Close friend Bill Friday, the former president of the University of North Carolina, told WITN News that Griffith died around 7 a.m. at home in Dare County, North Carolina. WITN News in North Carolina broke the story. Griffith attended UNC Chapel Hill where he earned a degree in Music.
Officials have not yet confirmed the cause of Griffith's death.
Dare County Sheriff J.D. Doughtie told NBC affiliate WAVY that an emergency medical team responded to a call to Griffith's home this morning.
Griffith was best known for his starring role as a small-town sheriff in an eponymous television show called The Andy Griffith Show, which first aired in 1960 and ran until 1968. In 1985, he starred as Ben Matlock in the legal drama Matlock. In 2005, Griffith was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by then-President George W. Bush.
Andy Griffith suffered from heart problems in recent years and underwent quadruple heart-bypass surgery in 2000; he had hip surgery in 2007 following an injury from a fall.