Television legend Jim Nabors who starred in the hit sitcoms The Andy Griffith Show and its spinoff Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. has passed away at the age of 87.
Nabors quickly became a fan favorite on The Andy Griffith Show as Gomer Pyle, the good natured gas station attendant with a golden voice. His cahracter was so popular that Nabors was given his own show, Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C., which ran from 1964 to 1969.
Nabors himself was a professional singer who recorded 28 albums, five of which went gold and one went platinum. He quickly became a popular guest star on many televised variety shows during the 1960s and 1970s, which showcased his impressive baritone voice as well as his higher tenor.
Nabors was openly gay and was rumored to have secretly married actor Rock Hudson in the early 1970s. These allegations were false and spread from an inside joke that started in the homosexual community of Huntington Beach. Hudson once famously spoke about the rumor saying,
There appears to be a couple of elderly, or middle-aged homosexuals who live in Huntington Beach, which is just down the coast from Los Angeles, who every year give a party, a big party, 500 people or so. And they invite everyone they know. It’s an engraved invitation, and to make it amusing they will say, ‘You’re cordially invited to the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in Huntington Beach.’ One year the invitation was, ‘You are cordially invited to the wedding reception of Rock Hudson and Jim Nabors.’ And it went all over the country.
In reality, Nabors was married to his partner of 40 years, Stan Cadwallader, in 2013. The couple lived together in Hawaii.
According to Fox News, Cadwallader has said that Nabors’ health had been declining for more than a year. Nabors died peacefully in their home with Cadawallader at his side on November 30, 2017.
Nabors was a strong supporter of the United States Marine Corps. He is one of a select few to earn the official title of “Honorary Marine.” Nabors was made an honorary Sergeant of the Marine Corps during the 238th Marine Corps birthday ball in 2013.
Remember Jim in one of his most memorable scenes from The Gomer Pyle Show as he sings “The Impossible Dream.”