Actor Jim Nabors, who achieved widespread fame for his portrayal of Gomer Pyle on The Andy Griffith Show and an eponymous spinoff, passed away Wednesday night at his home in Hawaii at the age of 87. An Alabama native with a rich baritone, Nabors sang “Back Home Again in Indiana” during the opening ceremonies of the Indianapolis 500 for more than four decades, with his last performance coming in 2014. Known for uttering the catchphrase “Golly!” when awed by his Andy Griffith sidekick, Don Knotts’ Barney Fife, Nabors’ Pile enlisted in the Marines, leading to the spinoff Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., which aired from 1964-1969. Nabors then shocked viewers and network executives alike by leaving the show at the peak of its popularity to pursue other ventures, including his own variety show, The Jim Nabors Hour, and select feature films.
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