Jim Nabors, the shy Alabaman whose down-home comedy made him a TV star as Gomer Pyle has died at the age of 87.
Nabors, who underwent a liver transplant in 1994 after contracting hepatitis B, died peacefully at his home in Hawaii after his health had declined for the past year.
Nabors became an instant success when he joined “The Andy Griffith Show” in the early 1960s.
The character of Gomer Pyle, the unworldly, lovable gas pumper who would exclaim “Gollllll-ly!” proved so popular that in 1964, C-B-S starred him in “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.”
In the spinoff, which lasted five seasons, Gomer left his hometown of Mayberry to become a Marine recruit.
Audiences saw another side of Nabors in appearances in T-V variety programs — his booming baritone.
He recorded more than two dozen albums and sang with the Dallas and St. Louis symphony orchestras.
In 1991, Nabors got a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame in ceremonies attended by pals Carol Burnett, Loni Anderson, Phyllis Diller and Florence Henderson.
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