President Obama Remembers Andy Griffith: 'A Performer of Extraordinary Talent'

3:50 PM PST 07/03/2012 by Jordan Zakarin
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The Commander in Chief released a statement in tribute to the late actor, who passed away on Tuesday.

For generations, Andy Griffith was the quintessential small town American hero, his television town Mayberry a fictional stand-in for apple pie ideals. And now as the nation steps back to eulogize him in the wake of his passing at the age of 86, the President of the United States has released a statement in rememberance of the multi-talented actor.

PHOTOS: Andy Griffith, A Life in Pictures

"Michelle and I were saddened to hear about the passing of Andy Griffith this morning," President Obama said late Tuesday. "A performer of extraordinary talent, 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."

Griffith, who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from George W. Bush in 2005, was an active Democrat who helped Obama on multiple occasions. He recorded a new take on his famed Andy Griffith Show in 2008 in support of Obama's quest for the presidency, and in 2010, recorded a spot in support of the president's health care reform act. He also publicly backed former North Carolina Governor Mike Easley, as well as current Governor Bev Purdue.

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