Andy Griffith, a famous actor, wanted his oceanfront house in North Carolina to be renovated into a museum so that he could display memorabilia from his career. However, many months after the actor’s passing, his third wife got a permission to destroy the home, a move that was met with opposition from many of the actor’s close friends.
Griffith and his daughter Dixie had always maintained a strong bond, but once the actor married his third wife, it seemed that their relationship began to deteriorate. In the days before he passed away, he had one farewell talk with his daughter by calling her on the phone.
Dixie remembers his asking her whether she was at peace with particular elements of her life and sharing with her the peace and calm he had discovered. He also shared with her the peace and calm he had found. Dixie describes the talk as having the feel of the performer from “Dads” passing on her knowledge to be used going ahead.
She recollects that: “I knew, I had an absolute certainty that I knew, it was the last time I was going to speak to him because of the nature of the discussion and the setting in which it took place. He told me that he loved me, and I responded by telling him that I loved him.”
Griffith had a severe illness on July 2, 2012, but he decided against going to the hospital for treatment. He gathered his closest friends and family around him and said his farewells to everyone. At his residence on Roanoke Island the next day, the actor passed away in the early hours of the following morning.
The “Matlock” actor had given his family very precise funeral instructions before he passed away, and they followed those directions to the cemetery where he was laid to rest. He was laid to rest four and a half hours after he passed away, which meant that the paparazzi were unable to get into his house and record the last moments of his life.
When he passed away, the issue of his wealth was one that was not entirely resolved. Due to the hasty nature of the burial preparations, however, many of his close family and friends were unaware of his passing until after he had already been laid to rest; as a result, they were unable to attend his funeral. I’m sorry to say that Dixie was one of them.
In this commercial photo for the American comedy “The Andy Griffith Show,” which was created in the year 1965 (source: Getty Images), Andy Griffith, an American actor, portrayed the role of Sheriff Andy Taylor.
Dixie was disappointed that she would not be able to attend the burial of her father, but she was aware that Griffith was a pretty private person who, despite his status as a movie star, detested the attention that the media bestowed upon him. She would think back on:
“It would seem that such was his goal. He had no desire for a funeral to be held. He had no interest in attending a circus. He did not want there to be a media storm.”
“How can I get all of the females together, board an aircraft, and leave? If however it was his desire, then I can accept that, since it is only right that I do so.” She carried on farther.
GRIFFITH’S THIRD WIFE AND HER FINAL WORDS
After the untimely death of the actor, the actor’s third wife, Cindi Knight, said that Griffith was a man of great Christian faith and was prepared for the day the Lord would take him home. This statement came after the actor’s untimely death.
She said that Griffith was her true love, always-present companion, lifelong partner, and dearest friend. After first meeting in 1983 when the actor was participating in a summer theatrical program, the couple had been together for over three decades at that point.
Griffith had been quite open about his feelings for the actress and dancer who was also his wife, declaring that he had finally achieved contentment in their relationship after experiencing failure in both of his previous marriages. He would admit the following:
“We are not simply wedded to one another. We’re partners. She is of great assistance to me.”
Things were less intense between Griffith and his daughter once he wed Knight, despite the fact that he had a wonderful bond with his daughter during her whole existence. They started spending less and less time together as the actor became more engaged with his married life and the demanding schedule he had on “Matlock.”
KNIGHT DISOBEYED THE ACTOR’S LAST WISH AND DID WHAT HE THOUGHT WAS BEST.
After the actor’s only son, Sam, passed away in 1996, it was determined that the actor’s money would be evenly distributed between Dixie and Knight, with each of them getting a sizeable $30 million following the actor’s demise.
The fact that his wife and his lone surviving kid were to inherit all of his riches was met with universal approval from all parties involved. However, the topic of the actor’s waterfront property in North Carolina, where he had spent the most of his adult life and where he had resided for the majority of his life generated some concerns among his friends when he passed away.
In the will that Griffith had prepared two months before he passed away, there were no specifics concerning the property that were mentioned. However, many years before he passed away, the actor had extensively discussed the matter with his close friend William Ivey Long, who was a costume designer and winner of a Tony Award. He conveyed his want to preserve the property as a museum before he passed away.
In his vision for the museum, he included artifacts from both his musical and television acting accomplishments. Long said that they had not considered whether or not Griffith wanted his museum-home to compete with the Andy Griffith Museum in Mount Airy, which is Griffith’s hometown.
Even Nevertheless, it was well known that the goal was to turn the house into a museum; hence, many of the actor’s close friends were dismayed when Knight received a permission to destroy the house in March 2013, just a few short months after Griffith had passed away.
Ira David Wood III, who worked as an executive director on “The Lost Colony,” remembered how he and a large number of their actor friends would go to Griffith’s home, take a pontoon boat to a sandbar, and play volleyball for hours on end. Wood III was a friend of Griffith.
When he found out that Knight planned to destroy the home that had so many memories for him and for many other people who were Griffith’s friends, he was appalled. He would say something like:
I have always operated on the assumption that the land will one day be protected and made available to the general public.
He did, however, reveal that he was certain that Knight had good reasons for tearing down the home, but he hoped that she was not moving too quickly and risking the possibility of making a mistake.
Della Basnight of Manteo, whose family has been friends with Griffith’s since she was a child, expressed that despite her disappointment in the news that the property was going to be torn down, she understood that Knight had every right to do with the home as she willed regardless of what Basnight thought about it.
On the other hand, the idea of destroying it did not sit well with her, and she pondered, “When he gave her the ability to do anything, I don’t believe he anticipated she would want to do that.”
Basnight noted that the seaside property was the very first item Griffith purchased once he started making a solid income. Griffith used the home to raise his two children there. Since of this, it came as a surprise to her because she had always believed that it would be a permanent feature that wouldn’t be altered for decades.