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Friday, December 1, 2017

In Memoriam: Jim Nabors, 1930 - 2017

Jim Nabors in 2008

Jim Nabors, a good-hearted Alabama boy with an amazing baritone voice, who made it big in Hollywood playing aw-shucks Marine private Gomer Pyle, has died at age 87 at home in Honolulu.

I well recall hearing - with great disbelief - that rumor back in my high school days that he and Rock Hudson had gotten married.  It was just too silly to take seriously:  I mean, really -- those two, obviously straight as a board?  They didn't fit the gay stereotype at all.  It was to laugh.

But little did I know that both Nabors and Hudson really were gay.  Sadly, Hudson died of AIDS in 1985, but Nabors lived a long, full, happy life with his partner of 40-plus years, Stan Cadwallader, happily running a macadamia nut farm on Maui and doing the occasional singing or acting gig.  The couple were married by a judge in Seattle in 2013, shortly after same-sex marriage was legalized in Washington state.

Nabors kept his private life private, and there's nothing wrong with that.  I suppose his modest, gentle style of humor is quite incomprehensible to the frenzied children of this harsh and vulgar age, but I remember his character fondly.  May he rest in peace.

In this clip from Gomer Pyle, USMC, Nabors displays his big, beautiful singing voice:


Frank said...

Nice tribute. He was a low key actor. Not necessarily my sense of humor, but a good guy.

Russ Manley said...

I think so too. From all I've read, he was just a sweet guy, and never let fame and fortune go to his head.

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