Jim Nabors, the star who played the clumsy deputy sheriff Gomer Pyle on “The Andy Griffith Show” and eventually starred in his own spinoff, has died. He was 87.
Nabors' husband, Stan Cadwallader, told the Associated Press his longtime partner had died at home in Hawaii.
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Nabors, a native of Alabama, became an instant success when he joined "The Andy Griffith Show" in the spring of 1963. The character of Gomer Pyle — the unworldly, lovable gas pumper who would exclaim "Gollllll-ly!" — proved so popular that in 1964 CBS starred him in "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C."
Beverly Sills, Carol Burnett and Jim Nabors on April 26, 1986. (AP Photo/Nick Ut) (AP)
In the spinoff, which lasted five seasons, Gomer left his hometown of Mayberry to become a Marine recruit. His innocence confounded his sergeant, the irascible Frank Sutton.
Nabors was known as an ardent supporter of the U.S. Marine Corps. He is one of only a handful of people to earn the official status of "Honorary Marine."
Jim Nabors before the 2014 Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway May 25, 2014 (USA Today Sports)
In 2013, he made headlines for marrying Cadwallader. The couple met in 1975 when Cadwallader was a Honolulu firefighter.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.