Author Topic: Andy Griffith & Jacksonville  (Read 16576 times)


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Andy Griffith & Jacksonville
« on: February 19, 2021, 11:47:27 PM »
Just watched this 1961 Andy Griffith episode and did a double take when Andy mentions a swindle by the gentleman crook, Mr. Caldwell, taking place in "Jacksonville, Florida!".  See: and

Google search then brought up other conections between Jacksonville and Andy Griffith.  Turns out he headlined a show here with Elvis Presley in 1955 and that his third and final wife (of 29 years) was from Jacksonville (graduated Terry Parker and taught for a while at Wolfson before they met).

Here are some links:


Entertainer Andy Griffith, who died Tuesday, had close personal connections to Jacksonville.

Cindi Knight, his wife of 29 years, was born here and graduated from Terry Parker High School and Jacksonville University.

The Times-Union has chronicled their romance, marriage and trips to Jacksonville over the years.

Knight had dance training that landed her a role in “The Lost Colony” in Manteo, N.C.

She first met Griffith in 1978 at a volleyball game attended by “The Lost Colony” cast members. She became friends with Griffith, who had a summer home there.

The former Wolfson High School English teacher moved to Los Angeles in 1980 to pursue an acting career, playing small roles. Between acting jobs, she worked as a substitute teacher.

Griffith kept in touch and served as her adviser and confidant throughout her career, the Times-Union reported. They married on his North Carolina estate in 1983.

A month after the wedding, she helped nurse him through Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a viral nerve infection accompanied by pain and paralysis in his legs that gradually receded. During his illness, she gave up her acting pursuits to assist him with his career.

Griffith was quoted by the Associated Press as saying Knight, his third wife, was the best thing that ever happened to him.

“This woman has brought me more joy than I’ve ever known,” Griffith said. Both said their 29-year age difference was of no consequence.

In a 1985 Times-Union interview, she described her life as normal and Griffith as a mixture of Sheriff Andy Taylor and Matlock.

Her parents, Muriel and Bobby Knight, were educators in the Duval County school system and lived in the Arlington area. When her father retired as an area superintendent in 1990 after 31 years with the school system, Griffith attended the ceremony and told the Times-Union he didn’t think it was in his father-in-law’s nature to quit work. But Griffith said he hoped Knight would work on his mountain cabin and would find something constructive to do.

Muriel Knight said it was easier for her and her husband to visit the Griffiths in Manteo twice a year rather than for them to come to Jacksonville because of Griffith’s workload and the attention fame attracts. The Griffiths also had a home in Touluca Lake, Calif.

She said Griffith told her he tries to keep a low profile and didn’t belong to the “Hollywood colony.”

Andy and Elvis Presley headlined for a July 1955 concert in Jacksonville, Florida

I learned a lot about Andy Griffith that I didn't know before. He was a recording artist who released several albums and actually headlined with Elvis Presley, July 1955 in Jacksonville Florida. Mental note for trivia night - one of the Danny Thomas TV show episodes was the pilot for The Andy Griffith Show.

Show appears to have been at Wolfson Baseball Park (ironic given his 3rd wife taught at Wolfson H.S.!):

« Last Edit: February 22, 2021, 12:14:02 PM by jaxlongtimer »