Andy Griffith Died of a Heart Attack

UPDATED 07/06/2012 at 10:00 AM EDT Originally published 07/06/2012 at 07:50 AM EDT

Andy Griffith Cause of Death a Heart Attack
Andy Griffith
Steve Granitz/WireImage
It was a heart attack on Monday that took the life of Andy Griffith the following day, his death certificate states.

According to the certificate filed Thursday in Dare County, N.C., and obtained by PEOPLE, the iconic TV star, 86, suffered the attack 24 hours before he died at 7 a.m. Tuesday at his home on Roanoke Island in his native North Carolina.

In addition, the document says that he suffered for years with a variety of illnesses that included coronary artery disease, hypertension and hyperlipidemia, a form of high cholesterol.

Griffith, who first became a national institution as Sheriff Andy Taylor of Mayberry on the '60s TV favorite The Andy Griffith Show, was buried less than five hours after his death, reports CNN.





His family requested that Griffith's body be lowered into a grave somewhere on the island at about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, a funeral spokesperson told CNN, adding that the service "had been planned for some time."

"Andy was a person of incredibly strong Christian faith and was prepared for the day he would be called Home to his Lord," Griffith's wife, Cindi, said in a statement on the day he died.

Griffith's death spurred an outpouring of grief and expressions of love across the country.

President Obama said of Griffith, who was an ardent Democrat and with Ron Howard supported Obama in his 2008 campaign, "Andy was beloved by generations of fans and revered by entertainers who followed in his footsteps. He brought us characters from Sheriff Andy Taylor to Ben Matlock, and in the process, warmed the hearts of Americans everywhere."

Ron Howard told Entertainment Weekly, that Griffith "had a great sense of humor about life. ... He loved people. He loved their foibles, their quirks, and he celebrated that on the show, and he appreciated it about people in life."

Additional reporting by HOWARD BREUER

Remembering Andy Griffith

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