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What Happened to Andy Griffith’s Adopted Son, Sam Griffith?

Do you know Sam Griffith?

Adoption is a popular choice for celebrities when it comes to building a family.

Many big names and personalities have adopted children over the decades, including Andy Griffith Jr., aka Samuel James Griffith. He was adopted by the legendary actor Andy Griffith and his first wife, Barbara Bray Edwards.

However, things didn’t go out pretty well with his family, and it turned out to be a disaster. Andy and the legendary actor never reconciled.

Let’s get to know him more through this blog post.


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Sam Griffith’s Early Life and Family

Andy Griffith and his first wife, Barbara Edwards, adopted a boy named Samuel James Griffith in 1975, whom they later named Andy Samuel Griffith Jr. The couple also has another adoptive daughter, whom they named Dixie Griffith.

Early in his life, Sam was a wild kid. We could say a kid who’s mostly out of control.

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Drug Addiction

When he was only a teenager, he was involved in many illegal activities such as theft, drugs, and soliciting prostitutes. In addition, he had drug habits which made it more complicated for his parents.

His drug addiction brought more trouble to Sam, and he has been busted multiple times for drug possession, shoplifting, carelessly firing a gun and deadly assault.

Imagine, this was all because of his drug addiction. Andy tried his best to stop Sam from falling. However, it seems like Sam couldn’t take care of himself better.

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But, for Sam, his father was ashamed of calling him a son, so he found comfort in drug use.

At one point, Andy didn’t know what to do anymore with Sam and could not understand what he really wanted, so there came a time when he raised his hands on Sam. This makes things more difficult for the father and son. They had a lack of understanding and conversation.

Sam’s sister, Dixie, supported him and even offered money. Dixie also sent Sam to rehab so he could be calm and have improved mental health. However, Sam doesn’t want to help himself feel better, and Dixie cuts him off.

Dixie, as an adoptive daughter, has a better relationship with the couple, Andy and Barbara.

In the end, Sam and his father, Andy, wanted to fix everything and all their unresolved issues. However, time did not meet its ends.

Abuse and Violence

Aside from drug abuse, theft, and assault, Sam was once arrested by the police in North Hollywood and accused of beating his pregnant wife, Reese Denise.

Reese had a miscarriage because of this, and she initially filed a complaint. The assault was said to occur on January 6, 1992.

Based on the reports and the complaint, the couple argued, and Sam allegedly hit his wife.

Reese, who was 28 then, suffered several punches and kicks on her stomach, and she was only two months pregnant.

This horrible moment left Reese with so much to bare from Sam’s beating, severe injuries, broken finger, and miscarriage.

Additionally, it was also reported that Sam threatened her with a gun, according to the Deputy District Attorney, Jeffrey S. Gootman. In most of their fights, Sam would point a gun and once fire for a warning.

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Later, Sam was accused of 4 felony counts by the attorney, Jeffrey, including assault with a weapon, discharging a gun, and abuse.

In conclusion, he was sentenced to jail with a $100,000 fine by the Van Nuys Municipal Court.

Sam Griffith confessed in court that she abused his pregnant wife and caused serious injuries to her. Sam pleaded guilty, and as a result, the court placed him on probation.

The judge, James M. Coleman, placed him on three years of unsupervised probation and sentenced him to 90 days of jail time which was already served during the awaiting trial case.

Sam Griffith’s Death and Letter to His Father

Sam Griffith reflected on his mistakes and apologized for all the things he had done and all the crimes he did. But in 1996, Sam died before he and his father reconciled.

In 1996, Sam Griffith, who was 38 years old at that time, was found dead at his house in North Hollywood. 

He finally rested his life after all those years of abuse, and he also suffered some serious illnesses, including cirrhosis of the liver for a long time. Though, it shows that despite his struggle with the said disease, he died fighting alcoholism.

As mentioned, both his father and sister, Andy and Dixie, tried to help him to become better. Still, Sam himself doesn’t have the intentions to do so, leading him to serious illness, abuse, and eventually, death.

While Sam tried to improve himself and stay away from his addiction, his body gave up, and it was the end of his life.

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Before Sam’s death, he tried reaching out to his father, but he could not do it right, so instead, he wrote a letter apologizing to Andy, full of regrets. He begged Andy to give him another chance to be a son. However, Sam did not send the message, and Andy never heard the plea.

Sam Griffith died in his house with a letter dropped alongside his body over a desk. 

Even after Sam’s death, his father, Andy Griffith, never attended his funeral. All ended with Sam, who passed away, and he brought with him the last chance of reconciliation.

On July 3, 2012, Andy Griffith went to the graves. The iconic star left the world with a heavy heart and full of regrets.

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