It is often said that the third time is the charm and this proves true in the case of legendary Hollywood actor, Andy Griffith. During his lifetime, Griffith made a name for himself as a result of unforgettable appearances in several TV shows and movies such as a Face in the Crowd, No Time for Sergeants, The Andy Griffith Show, and Matlock. He collected numerous accolades across TV, movie, and theatre projects but when it came to his personal life, it was a different ballgame. The award-winning actor, comic, and musician was married and divorced twice, to Barbara Bray Edwards and Solica Cassuto, before finally meeting the lady, Cindi Knight, with whom he would spend the rest of his life until his demise in 2012.
Andy Griffith’s First Spouse Was His College Sweetheart – Barbara Bray Edwards
- Full name: Barbara Bray Edwards St- Clair
- Place of birth: Wilson County, North Carolina
- Date of birth: 17th August 1926
- Deceased: 23rd July 1980
- Children: Two including Dixie Nann
- Occupation: Singer and actress
The very first spouse that the late Andy Griffith married was his college sweetheart, Barbara Bray Edwards. Born on the 17th of August 1926, Barbara hails from the same state as Griffith, i.e. North Carolina, and grew up in a family of five which included her father, James Edwards, mom – Dixie Vance, a brother named James Jr., and a sister named Mary. Barbara grew up in North Carolina and completed her high school diploma before heading off to the University of Chapel Hill. Blessed with a beautiful soprano voice, she enrolled for a music degree and it was in the course of her classes that she met Andy Griffith. They began dating in the late 40s and got married upon graduation in 1949.
Going into their union, Barbara and Andy Griffith had a clear vision of not only succeeding in their family life but also in their careers. They formed a musical-comedy duo and performed at any venue that would have them, including community centers. They encountered tough times but many believed that Barbara, with her beautiful voice, would go on to become a future star. This was not to be though as it was Griffith who utilized a spoken word routine (What It Was, Was Football) to release a comedy single in 1954. The single was a hit and it marked the beginning of his blockbuster career.
This success initially brought joy to Barbara and Andy Griffith but it also turned out to be a problem. The couple both drank a lot and squabbled over several issues. Matters were further complicated by Griffith’s rumored infidelity with his The Andy Griffith Show co-stars such as Joanna Moore and Aneta Corsaut. The marriage between the couple later broke down irretrievably and they divorced in 1972. Barbara Bray and Andy Griffith were married for 23 years. They never had any child together but adopted two children a son, Andy (died 1996), and a daughter, Dixie. Following her divorce from Andy Griffith, Barbara remarried a man named Michael St. Clair in 1975. They remained together until her demise at the age of 50 in 1980.
Barbara Bray Edwards is the only one of Andy Griffith’s wives who appeared on his popular show, The Andy Griffith Show. In season 4 in 1963, she portrayed the role of a choir member named Sharon and spoke only one line, “I’m sorry Mr. Masters”. Additionally, in season five episode one, Griffith’s character, Sheriff Andy Taylor, was reminiscing on his love life and mentioned that he once had a crush on a girl named Barbara Edwards when he was in school.
His Second Marriage Was to Greek Actress, Solica Cassuto
- Full name: Solica Cassuto
- Place of birth: Greece
- Date of birth: 1950
- Children: None
- Occupation: Actress
Andy Griffith did not spend too much time agonizing over his divorce from Barbara Bray but rather commenced a new romance with actress, Solica Cassuto, the same year his divorce was finalized. Cassuto is originally from Greece and was born in the year 1950. She pursued a career as an actress but only scored in minor roles. Griffith and Cassuto most probably ran into each other at an industry event and commenced a relationship in 1972. Their romance quickly progressed and by the next year, they tied the knot. The ceremony was a simple one but nonetheless heartfelt. It took place in the backyard of Griffith’s home at Toluca Lake, California, and featured a huge harp that serenaded the couple during the ceremony.
Following the nuptials, Griffith and Cassuto settled down at Toluca Lake. The actor continued making waves in his own career while Cassuto also pursued hers but she was never able to reach the kind of success that her husband achieved. This reality did not cause any problem with the couple though. Cassuto was a fine wife, as well as a fine stepmother to Griffith’s kids from his first marriage. The couple appeared on the red carpet on several occasions and also made out time to visit Griffith’s family back in Mount Airy, North Carolina. Most people believed that the marriage between Griffith and Cassuto would not last, given that he was conservative and she was free-spirited. The couple proved the doubters wrong and made their union work for eight years. They later divorced in 1981. It is not known whether Cassuto ever remarried as she dropped out of the spotlight following her divorce from Griffith.
Griffith Got Married For a Third Time to High School Teacher, Cindi Knight, in 1983
- Full name: Cindi Knight Griffith
- Place of birth: Jacksonville, Florida
- Date of birth: 2nd May 1953
- Children: None
- Occupation: teacher, actress, and dancer
Cindi Knight was Andy Griffith’s wife at the time of his death in 2012. Originally from Jacksonville, Florida, she was born on the 2nd of May 1953 and grew up as the daughter of two educators namely Bobby and Muriel Knight. Thanks to her parents’ influence, Cindi obtained a college degree from Jacksonville University and went on to become a high school English teacher at a local school in Wolfson. She also had an interest in dancing and took several classes. This dance training later motivated her to try out for several stage productions and one of the plays that she landed a part in was The Lost Colony in 1978 in North Carolina. Andy Griffith happened to be a cast member of The Lost Colony and they both became good friends.
Cindi and Griffith stayed in the friend zone for about two years as the actor was still married to his second wife, Solica. He later divorced the Greek actress in 1981 and they began their romance. They dated for about two years before tying the knot in 1983. Cindi Knight tried to make a go at her career and scored the role of a secretary in the TV series, Matt Houston, from 1982 to 1983. She also had a minor role in the 1983 TV movie, Murder in Coweta County, which also featured her husband. After this, she dropped her career and concentrated on her home life.
That home life turned out to be quite successful. Knight and Griffith never had any kids but they had enough love to sustain their marriage for 29 years. During this time, they enjoyed the highs of award ceremonies and the likes. They also faced the multiple health challenges that confronted Griffith, including a heart attack and a hip injury. The couple triumphed above all this and stayed married until the actor passed away in 2012. Knight, alongside his daughter – Dixie, inherited his estate and the Jacksonville native is now living out of the spotlight. She has never remarried, at least to the best of public knowledge.