Jim Nabors, who played dim-witted, affable mechanic Gomer at Wally’s gas station in Mayberry on ‘The Andy Griffith Show’, has died.
His health had been declining the past year.
He underwent a liver transplant about 20 years ago.
Nabors was signed for just one episode in the show’s third season in 1962, but his character proved so popular he made two more appearances, culminating with the fourth-season finale in which Gomer joined the Marines.
The episode also served as the pilot for the spinoff sitcom, ‘Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C.’ which ran until 1969.
After that he had his own TV variety show for a couple of seasons before going on to perform in Vegas and concert halls across the U.S.
With his rich, operatic baritone voice, Nabors recorded over two dozen albums.
Asked once in a 2000 interview, why ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ and ‘Gomer Pyle’ continued to be so popular, Nabors said ”In Mayberry, there was no illness. There was no war. There was no violence. There was no graffiti. We all had a good time, and we laughed a lot.”