RALEIGH -

(AP) - The man who played Andy Griffith's son on television for eight seasons remembers the actor as someone who taught by example that leadership requires not only confidence and hard work but also humility and humanity.

Film director Ron Howard made those comments in an audio presentation Sunday at "Mayberry Days," the annual celebration of "The Andy Griffith Show" in Mount Airy. Howard played Sheriff Andy Taylor's son, Opie, from the ages of 6 to 14.

The event's organizers surprised the crowd at a Griffith tribute with Howard's recording.

Howard says he'll always be grateful for the creative environment that Griffith established on the set.

Griffith was a native of Mount Airy. He was 86 years old when he died July 3 at his Manteo home.