* TV legend Andy Griffith has died at the age of 86, North Carolina’s WITN News reports.
He passed away Tuesday morning at his home in Dare County, N.C.
Griffith, whose credits include The Andy Griffith Show and Matlock, died Tuesday morning about 7 a.m. at his home in Dare County, N.C., according to the station.
Griffith, a fixture on the Ed Sullivan show in the 1950s, portrayed the sheriff on his eponymous series from 1960 to 1968.
*Actor Andy Griffith, whose iconic TV role as sheriff of Mayberry made him an enduring symbol of small-town American values, has been chosen to pitch President Barack Obama’s universal health care law to seniors in a cable television ad paid for by Medicare.
The 84-year-old actor tells his fellow seniors that “good things are coming” under health care reform, including free preventive checkups and lower-cost prescriptions for Medicare recipients.
Polls show that seniors are more skeptical of the health care law than are younger people because Medicare cuts provide much of the financing to expand coverage for the uninsured.
Medicare insists the national ad is not political, but part of its outreach to educate seniors about new benefits available next year.
The ad is slated to run on channels seniors watch, such as the Weather Channel, CNN, Hallmark and Lifetime, at an initial cost of $700,000.