Jim Nabors, famous for portraying the US marine Gomer Pyle, has died at the age of 87.
Nabors died peacefully at his home in Hawaii on Thursday with his husband, Stan Cadwallader, at his side, AP reports.
Cadwallader said Nabors’ health had been declining for the past year. His immune system also was suppressed after he underwent a liver transplant about 20 years ago.
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 CBS starred him in Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.
Nabors’ operatic voice also made him a favourite in Las Vegas and other showplaces.
Nabors first showed off his booming singing voice for a national television audience in a guest appearance on The Danny Kaye Show in 1964.
To fans who knew him only as Gomer, his full-throated, almost operatic baritone was surprisingly striking, if strangely incongruous.
Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. lasted five seasons, ending in 1969, when Nabors was given his own CBS variety show and with it more opportunities to sing.
The Jim Nabors Hour lasted until 1971. In 1975 and 1976, he and Ruth Buzzi starred as a pair of androids in the ABC children’s show The Lost Saucer. He was a frequent guest on The Carol Burnett Show.