983)
<<APPHOTO NYET841 (01/31/83)>>