Jim Nabors, Singer and TV’s Gomer Pyle, Has Died
Jim Nabors — an actor best known as Gomer Pyle on the Andy Griffith Show — has died. The 87-year-old leaves behind a husband, millions of fans of his work on television and a rich catalog of music.
While the majority of his 28 albums leaned into pop or standards, Nabors did try country at different times throughout his illustrious career, even appearing at the Grand Ole Opry or visiting Nashville with friend Minnie Pearl. Five of his albums were certified gold and one went platinum for one million copies sold. The most well-circulated of his performances of country music is an endearing appearance on The Muppet Show, singing John Denver's "Thank God I'm a Country Boy."
Nabors will rightly be remembered as an actor before a musician, however. The Alabama native was discovered doing standup comedy by Andy Griffith and starred on The Andy Griffith Show from 1962 to 1964. His character, the lovable gas station attendant Gomer Pyle, became so popular that he earned a spinoff of his own called Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. During the five season run catchphrases like "Golleee" and "Shazam" became popular. His high-pitched voice ran counter to his singing voice, a warm, rich baritone.
After a run on scripted television Nabors would host a variety television on TV and continue to act in several Burt Reynolds movies. Later in life he'd buy a large macadamia nut ranch in Hawaii and marry Stan Cadwallader in 2013. That's where he lived until his death on Thursday (Nov. 30) at age 87.
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