Richard (Dick) O. Linke, who was the longtime personal manager of Andy Griffith in addition to producing “The Andy Griffith Show” and several of its spinoffs, has died. He was 98.
He died on Wednesday at his home in Hawaii, according to a release issued by Ohio University, Linke’s alma matter.
Linke moved to the New York City area in 1941. There he spent two years at the Associated Press before moving to the public relations firm Earle Ferris & Co., where he handled publicity for 40 radio stations. Soon after, he upgraded to a larger firm where his account included “The Chesterfield Supper Club,” starring Perry Como.
Linke then switched over to Capitol Records where he worked with Nat King Cole, Mel Torme, Peggy Lee and bandleader Stan Kenton.
In 1953, Linke met Andy Griffith, who he began to personally manage. In 1959, Griffith and Linke moved to Los Angeles to produce “The Andy Griffith Show.” While working on the show, Linke built up his clientele to include Jim Nabors, Ken Berry and Frankie Avalon. In addition to “The Andy Griffith Show,” Linke is credited as a producer on “Mayberry R.F.D.” and “The Jim Nabors Hour.”
Following his career as a producer and manager, Linke became an adjunct professor at Ohio University. There he established the Richard O. Linke Scholarship for the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.
He is survived by five children.