Actors Andy Griffith (L) and Don Knotts pose backstage after accepting the Legend Award for their series “The Andy Griffith Show” during a taping of the second annual TV Land Awards in Hollywood, California in this March 7, 2004 file photograph. -Reuters Photo

Actor Andy Griffith, whose portrayal of a small-town sheriff made “The Andy Griffith Show” one of American television's most enduring shows, has died at his North Carolina home, television station WITN reported on Tuesday.

The television station quoted a longtime friend as saying that the 86-year-old actor died at his home on Roanoke Island.

The Dare County Sheriff's dispatcher would say only that an ambulance was called to Griffith's residence but would not comment further.

Griffith created another memorable character, the folksy defense lawyer in “Matlock” in the 1980s and '90s, but it was his portrayal of Sheriff Andy Taylor on the “The Andy Griffith Show” in the 1960s that gave him a place in US television history.

The show portrayed life in the friendly, slow-moving fictional town of Mayberry, North Carolina, which was widely believed to have been based on Griffith's own hometown, Mount Airy, North Carolina.

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