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Gospel Light Minute #61
He was an actor, television producer, writer, and Grammy Award-winning Southern-gospel singer. He is best known for his television roles, playing the lead characters in the 1960–1968 situation comedy The Andy Griffith Show and in the 1986–1995 legal drama Matlock. As a young man, he served as choir director at First Baptist Church of Goldsboro and pursued pre-ministerial studies at UNC Chapel Hill before changing his major to acting. He earned Tony Award nominations for two Broadway performances. At age 69, he went back to an early dream of singing Southern Gospel music. And he recorded gospel songs for "I Love To Tell The Story - 25 Favorite Hymns." This album was certified platinum by the RIAA. In 2005, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George W. Bush. He went home to Heaven on July 3, 2012 at age 86.