News reports say that Griffith died at home in North Carolina,. He was 86. I'm a little shaken by this. Griffith was one of TV's immortals, after all -- "The Andy Griffith Show," the durable if unremarkable "Matlock" --and underestimated as an actor. Look at "A Face in the Crowd," a seminal film about the impact of television on culture and politics, with Griffith as a TV star with echoes of Arthur Godfrey -- and a pure villain to boot. Look at "Fatal Vision" and other TV movies he made. Damn, I miss him.
UPDATE 2: I have a longer take on Griffith's work and appeal here.
UPDATE: Turner Classic Movies has scheduled a tribute to Griffith on July 18-19. As follows:
8 p.m. – A Face in the Crowd (1957) – with Patricia Neal, Anthony Franciosa, Walter Matthau and Lee Remick. Directed by Elia Kazan.
10:15 p.m. – No Time for Sergeants (1958) – with Myron McCormick, Nick Adams, Murray Hamilton and Don Knotts. Directed by Mervyn LeRoy.
12:30 a.m. – Hearts of the West (1975) – with Jeff Bridges, Donald Pleasance, Blythe Danner, Alan Arkin, Richard B. Shull, Herb Edelman, Alex Rocco and Marie Windsor. Directed by Howard Zieff.
2:15 a.m. – Onionhead (1958) – with Felicia Farr, Walter Matthau, Erin O'Brien, Joe Mantell, Ray Danton, James Gregory and Joey Bishop. Directed by Norman Taurog.
"A Faice in the Crowd" is also getting a previously scheduled late-night airing this week, at 1:45 a.m. Friday. (TCM counts that as late Thursday night.)