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Nabors leaves behind his husband and partner of 38 years, Stan Cadwallader, whom he married in 2013 in Washington state, when same-sex marriage became legal there. And that's all we can say about him.

Motorsport.com sends its condolences to Cadwallader and all who knew and loved Jim Nabors. He moved there in the 1980s and bought a macadamia farm. He received a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1991. His character's trademark was a drawled, "Goll-ly". After graduating from the University of Alabama with a business degree, he moved to NY and took a job as a typist at the United Nations.

Nabors became an instant success when he joined "The Andy Griffith Show" on CBS in the early 1960s.

Nabors first played the Gomer Pyle character in 1962 and played him one final time on the spin-off show in 1969. He also was a guest on other variety hours, including The Carol Burnett Show and The Sonny and Cher Show. His career was helped along by friend Burt Reynolds, who put him in three of his 1980s movies - "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas", "Stroker Ace" and "Cannonball Run II".

Jim Nabors is seen in character for his role of Gomer Pyle in this 1966 file
Jim Nabors is seen in character for his role of Gomer Pyle in this 1966 file

On the music side, Nabors launched a successful career with his distinctive baritone.

He recorded dozens of albums, dabbling both in country and opera, and performed often in Las Vegas.

Nabors was also known for singing "Back Home Again in Indiana" during the opening ceremonies for the Indianapolis 500. He said at the time of his last performance of the song, "I'll be honest with you - I didn't want to stay too long at the fair".