HONOLULU — Jim Nabors, the actor best known for playing Gomer Pyle on TV in the 1960s, has married his longtime male partner.
Hawaii News Now reports Nabors, 82, and Stan Cadwallader, 64, traveled from their Honolulu home to Seattle to be married Jan. 15. Gay marriage became legal in Washington state last month.
The couple met in 1975 when Cadwallader was a Honolulu firefighter.
“I’m 82 and he’s in his 60s and so we’ve been together for 38 years and I’m not ashamed of people knowing, it’s just that it was such a personal thing, I didn’t tell anybody,” Nabors said. “I’m very happy that I’ve had a partner of 38 years and I feel very blessed. And, what can I tell you, I’m just very happy.”
Nabors said he’s been open about his homosexuality to co-workers and friends but never acknowledged it to the media before. He doesn’t plan to get involved in the issue politically.
“I’m not a debater. And everybody has their own opinion about this and actually I’m not an activist, so I’ve never gotten involved in any of this,” Nabors told Hawaii News Now.
Nabors became an instant success when he joined “The Andy Griffith Show” in spring 1963. The character of Gomer Pyle – the unworldly, lovable gas pumper who would exclaim “Gollllll-ly!” – proved so popular that in 1964 CBS starred him in “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.”
In the spinoff, which lasted five seasons, Gomer left his hometown of Mayberry to become a Marine recruit. His innocence confounded his sergeant, the irascible Frank Sutton.