Andy Griffith Was Buried Less Than 5 Hours after His Death in 2012 — What Really Happened?

Andy Griffith passed away at his coastal home in Manteo, Roanoke Island, in Dare County, North Carolina. Within five hours of his death, the legendary actor was buried.

On July 3, 2012, Andy Griffith died at the age of 86. The actor, whose career spanned seven decades in music and television, passed away at around 7 a.m. ET, as reported by CNN.

The funeral spokesperson declined to be identified, citing the matter's sensitive nature, but said Griffith's remains were lowered into a grave at around 11:30 a.m. ET at his family's request.

Andy Griffith in a publicity portrait issued for the TV series, "The Andy Griffith Show," circa 1965. | Photo: Getty Images

Andy Griffith in a publicity portrait issued for the TV series, "The Andy Griffith Show," circa 1965. | Photo: Getty Images

The spokesperson also declined to specify precisely where the body was buried on the island. He explained that it had been planned for some time and that this was his family's wish.

But it seemed that the actor was buried immediately. The executive director of the Funeral Directors Association of the state, Larry F. Stegall, said that it's a rare occurrence.

Andy Griffith as Benjamin Matlock on the hit mystery legal drama television series "Matlock" (1986-1995). | Photo: Getty Images

Andy Griffith as Benjamin Matlock on the hit mystery legal drama television series "Matlock" (1986-1995). | Photo: Getty Images

Traditional funeral customs allow family and friends more time to visit the cemetery and pay respects. However, Stegall noted that the family's wishes are always upheld.

In 2013, Cindi Griffith, Griffith's widow, got a permit to tear down the house where he lived for many years.

Andy Griffith as Benjamin Matlock on the hit mystery legal drama television series "Matlock" (1986-1995). | Photo: Getty Images

Andy Griffith as Benjamin Matlock on the hit mystery legal drama television series "Matlock" (1986-1995). | Photo: Getty Images

Griffith's death certificate indicates he suffered a heart attack 24 hours before he passed away. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the attack is listed as the cause of death on the document.

The death certificate also indicates that the actor, known for his Southern drawl, had been ill for many years. The disease includes coronary artery disease, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia.

In 2013, Cindi Griffith, Griffith's widow, got a permit to tear down the house where he lived for many years, infuriating friends who wanted to preserve the home as a museum, USA Today reported.

According to Dare County records, Cindi obtained the demolition permit. County officials and friends confirmed that the permit is to demolish the smaller house that Griffith purchased in 1950.

Griffith's most recognizable roles include the sage town sheriff of "The Andy Griffith Show" in the 1960s and the cantankerous defense attorney in the 1980s/90s drama "Matlock," according to EW.

Born in Mount Airy, North Carolina, Griffith first gained fame as a comedic monologist with the release of "What It Was," "Was Football," which was a huge hit on radio and stores. 

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