'The Andy Griffith Show' Star Jim Nabors Dead at 87

Actor-singer Jim Nabors famed for his'Gomer Pyle character died Thursday at his home in Hawaii.  
      Credit NBC  Getty Images

Actor-singer Jim Nabors famed for his'Gomer Pyle character died Thursday at his home in Hawaii. Credit NBC Getty Images

Nabors was living in Hawaii with his husband, Stan Cadwallader, who he married in 2013 when gay marriage was legalized in Washington state.

Nabors played Gomer Pyle, a simple-minded auto mechanic, on the hit television comedy "The Andy Griffith Show" from 1962 to 1964. He was signed for just one Season Three episode but was so popular that he appeared in 23 installments of the popular show.

It led to Nabors getting his own spin-off Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., which followed the character after he joined the marines, and ran for five years from 1964 to 1969. "Everybody knows he was a wonderful man".

Cadwallader says Nabors' health had been declining for the past year.

Nabors' comic persona, with his natural Alabama accent stretched to a near-cartoon drawl, evaporated when switched gears to sing, utilizing a baritone that sounded both formal and trained, a dichotomy used to great effect as far back as the Griffith show. They lived together in Hawaii, where Nabors had moved in the1970s.

He also made annual appearances at Indianapolis 500, performing "Back Home Again in Indiana" during the opening ceremonies.

Nabors first tackled the Hoosier anthem in 1972, and did it every year (except one, 2007, which he missed with an illness) until 2014, which he announced would be his last.

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