Ace Atkins

New York Times Best Selling Author

Happy Birthday, Andy Griffith

Andy Griffith turns 85 today.
A real American icon, I don’t think there is a town in America that doesn’t get reruns of the “Andy Griffith Show.” Like many people my age, there hasn’t been a time I don’t recall Sheriff Andy Taylor and the gang. But my favorite role for Griffith had to be as Lonesome Rhodes in the brilliant — and somewhat forgotten — Face In the Crowd. If you haven’t seen this picture, you should rent it. Today. One of my all-time favorite films and one that really showcases the range of Griffith, a darkness and madness that’s not to be missed.
But let’s go back to Sheriff Andy for a moment.
Someone the other day asked me what The Ranger series is about. And I replied, “it’s a very gritty version of the ‘Andy Griffith Show.'” Just imagine Andy as a hardened Afghan war vet, Barney as a massive black wounded Iraqi war vet, and Opie as a mixed-race child of mysterious parentage.
I absolutely had the show in mind as I started this series. And my greatest thanks to Mr. Griffith today for his inspiration. Now someone let Otis out of the drunk tank.

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