Published: Fri, December 01, 2017
Culture&Arts | By Darrell Mcdonald

'Gomer Pyle' star Jim Nabors dead at 87

'Gomer Pyle' star Jim Nabors dead at 87

Jim Nabors, whose name is synonymous with the genial bumpkin Gomer Pyle, whom he played on TV, died on Thursday morning, his husband told the Associated Press. "The series ran for four seasons, and Nabors" 20% cut of the syndication revenue for the popular series made him financially secure thereafter and able to pursue broader interests as a singer and comic raconteur.

Nabors is best known for portraying comedic gas station attendant Gomer Pyle in 23 episodes of The Andy Griffith Show, before reprising his role as the character in Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. for five seasons on CBS from 1964-1969.

From 1997 to 2006, Nabors starred in a live show called A Merry Christmas with Friends and Nabors broadcast from Hawaii Theatre Center in Honolulu, where he had moved in 1976.

Motorsport.com sends its condolences to Cadwallader and all who knew and loved Jim Nabors. "And at my age, it's probably the best thing to do". "I'd had it with the bright lights".

For racing fans, Nabors was the voice that sang "Back Home Again in Indiana" during the opening ceremonies for the Indianapolis 500. That first time, he wrote the lyrics on his hand so he wouldn't forget. "It is applauding for the tradition of the race and the excitement". But he was back performing at Indy in 2008, saying, "It's always the main part of my year".

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Nabors was an authentic small-town Southern boy, born James Thurston Nabors in Sylacauga, Alabama, in 1930, son of a police officer. He started to entertain his friends when he was a kid because of bouts of asthma. Chronic asthma resulted in a childhood of forced seclusion, and after graduation from the U. of Alabama, he lived for a time in NY, working as a typist at the United Nations.

Nabors was discovered singing at the Horn cabaret in Santa Monica by writer-comedian Bill Dana, who booked Nabors for occasional stints on "The Steve Allen Show".

"I was up there on the stage the night that Andy Griffith came in", Nabors recalled in 1965.

In 1991, Nabors was thrilled to get a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame. "He said to me afterward, 'You know somethin, ' boy?"

Nabors soon landed a guest shot on Griffith's sitcom as Gomer Pyle.

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