Everybody knows about Andy Griffith, that familiar face that multiple generations watched on TV whether it was the earliest movies in the 1950s he made when transitioning from comedian to film star, or on the Andy Griffith show in the 1960s with his pal Don Knotts, or whether it was on the ever popular show, Matlock, from 1986-1992.
The 1970s were the lost decade for Andy, but as you’ll see, he was very busy during this time playing another role, but not in Hollywood. His is a face one cannot forget, that’s why when I first saw this face where one would not expect it, curiosity got the better of me and I decided to start digging a little further.
Chaim Herzog (17 September 1918 – 17 April 1997) served as the sixth President of Israel (1983–93), following a distinguished career in both the British Army and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
If we break up his life’s timeline into the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s, we will see the robust career he achieved, and the importance of his actions to the State of Israel over those past decades. He joined the British army during World War II, operating primarily in Germany, where he is credited with identifying the captured German soldier known as Heinrich Himmler. His intelligence experience during World War II was seen as a valuable asset, and so he became head of the IDF Military Intelligence Branch. From 1950 to 1954, he served as defense attaché at the Israeli Embassy in the United States. In 1962 he retired from the IDF as a Major-General and was appointed to the role of Military Governor of East Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. In 1972, along with others, he established one of the largest law firms in Israel. He was appointed to the role of Israel’s Ambassador to the UN in 1975 in which he served up until 1978. Take a look at the photo below and see a young Andy.
Take careful note of what he did during this time. From Wikipedia:
During his term the UN adopted the “Zionism is Racism” resolution (General Assembly Resolution 3379), which Herzog condemned and symbolically tore up (as his father had done to one of the British white papers regarding the British Mandate in Palestine), saying: “For us, the Jewish people, this resolution based on hatred, falsehood and arrogance, is devoid of any moral or legal value.” In recent years British historians headed by Simon Sebag-Montefiore have included this speech in a book on speeches that changed the world, which includes others byMartin Luther King, Jr, Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill and John F. Kennedy.
In 1981 he entered politics, and then in 1983 he was elected President of Israel.
But let’s for a moment return to the life timeline of Andy Griffith. It was also in 1983 that Andy was stricken with Guillen-Barr syndrome, a viral nerve infection accompanied by pain and paralysis in his legs that gradually receded. He made a triumphant return to TV stardom in 1986, as the title character in the courtroom drama series Matlock, which aired during prime time on NBC from 1986 to 199,2 and on ABC from 1993 to 1995. He also served as an executive producer and an executive story supervisor for the show, and later reprised his role as Ben Matlock—a crafty, good-natured lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia, in a series of popular TV movies.
Griffith’s marriage to Barbara Edwards ended in divorce in 1972. He and his second wife, Solicia, divorced in 1981 after five years of marriage. In 1983, he married Cindi Knight, a former teacher and actress. The couple lived for many years on a 68-acre ranch in Dare County, North Carolina, Griffith’s home state. Griffith and his first wife had three children: Dixie, Nan and Sam, a real-estate developer who died in 1996.
Griffith died on July 3, 2012, at the age of 86, at his home in North Carolina.
In May 1939, shortly before the Second World War, the British put out the white paper of 1939 restricting Jewish immigration to Palestine. After leading a procession through the streets of Jerusalem, with an unusually united Jewish following from all sects, on the steps of the Hurva Synagogue he turned and said: We cannot agree to the White Paper. Just as the prophets did before me, I hereby rip it in two. Some 40 years later, on 10 November 1975 Ambassador Herzog repeated his father’s gesture with the UN resolution that Zionism is equal to racism. Rabbi Herzog was recognised as a great rabbinical authority, and he wrote many books and articles dealing with halachic problems surrounding the Torah and the State of Israel. Indeed, his writings helped shaped the attitude of the Religious Zionist Movement toward the State of Israel.