According to CNN, our hearts are very sad to report that Jim Nabors, the actor who most famously portrayed the lovable goofball Gomer Pyle in The Andy Griffith Show (1960-68) and Gomer Pyle: USMC (1964-69) died on November 30, 2017 at the age of 87 in Honolulu, HI to reasons unreported at this time.
Known for phrases like "GAWWWLY!" and "Shazam!" Jim Nabors took on the role of the Wally's Service Station mechanic in Mayberry on The Andy Griffith Show in its third season in 1963, and continued that role through 1964 and the fourth season, before starting his own show as a marine in Gomer Pyle: USMC under the ever-watchful eye and tough direction of Sgt. Vince Carter (Frank Sutton) for five seasons. Even though Nabors was not on The Andy Griffith Show for too long, so much of the heart and soul and humor of Mayberry and the show came from this man in those two seasons. His mechanic role was replaced by cousin Goober Pyle (George Lindsey) for the rest of the show, who appeared together with Gomer in one episode in the fourth season, maybe one of the best episodes titled "Fun Girls." Other favorite episodes worth mentioning where Gomer steals the show are "Gomer the House Guest," "Andy Saves Gomer," and "A Date for Gomer." As one of the last living members of The Andy Griffith Show cast, Jim Nabors is survived by a little-known director Ron Howard, who played Opie Taylor, as well as Betty Lynn, Barney Fife's (Don Knotts) girl Thelma Lou, both regulars like Nabors. Other living stars include Elinor Donahue as Andy Taylor's (Andy Griffith) first girl Ellie, Maggie Mancuso as the giggly Charlene Darling, Jack Burns as deputy Warren Ferguson, Ken Barry as Sam Jones, and Sue Ane Langdon as Mary Simpson, to name the most familiar. Jim Nabors returned along with most of the original cast for the made-for-television movie, Return to Mayberry (1986).
Jim Nabors also had an incredible talent for singing, surprisingly coming from his mouth despite his twanging accent, his deep baritone voice "spotted" early on in a very memorable choir episode, "The Song Festers," of The Andy Griffith Show. You can hear his incredible voice here.
Jim Nabors was nominated for a Golden Globe in 1970 for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical for The Jim Nabors Hour (1969-71), and a Daytime Emmy for that same show in 1978. Other notable television show appearances included The Carol Burnett Show (1967-78), The Love Boat (1977-87), The Lucy Show (1962-68), and The Muppet Show (1976-81).
Other notable film appearances included The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982), Cannonball Run II (1984), and Take Her, She's Mine (1963).
Rest in peace, Jim Nabors...Gomer. Your heart, humor, voice, and presence will be greatly missed.