Cindi Knight: Who Is The Late Andy Grifith’s Wife and What Is She Up To These Days?

If it weren’t for a chance meeting with legendary actor, Andy Griffith, in 1978, Cindi Knight may have lived out an ordinary life as a high school teacher, and perhaps as a mom and wife. But alas, that chance meeting did happen and Knight would go on to spend about three decades as the wife of a Hollywood star. She schmoozed with governors and celebrities alike and lived a comfortable life. She also proved to be indispensable to her husband as he fought several health battles down the line. Knight and Griffith had a truly impressive union and remained together until death tore them apart in 2012.

Profile Summary Of Cindi Knight

  • Full Name: Cindi Knight
  • Date of birth: 2nd May 1983
  • Age: 39
  • Place of birth: Jacksonville, Florida
  • Father: Bobby Knight
  • Mother: Muriel
  • Educational Institutions attended: Terry Parker High School, Jacksonville University
  • Occupation: teacher, actress, and dancer
  • Spouse: Andy Griffith (1983 – 2012)
  • Children: None

Cindi Knight is A Native of Jacksonville and Previously Taught High School English

Before she became the wife of a legendary Hollywood actor, Cindi Knight was just an ordinary girl who was born on the 2nd day of May in 1983. She grew up in the town of Jacksonville, Florida, and was well cared for by her parents – Bobby Knight and mom – Muriel. Knight’s parents were both educators and she unsurprisingly followed their path. She completed her high school diploma at Terry Parker High School and obtained her college degree from Jacksonville University. After her studies, Cindi Knight settled down in Jacksonville and landed a job as an English teacher at the local Wolfson High School.

She lived a full life by any measure and utilized her spare time to take dancing classes. It was this particular hobby of hers that motivated her to try out for several plays and it was in the course of one such play that she ran into the man who would become her husband.

She Met Andy Griffith During a Play in 1978 and They Tied the Knot in 1983

Cindi Knight
Image Source

Cindi Knight’s dance training, as well as her teaching background in English, meant that she was very interested in taking part in theatrical productions. She tried out for several and landed a part in the play, The Lost Colony, in 1978. The play was staged in North Carolina and one of the cast members was Andy Griffith. At this time, Griffith was already famous for his role as the gruff but lovable sheriff, Andy Taylor, on The Andy Griffith Show. This did not stop him from mingling with his fellow cast members and he became good friends with Knight. They kept in touch even after the play was concluded and Knight eventually moved out to Los Angeles in 1980 to pursue acting seriously.

At this time, Andy Griffith was still married to his second wife, Solica Cassuto, and he and Knight remained just friends. He was her confidant and adviser as she tried to make headway in her career whilst holding down part-time jobs as a substitute teacher. Griffith would eventually divorce Cassuto in 1981 and he and Knight began dating. They later tied the knot in the month of April 1983 in a ceremony held at Griffith’s North Carolina estate. The marriage was Cindi Knight’s first while for Griffith, it was his third. The actor-cum-comic was previously married to his college sweetheart and duo partner, Barbara Bray Edwards from 1949 to 1972. They later divorced and he then got married to Solica Cassuto in 1973.

When Cindi Knight and Andy Griffith tied the knot in 1983, she was 27 years old while he was 56 years. This made for a huge age difference of 29 years between them but the couple couldn’t care less and Griffith dismissed it as being of no consequence.

Cindi Knight
The couple with a pal of theirs Image Source

The Couple’s Marriage Lasted For Nearly Three Decades Until Griffith’s Death In 2012

Cindi Knight was married to Andy Griffith for a total of 29 years until his demise in 2012. The couple had no kids together but they had a lot of love between them. Knight supported her husband as his career wound down. She was also by his side as he received several well-deserved accolades for his works, including a presidential medal of freedom. The couple regularly hung out with governors and other notable personalities but they still remained down to earth. In fact, they loved nothing better than hosting Knight’s parents in their home or going out to visit them in the Arlington area. The union between Knight and Griffith was not without difficulties though as they had to deal with some issues, most notably the actor’s health challenges.

In fact, just a month after their wedding, Griffith came down with a rare neurological disorder known as the Guillain-Barre syndrome. It left him paralyzed from the waist down for several months and it was Knight who nursed him back to good health. She was also there for him when he suffered a heart attack and had to undergo quadruple bypass surgery in June 2000. Another time that Knight stepped up to the plate to care for her husband was in 2007 when he suffered a fall and injured his hip. The actor had to be flown out to Los Angeles to undergo surgery at the famed Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and as usual, Knight was not only by his side but helped him recuperate. She was truly indispensable and Griffith went on to describe her as the best thing to ever happen to him. According to him, Knight brought him more joy than he has ever known.

Cindi Knight
The couple at an event honoring Andy Griffith in 2002 Image Source

Cindi Knight and Griffith’s Daughter, Dixie Nann, Share in his Estate

Andy Griffith may have been a two-time divorcee but his marriage to Cindi Knight turned out to be a good exception. They remained together until he passed away on the 4th of July 2012. His cause of death was simply listed as illness and Knight was by his side as he took his last breath. Of course, this devastated her but it seemed that she and her late husband had anticipated and planned for such a day. The actor was buried just five hours after his death. There was not much fanfare and his final resting place is on Roanoke Island near the coast of North Carolina.

It has been nearly a decade since Andy Griffith passed away and in that time, Cindi Knight has moved on with her life. She has never remarried, to the best of public knowledge, and lives out of the spotlight. The Jacksonville native rarely makes the news and the most recent mention seems to be in 2013 when several dailies reported that she had obtained a permit to demolish one of the houses on the property of her late husband. The news displeased some section of the public as they felt that it could have been better used as a museum to preserve the actor’s memory

Knight did not respond to all the talk as she was well within her rights to make such plans, having inherited the property. She and Griffith never had any kids together but the actor had a daughter named Dixie Nann from his first marriage. Tabloid reports have it that Griffith cut Dixie out of his will two months to his death and this led to a feud. This has not been confirmed at all. What is for sure is that he changed his will two months to his death and entrusted his estate to the care of a trustee. It is now the trustee that will manage the same and share the proceeds between his wife and his daughter – his two direct survivors.

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