TV icon Andy Griffith has died at the age of 86.

His close friend, former UNC President Bill Friday, tells TMZ he passed this morning at his home in Manteo, North Carolina.

Emergency medical crews responded to Griffith's home this morning, Dare County Sheriff J.D. Doughtie told WAVY TV.

His most memorable TV role was that of Sheriff Andy Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show and later Mayberry RFD.

After rehabilitation for Guillain–Barré syndrome which left his leg paralyzed Griffith returned to television as kindly lawyer Ben Matlock in the legal drama Matlock.

In 1986, as he accepted a People's Choice Award, Griffith called Matlock his favorite role.

Griffith was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George W. Bush in 2005.

His other TV roles include Salvage 1, Roots: The Next Generation and many guest appearances.