Jim Nabors’ name is trending on Twitter today, and whenever a man in Hollywood makes the news in these times, people probably automatically think that he’s been accused of doing illegal acts of wrong sexual shit. But you won’t see any “Groper Pyle” headlines from The New York Post today. Jim Nabors is trending on Twitter, because he has sadly gone on to the great beyond. He was 87. And may that gorgeous beaded jacket go to the afterworld with Jim, because it deserves a prime spot in heaven’s Museum of Glamour.
CBS News says that Jim died this morning at his home in Hawaii. Jim’s husband, Stan Cadwallader, says that after Thanksgiving, his health went downhill. Jim spent some time at the hospital, but they ultimately decided to bring him home. Stan says that Jim died of natural causes.
Your auntie, second cousin thrice removed, hairdresser, favorite In-N-Out employee (we all have one) and everyone else knows Jim best as Gomer Pyle on The Andy Griffith Show. Jim was supposed to play the ditzy gas station attendant for just one episode, but he was so popular that he became a regular and gaw-leeeee’d on for 23 episodes. That led to his own spin-off show, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., which ran from 1964 to 1969. Jim played Gomer Pyle again in 1986’s Return to Mayberryand on an episode of the 90s sitcom Hi Honey, I’m Home!
Beyond Gomer Pyle, Jim was also in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, The Carol Burnett Show, Knight Rider, The Love Boat and The Sonny & Cher Show. His variety show, The Jim Nabors Hour, ran from 1969-1971. It came back for a minute in 1978.
Jim came out as gay in 2013 when Washington passed their marriage equality law. That’s when Jim married Stan, who was his partner of 38 years at the time. Contrary to that rumor your grandma probably helped spread, Stan was Jim’s first and only husband. There was an untrue rumor that Jim married Rock Hudson in the 1970s.
Rest in peace, Jim Nabors. You are now in heaven, brushing the earholes of the angels with your deep velvet voice: