Jim Nabors, best known for his role as television’s “Gomer Pyle” on the “Andy Griffith Show” and later his own series, has died.
Nabors was 87.
Nabors died at his home in Hawaii on Wednesday night, his longtime partner told Indiana’s WTHR.
Born and raised in Sylacauga, Alabama, Nabors became well known as Gomer Pyle on the “Andy Griffith Show” before the character was spun off into “Gomer Pyle, USMC,” which ran from 1964-1969. Throughout his career, Nabors appeared on a number of variety shows and hosted his own specials in the 1960s and 1970s, often featuring his booming baritone voice.
Nabors was also well known for singing “Back Home Again in Indiana” at the start of the Indianapolis 500 from 1972-2014.
In 2013, Nabors announced he had married his long-time partner, Stan Cadwallader.
“I’m 82 and he’s in his 60s and so we’ve been together for 38 years and I’m not ashamed of people knowing, it’s just that it was such a personal thing, I didn’t tell anybody,” Nabors said at the time. “I’m very happy that I’ve had a partner of 38 years and I feel very blessed. And, what can I tell you, I’m just very happy.”
Asked in a 2000 interview with the Los Angeles Times about why The Andy Griffith Show and Gomer Pyle continued to be so popular, Nabors said, “Television has become very cynical, even the comedy shows, and the cynicism from the young people just boggles my mind.
“In Mayberry, there was no illness. There was no war. There was no violence. There was no graffiti. We all had a good time, and we laughed a lot.”
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