Andy's 80 today! Hard to believe but North Carolina's favorite actor was born on this day in 1926 in Mount Airy. I hope he's doing well in Manteo where he lives with his wife Cindy. It's been great to see Andy Griffith come out of semi hiberation in recent years to help promote his native North Carolina in various projects. I have never had the pleasure of interviewing Andy but I would love to one day. His brilliant career peaked with the success of the 1960s sitcom The Andy Griffith Show. It remains one of the best-loved television shows of all time. Andy got his start playing a country yokel on radio and in recorded routines like "What It Was, Was Football." He played a similar role in the 1955 TV movie "No Time for Sergeants" which also became a Broadway show. In 1960 he began his run as Andy Taylor, the good-hearted sheriff of Mayberry, which was based roughly on Griffith's hometown in Surry County. Later he played a Sam Ervin style country lawyer in the big city. "Matlock" was another huge hit for Griffith. One thing I find hard to believe. He was never nominated for an Emmy Award for either Matlock or The Andy Griffith Show. Someone needs to change that! Okay. Now to the contest. First, I want all of you Tarheel Traveler readers to write and tell us your favorite Andy Griffith Show episode and why. Second, the Andy Griffith Show quiz. Five questions. Be the first to answer and you will win one of my "Peaceful Journey: A Celebration of North Carolina" CDs. Or if you prefer I will send you my "Christmas in Carolina" CD. Only one CD per person so we'll have five different winners. These are pretty tough but I know you can do it.
1. What actress played Barney's girlfriend Thelma Lou?
2. What actress played Howard Sprague's mother?
3. The Andy Griffith Show was a spin-off of what television show?
4. How many episodes of the Andy Griffith Show aired on CBS?