, Derry, New Hampshire

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July 3, 2012

Andy Griffith, folksy TV sheriff and comedian, dies at 86


"In a matter of hours, my legs were paralyzed," he later told People magazine.

After six months of extensive physical therapy, however, he fully recovered and returned to acting - including a role in the 1984 miniseries "Fatal Vision" before launching "Matlock" in 1986.

Griffith, who was inducted into the TV Academy Hall of Fame in 1992, received a 1997 Grammy for his album "I Love to Tell The Story - 25 Timeless Hymns."

When Griffith received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civil award, at a White House ceremony in 2005, President George W. Bush thanked him for being "such a friendly and beloved presence in our American life."

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