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The Andy Griffith Show's Jim Nabors Dead at 87

Nabors was known for playing Gomer Pyle

Liam Mathews

Jim Nabors, the actor best known for playing the dimwitted but good-natured Gomer Pyle on The Andy Griffith Show, has died, according to WTHR in Indiana. He was 87.

Nabors rose to fame playing Mayberry yokel Gomer Pyle on The Andy Griffith Show from 1962 to 1964. He was known for his thickly-accented catchphrase "Golll-ly!" He proved so popular in his 23 appearances on The Andy Griffith Show that he got his own spin-off in 1964, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., in which he joined the Marine Corps and constantly exasperated his drill sergeant Vince Carter (Frank Sutton). The series ran for five seasons.

Nabors ended the show in 1969 to focus on a more well-rounded entertainment career, starting with the variety show The Jim Nabors Hour, which showcased homespun comedy sketches and Nabors' considerable singing talent. The show was canceled in 1971.

For the rest of his career he was often typecast based on his performance as Gomer Pyle, even playing a character called "Pvt. Homer Lyle" in the movie Cannonball Run II. Nabors also appeared in every season premiere of The Carol Burnett Show, since Burnett considered him her "good luck charm."

His main focus in his later career was singing, and he released 28 albums and sang the song "Back Home Again in Indiana" before every Indianapolis 500 from 1972 to 2014. He went on to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1991 and was made an Honorary Sergeant during the 238th Marine Corps birthday ball in 2013.

Stars We've Lost in 2017

Nabors was born June 12, 1930 in Sylacauga, Alabama. In 2013, he married his partner of 38 years, Stan Cadwallader, in Seattle a month after same-sex marriage was legalized in Washington. He and Cadwallader, by whom he is survived, lived in Hawaii.

Jim Nabors, Return to Mayberry

Jim Nabors, Return to Mayberry

NBC, NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images