First was Barbara Bray Edwards, and secondly came Solica Cassuto. Both women have something in common with Cindi Knight Griffith, who was Andy Griffith’s wife at the time of his passing. All of these lucky women married one of the nicest men in the world, at least if his public persona can be believed. His cause of death has not been announced but at age 86 natural causes seems likely. Update: Andy Griffith’s death certificate lists heart attack as the cause of death.

Photo: Cindi Griffith (Cindi Knight)

In the picture gallery below we have assembled photos of Andy Griffith’s family members. The three wives are chiefly among them but the actor is also survived by one of his two children, daughter Dixie Nan Griffith while son Andrew Samuel Griffith Jr was a troubled teenager who succumbed to drug and alcohol addiction in his late 20s.

Barbara Bray Edwards (picture below) married the dashing young man in 1949 when he was just 23 years old and she was a young damsel. The had met while attending the University of North Carolina where they were college sweethearts. There were later divorced in 1972 so their marriage lasted 23 years, an eternity by Hollywood standards even at the time. And it was long enough for the couple to adopt two loving children. His son Sam Griffith, born in 1957, was a real estate developer who died tragically in 1996 but daughter Dixie Nan Griffith survives her dad.

No sooner had his bed cooled down that the actor, now in the peek of his career, married Solica Cassuto (photo below) in 1973. She is a Greek actress who at the time was simply a stunner. There are no allegations of affairs that we are aware of but it is possible that the fame produced that sense of entitlement that some actors feel. We are all human, after all.

After divorcing for the second time in 1981, he then tied the knot with Cindi Knight who stayed with him until the end as Mrs. Cindi Griffith. They had met on the set of a movie called Murder in Coweta County, although her role in the production is unclear to us. She became Andy Griffith’s wife on April 12, 1983, and the age difference made him a lucky man once again. Cindi Knight was 27 years old at the time, and her famous husband was already in his mid-50s.

Toward the end of his life she remained loyal at his side through his many well documented health problems. In 2000 he had open-heart surgery and just five years ago went through a reconstructive hip surgery which is always a long recovery for a man of his age. They lived in their family home on Roanoke Island off the coast of North Carolina.

Cindi’s only words on his passing so far were a poignant statement she issued to the press. “Andy was a person of incredibly strong Christian faith and was prepared for the day he would be called Home to his Lord. He is the love of my life, my constant companion, my partner, and my best friend. I cannot imagine life without Andy, but I take comfort and strength in God’s Grace and in the knowledge that Andy is at peace and with God.”

In the video below you can hear a family friend discussing Cindi Knight Griffith and Andy. It’s not very interesting at all but at least we get to hear the charming southern twang of a normal person discussing who we always imagine to be a normal, country boy.

(click twice to enlarge pictures in the gallery)