The widow of actor Andy Griffith plans to demolish the actor’s former home, the Associated Press reports. Cyndi Griffith received a permit Monday to demolish the house, a move that is upsetting to the late actor’s friends. They had hoped the home would be converted into a museum celebrating Griffith, as Graceland does for Elvis Presley.
One acquaintance says he spoke with Griffith about the museum idea before he passed. Tony Award-winning costume designer William Ivey Long, whose parents were friends with Griffith, recalls a discussion with the “Matlock” star about the possibility in 2007. Long says Griffith wanted the museum to include memorabilia from his careers in both acting and music.
Griffith’s will, dated two months before his 2012 death, makes no mention of the museum, or the property in question. He bought the house, smaller than the one he lived in with Cindi when he died, after experiencing his first real sucess.
David Wood III, executive producer on Griffith’s show “The Lost Colony,” says he was surprised to hear about the plans to tear the house down. “I always assumed the property would be eventually preserved and opened to the public,” he says. However, he understands the decision is one only Griffith’s widow can make, saying, “I imagine Cindi has her reasons, and I don’t pretend to know what they are,” adding, “It’s a beautiful bit of property with a lot of memories attached to it. I just hope they’re not moving too fast.”
Griffith became a household name as Sheriff Andy Taylor on “The Andy Griffith Show.” His hometown of Mount Airy, N.C. currently features a museum dedicated to his life and career.