Hours after news of Andy Griffith’s death hit the internet Hollywood stars close to the actor took to Twitter to pay tribute and offer their condolences to his family. Ron Howard, a child actor-turned-director who starred as Griffith’s son Opie on The Andy Griffith Show, was among them.
“Andy Griffith: His pursuit of excellence and the joy he took in creating served generations and shaped my life. I’m forever grateful RIP Andy,” Howard, 58, wrote.
Griffith passed away Tuesday around 7 a.m. at his Manteo, North Carolina home. The cause of death has not been released. Griffith was 86. His wife of 29 years, Cindi, released a statement saying, “Andy was a person of incredibly strong Christian faith and was prepared for the day he would be called Home to his Lord. He is the love of my life, my constant companion, my partner, and my best friend. I cannot imagine life without Andy, but I take comfort and strength in God’s Grace and in the knowledge that Andy is at peace and with God.”
President Barack Obama also offered his condolences. “Andy was beloved by generations of fans and revered by entertainers who followed in his footsteps. He brought us characters from Sheriff Andy Taylor to Ben Matlock, and in the process, warmed the hearts of Americans everywhere. Our thoughts and prayers are with Andy’s family,” Obama said in a statement.