Andy Griffith’s Widow to Demolish Late Actor’s Home

Cindy Griffith, the widow of late actor Andy Griffith, has recently obtained a permit to demolish the house where he lived for many years on the North Carolina waterfront. This decision has upset many of the actor’s friends and fans, who had hoped the house would be preserved as a museum or Graceland-type estate.


As if being shamefully forgotten by the In Memoriam segment during the Oscars wasn’t enough, Andy Griffith’s widow intends to raze the house he bought in the 50s less than one year after the actor passed away.

Griffith’s wife obtained the demolition permit in March, according to Dare County records. County officials and friends confirmed that the permit is to raze a smaller house along the Roanoke Sound that the actor bought in the 1950s, not the larger house that he and Cindi built nearby several years ago.


William Ivey Long, the Tony Award-winning costume designer whose parents were friends with Andy Griffith and his first wife, Barbara, said the actor told him in 2007 that he wanted to preserve the older home as a museum. The two talked about this option when Long held an exhibit of his costumes at the Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington.

We compared notes. I had to fit mine into an existing museum. I told him, if you’re doing yours, you can make it however you want it”, said Long in a phone interview from his studio in New York City.

Griffith, who died last July, wanted the museum to include items from his TV shows, along with memorabilia from his music career, added Long. He also said that the two didn’t discuss whether it would compete with the Andy Griffith Museum in the actor’s hometown of Mount Airy.


Cindy Griffith didn’t return messages after this news went public. Her late husband’s will doesn’t mention a museum or the property. The will – dated May 3, 2012, two months before Andy passed away – turns over most of his property and estate to the trustee of a trust, whose records aren’t public. The attorney for the will refused to comment on the subject.

The demolition contractor, Calvin Gibbs, also didn’t return a call. It wasn’t clear whether the demolition had begun or not, though.

Della Basnight of Manteo, whose family was friends with Griffith since she was a child, said she understood that Cindi Griffith had the right to do whatever she wanted with the property. However, regarding the demolition, Basnight said: “When he gave her the power to do anything, I don’t think he thought she would want to do that“.


She also said that Andy Griffith bought the house the first time he had any real money and raised his two children there. “I had really sort of always thought it would be secured. I always thought it would remain”, said Basnight.

TV Legend Andy Griffith Dies at 86

The world of television has suffered a great loss. According to Dare County, North Carolina, Sheriff J.D. “Doug” Doughtie, on July 3, at about 7am, the great actor, TV personality, singer and writer Andy Griffith passed away. The actor’s obituary said that he died in peace, while he was sleeping, in his beloved farm on Roanoke Island. The press release issued by his family to announce his death did not come as a shock, but numerous people were deeply saddened by the news.


Throughout the years, Griffith expressed his desire to be buried immediately after dying, in the presence of relatives and close friends. He was buried within 5 hours of his death, at about 11:30 am, on the farm owned by his family on the island of Roanoke. The ceremony was very private. As the funeral happened very soon after the unfortunate event, many people did not even get the chance to pay their respects.

However, Andy Griffith will forever remain in our hearts as one of the greatest actors of all time. His legend will keep on living and the ones who loved him will keep him in their hearts for eternity. Even President Obama and his wife Michelle were saddened by the death of the actor. The President issued a press release saying:

“Michelle and I were saddened to hear about the passing of Andy Griffith this morning. A performer of extraordinary talent, Andy was beloved by generations of fans and revered by entertainers who followed in his footsteps. He brought us characters from Sheriff Andy Taylor to Ben Matlock, and in the process, warmed the hearts of Americans everywhere. Our thoughts and prayers are with Andy’s family.”  (Source: Huffington Post )

Andy’s wife, Cindi Griffith, stated that “Andy was a person of incredibly strong Christian faith and was prepared for the day he would be called Home to his Lord.” (Source: CNN ). Cindi was Andy’s third wife. The two wedded in 1983 and have remained together ever since. That same year, Griffith started to develop serious health problems.

At that time, he was diagnosed with Guillan-Barre syndrome that led to the actor paralyzing from the knees down. Andy was not able to walk for 7 months after the diagnosis. In 2000, Andy underwent quadruple heart-bypass surgery at a hospital in Norfolk, Virginia. In 2007, he fell and needed to undergo hip surgery.

According to his death certificate, Andy Griffith died from a heart attack. He was 86 years old. He now rests in the Griffith Family Cemetery on Roanoke Island. Andy is survived by his wife Cindi and by a daughter from his first marriage, Dixie.


May you rest in peace, Andy Griffith! You will never be forgotten!