(Fox News) -- Legendary television actor Andy Griffith, who made a name for himself with his self-titled comedy "The Andy Griffith Show" and later on the long-running series "Matlock," has died at the age of 86.
Griffith was rushed to a North Carolina hospital by an EMS team after they were called to his Roanoke home Tuesday morning. Judy Panitch, a rep for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, to where the actor donated a great deal of time and funds, confirmed the news to Fox411 Tuesday.
The details surrounding the cause of his death were not immediately available.
Director Ron Howard expressed his condolences at the news via his Twitter page.
"His pursuit of excellence and the joy he took in creating served generations & shaped my life I'm forever grateful RIP Andy," he wrote.
Griffith first gained prominence in Hollywood after appearing in the Elia Kazan film "A Face in the Crowd."
In 1960, he played the lead character in "The Andy Griffith Show," where he became a household name and a staple of American television. The show ran until 1968.
In 1986, he returned to television with the long-running series, "Matlock."
He was later awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George Bush.
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