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Getty Images  | Youtube/MayberryMan
Getty Images | Youtube/MayberryMan

Dixie Griffith Had a Very Normal Childhood despite Being Andy Griffith’s Daughter

Bettina Dizon
Sep 02, 2022
06:15 P.M.

Dixie Griffith is the adopted daughter of Andy Griffith, who once became an actress. However, she no longer pursued a career in the craft but still worked in the entertainment industry. Here's a look at her private life.

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Dixie Griffith is famously known as actor Andy Griffith's daughter, who lived away from the spotlight and passed on the opportunity to have a Hollywood career.

Even while speaking to the press, she tried to keep her personal life to herself, with only minimal details disclosed, including the birth of her daughters before Andy's death. Currently, she tries to keep her father's legacy alive in her way.

Dixie Griffith Grew up Away from the Spotlight

Dixie, born in 1960, was adopted by Andy and his first wife, Barbara Bray Edwards, shortly after her birth. Two years before, the couple also adopted a son, Andy Jr.

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Although Dixie's father was a Hollywood star, he was very protective of his children. "I didn't grow up in the spotlight," Dixie said. However, Dixie's childhood was set in a time when the press did not go above and beyond to take a snapshot of a celebrity's child.

Privacy meant a lot to their family, and during these moments, Dixie spent time with her father while not working. During summertime, she would do various outdoor activities with her father in their North Carolina home, including playing volleyball and pool games. She recalled:

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"I would play with him in the pool, and he'd put me up on his shoulders. He'd always stop what he was doing to play with me."

However, Dixie was also present in some of her father's on-screen moments, working as an apprentice in two of his films. However, she did not pursue a career as an actress despite appearing in the historical drama "The Lost Colony" alongside her brother.

"In 1972, I started out as a 'colonist child' making a whopping $10 a week," Dixie recalled. "My dad was fully supportive and delighted that we were in the show."

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Although the daughter of such a successful and famous actor, she never wanted to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. She stated that Griffith always protected his family's privacy:

"My dad was fiercely protective of us. I respected his privacy all my life. I have kept a pretty low profile, which I still plan on doing."

Dixie eventually worked in the industry but stood behind the scenes as a producer, known for "The Bayberry Effect" and "Mayberry Man."

Beyond her career, Dixie is involved in charitable work, proudly supporting and volunteering at the Denver Hospice.

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Dixie Griffith's Parents

Dixie's parents met at the University of North Carolina, where they both received their education. Andy, a Bachelor of Music student, fell in love with a soprano, Edwards, and married her following their graduation in '49.

Their married life began in Goldsboro, North Carolina, where the actor taught music to high school students. After saving up, they relocated to New York City in hopes of making more of themselves in the music industry.

When things did not go as planned, the duo headed back to North Carolina but still held on to their dreams. They toured community centers as a duo act until Andy had his breakthrough in spoken-word routine, "What It Was, Was Football."

Unfortunately, their marriage only withstood 23 years. In 1972, the couple divorced, and Edwards married Michael St. Clair, while Andy tied the knot with Solica Cassuto. At 53 years old in 1980, Edwards passed away in Beverly Hills.

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Andy's third and last wife was Cindi Knight. The pair got married in 1983 and remained inseparable until the actor's death in July 2012.

Dixie Griffith's Brother Died Young

Dixie's adopted brother, born in 1957, had a turbulent life away from the spotlight. Although he was married, his relationship seemed to be troublesome as he was arrested and sentenced to three-year probation in 1992 due to a domestic dispute that led to his wife's miscarriage.

In 1996, Andy Jr. died of alcohol addiction. His father did not attend the 37-year-old's funeral but was distraught over the happening. Dixie said:

"It affected my dad on a very, very deep level. I went to my brother's funeral service [...] There would be too many magazines and cameras, and it just wasn't a good place for [dad] to be."

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Andy Griffith's Career

Born in June 1926, Andy was only a young boy when he decided to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. He wasn't only a successful actor, but also a director, producer, and Grammy-Winning Southern gospel singer and writer.

The beginning of what would become a wonderful career began in 1954, after "What It Was, Was Football" was released. However, it wasn't until the following year that Andy appeared on-screen as he starred in an episode of "The United States Steel Hour."

Soon, more opportunities came until he was cast as Sheriff Andy Taylor on "The Andy Griffith Show." The sitcom focused on the life of a Mayberry local sheriff and the happenings around him.

Andy Griffith as Andy Taylor in the CBS show "The Andy Griffith Show," August 27, 1960. | Source: Getty Images

Andy Griffith as Andy Taylor in the CBS show "The Andy Griffith Show," August 27, 1960. | Source: Getty Images

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Andy became one of television's biggest stars and was described as a man who had the attraction and power most handsome celebrities lacked. His role on "The Andy Griffith Show" lasted until 1968 when he decided it was time to seek other opportunities and expand his career.

Andy ventured into business years after, founding his own production company, Andy Griffith Enterprises. He also landed stints in a few projects, including "Adams of Eagle Lake," "Salvage 1" and "Matlock."

Andy Griffith as he makes an appearance on "The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour," November 16, 1972. | Source: Getty Images

Andy Griffith as he makes an appearance on "The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour," November 16, 1972. | Source: Getty Images

The series became a great success and ran until 1995, getting several nominations for Emmy Awards. Although Andy was one of the principals responsible for the success of "Matlock" and "The Andy Griffith Show," he was never nominated for an Emmy for his work.

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Before landing roles on the small screen, he had been noticed in the 1950s, notably in the musical "No Time for Sergeants," presented on Broadway, and in the drama film "A Face in the Crowd."

Dixie Griffith's Description of Her Father

Sadly, the legendary actor passed away on July 3, 2012, due to a heart attack. He was said to have suffered a heart attack 24 hours before his death. He also had other health problems, including coronary artery disease, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia.

In less than five hours following his death, Andy was buried at 86 years old. Dixie didn't shy away from letting the world know what her father was like beyond closed doors, so she decided to open up about their relationship.

Actor Andy Griffith on November 2, 2003, in New York City | Source: Getty Images

Actor Andy Griffith on November 2, 2003, in New York City | Source: Getty Images

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While many saw Andy as the characters he brought to life, Dixie simply remembered him as a hands-on father who was fun to be with but serious with his career. Some days, he would already be gone to film by the time she woke up.

However, Andy came home when afternoon came and still allotted time for his daughter. Unfortunately, he also had medical issues throughout his life, including a Guillain-Barré syndrome diagnosis in 1983. Despite the health hindrances, Dixie said that her dad still had the will to live.

During the final years of his career, Andy Griffith still appeared as a guest on some television shows and feature films, making sure that his light in the industry never faded. Now gone, Andy leaves a legacy for generations to remember.

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