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Jim Nabors, TV’s the lovably naive Gomer Pyle, dies at 87

Jim Nabors, the singer and actor who became a TV icon in the 1960s playing the lovably naïve Gomer Pyle on “The Andy Griffith Show” and the spinoff series “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.,” has died. He was 87.

Nabors died at his home in Hawaii, his husband told the Associated Press on Thursday.

A tall and lanky Alabama native, Nabors was singing at a small nightclub in Santa Monica called the Horn in 1962 when Griffith caught his act, in which he’d sing in a booming baritone and then talk in a higher-pitched Southern hayseed accent.

“It was the stupidest act you had ever seen,” Nabors said in a 2000 interview with The Times. But Griffith was so impressed, he told Nabors he’d call him if a part in his TV series ever came up.