Reports are coming in that famed actor Andy Griffith passed away early this morning (July 3) at his home in Dare County, North Carolina.

As North Carolina NBC affiliate WITN initially reported, friend and former University of North Carolina President Bill Friday initially broke the sad news of Griffith's passing this morning. The reports were later confirmed by the Dare County Sheriff's Office.

Griffith was a television legend, well known as 'America's Sheriff' for his titular role in the classic 1960's television program 'The Andy Griffith Show.' He later portrayed a whip smart defense attorney who often got involved in investigating his client's cases personally on 'Matlock,' which ran for 9 seasons from 1986 - 1992.  His final performance can be seen in the 2009 film 'Play the Game,' another notable late performance was Griffith's turn as a grumpy regular customer in the 2007 diner-centric film 'Waitress.'