The Washington Times - July 3, 2012, 03:02PM

President Obama issued a statement Tuesday paying tribute to Andy Griffith, the television legend who died Tuesday at age 86.

“Michelle and I were saddened to hear about the passing of Andy Griffith,” Mr. Obama said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Andy’s family.”


Mr. Griffith, who starred in “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Matlock,” gave the Obama administration a boost in 2010 when he appeared in a government ad touting Medicare benefits under the president’s new health-care law.

Mr. Obama praised Mr. Griffith as “a performer of extraordinary talent.”

“Andy was beloved by generations of fans and revered by entertainers who followed in his footsteps,” the president said. “He brought us characters from Sheriff Andy Taylor to Ben Matlock, and in the process, warmed the hearts of Americans everywhere.”