The news over the past couple of years has been filled with the deaths of famous folks, known for their work on the silver screen, small screen, and even stage. Sadly, another star has passed away. Jim Nabors of The Andy Griffith Show and Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. died today. He was 87-years-old at the time of his passing.
Jim Nabors' death was confirmed by his husband, Stan Cadwallader, to have happened on November 30. Associated Press reports that Nabors passed away at his home in Hawaii after suffering a decline in health over the past year. Cadwallader, who married Nabors in early 2013 in a Washinton state ceremony, was by his side. The Alabama native turned 87 back in June.
Television audiences were introduced to Jim Nabors as Gomer Pyle back in 1962 in a Season 3 episode of The Andy Griffith Show on CBS. He played a lovable (if somewhat naive) gas station attendant in Mayberry, and he was such a hit that he was promoted from a one-shot guest star to a series regular. Gomer Pyle's popularity continued to grow, and Nabors was given an Andy Griffith Show spinoff of his very own, called Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., in 1964.
Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. saw Gomer decide to join the Marine Corp, much to the frustration of a drill instructor who expected less naivete out of him. The show took Gomer out of Mayberry and to Camp Wilson in North Carolina, although the series was later shifted to California for the fictional Camp Henderson. The series was a big hit for CBS, and it ultimately ran for five seasons and 150 episodes.
Of course, Jim Nabors was known for more than simply his beloved role as Gomer Pyle. Nabors was also a hit on the variety show circuit thanks to his humor and his booming baritone voice capable of hitting some astonishing operatic notes. He even went on to host his own variety show, The Jim Nabors Hour, from 1969 to 1971. Following the end of The Jim Nabors Hour, he kicked off a roadshow that took him all over the country. Back in 1991, Nabors was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Fans of his will undoubtedly be saddened by news of his death, but at least he has a long career to celebrate in his memory.
Our thoughts here at CinemaBlend are with the friends and family of Jim Nabors in this difficult time. If you're now in the mood to check out Jim Nabors as the unforgettable Gomer Pyle, you can find the full series of The Andy Griffith Show streaming on both Netflix and Amazon Prime. Unfortunately, Gomer Pyle is not available streaming at this point. Take a look at our 2018 midseason TV premiere guide for your viewing options in the new year, and don't forget to check out our rundown of 2017 TV cancellations.