MANTEO, N.C. (WAVY) - Andy Griffith passed away peacefully at his Roanoke Island home early Tuesday morning, according to a statement made by his family.
Dare County Sheriff J.D. "Doug" Doughtie told WAVY.com Griffith passed away around 7 a.m.
"He has been laid to rest on his beloved Roanoke Island," the family's statement read. CNN is reporting Griffith was buried on his farm during a private service with his family at 11:30 a.m.
WAVY.com spoke to Charles Massey, Marking Director for the Lost Colony in Manteo, Tuesday afternoon. Massey called Griffith the "first citizen of Manteo" and spoke of how Griffith used to point to a house behind the Lost Colony building, claiming he was going to buy that particular house should he ever make it big.
Griffith did indeed buy that house.
Massey said a prerecorded message from Griffith has been played before every performance of the Lost Colony. In a tribute to Griffith, that message will no longer play and the lights will be dimmed at Tuesday night's performance in his memory.
North Carolina government officials are also commenting on Griffith's passing.
"North Carolina has lost its favorite son," North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue said.
"I am saddened to hear of the passing of Andy Griffith, a true legend," North Carolina Lt. Governor Walter Dalton added. "I have been a longtime fan and it was my pleasure to come to know him. Andy Griffith was not only an icon for North Carolina, but he was a genuine person and a true gentleman. Lucille and I send our thoughts and prayers to Cindi and the entire Griffith family."
"Andy Griffith was an iconic figure and a great man who embodied souther hospitality," Sen. Kay Hagan said. "By making 'Mayberry' famous, he put North Carolina - and his home state - on the map. A native of Mount Airy, Andy did so much for our state and will be missed by North Carolinians and by the millions of people who adored him, especially for his roles on The Andy Griffith Show and Matlock. My thoughts and prayers are wit his family. Andy will truly be missed.
President Barack Obama said in a statement Tuesday that he was saddened to hear about the passing of Andy Griffith and called the actor a performer of extraordinary talent. Obama added that Griffith was beloved by generations of fans and revered by entertainers who followed in his footsteps.
Andy Griffith, 86, was well known for his starring role on the television hit named after him, "The Andy Griffith Show", which first aired in 1960. Griffith portrayed a small-town sheriff and the show was one of the most popular series in television history.
A company has been hired to complete the repairs to the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge on the Outer Banks, but how long those repairs will take remains unknown.
Drivers traveling between Hatteras Island and the mainland were forced to use an emergency ferry Wednesday, following the sudden closure of the Bonner Bridge Tuesday.
State officials say construction on a new Bonner Bridge has been delayed for years because of a legal battle with an environmental group.