Jim Nabors, TV's "Gomer Pyle," dies at 87

Chris Miller
November 30, 2017 - 11:52 am
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Jim Nabors, known to millions as Gomer Pyle from The Andy Griffith Show and Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., has died. He was 87.

Nabors died in his home in Honolulu, Hawaii, his husband Stan Cadwallader confirmed today. Cadwallader said Nabor's health had been in decline for the past year.

An Alabama native, Nabors portrayed Pyle with a wide-eyed, "aw shucks" demeanor and thick southern accent that belied an impressive baritone singing voice. He recorded more than two dozen albums and hosted his own variety show, The Jim Nabors Hour, in 1969 and 1970. In 1971, he came to New Orleans for Mardi Gras and reigned as Bacchus.

Nabors was originally signed to play the character of Gomer Pyle for one episode of The Andy Griffith Show, but became a recurring character appearing in 23 episodes. The character proved popular enough to headline his own series, when Gomer enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and left Mayberry, and Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., ran for five seasons on CBS from 1964 to 1969.

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