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Thursday
Nov302017

Jim Nabors, best-known as TV's Gomer Pyle, dead at 87 

Getty Images/Michael Hickey(HAWAII) -- Actor and singer Jim Nabors, best known for playing lovably naive Gomer Pyle on TV's The Andy Griffith Show and its spinoff, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C, has died at age 87.

A representative of Nabors' production company confirmed Nabors' death to ABC News, saying he died peacefully at home in Hawaii at around 4:00 a.m.

Nabors joined the hit TV sitcom The Andy Griffith show in its third season in 1962 for what was supposed to be a one-time appearance, but his character's popularity won him a spot as a cast regular.  It also soon earned Nabors his own spin-off series, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., in which his character joined the Marines.  That show ran for five seasons, ending when Nabors called it quits.

Nabors was also an accomplished singer with a rich operatic baritone that belied the country twang he affected as Gomer Pyle, recording over two dozen albums of standards and Christian music and hymns.

Racing fans will also remember Nabors from his tradition of singing "Back Home Again in Indiana" before the start of the Indianapolis 500 -- a tradition he performed 36 times from 1972 to 2014, until his declining health prompted him to stop.

Nabors leaves behind his husband and partner of 38 years, Stan Cadwallader, whom he married in 2013 in Washington state, when same-sex marriage became legal there.

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