||James Thurston Nabors
June 12, 1930
Sylacauga, Alabama, U.S.
||November 30, 2017
Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.
University of Alabama
Gomer Pyle on
The Andy Griffith Show and
Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.
||Stan Cadwallader (m. 2013)
James Thurston Nabors (June 12, 1930 – November 30, 2017) was an American actor, singer, and comedian.
He was born and raised in
Sylacauga, Alabama, but he moved to southern California because of his
asthma. He was discovered by
Andy Griffith while working at a
Santa Monica nightclub, and he later joined
The Andy Griffith Show as
Gomer Pyle. The character proved popular, and Nabors was given his own spin-off show
Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C..
Nabors was known for his portrayal of Gomer Pyle, although he became a popular guest on variety shows which showcased his rich
baritone singing voice in the 1960s and 1970s, including two specials of his own in 1969 and 1974. He subsequently recorded numerous albums and singles, most of them containing romantic
Nabors was also known for singing "
Back Home Again in Indiana" prior to the start of the
Indianapolis 500, held annually over the
Memorial Day weekend. He sang the unofficial Indiana anthem almost every year from 1972 to 2014, except for occasional absences due to illness or scheduling conflicts.