In honor of his birthday (June 12), let's find out a little more about Jim. Born in Sylacauga, Alabama on June 12, 1930, he sang in his high school's glee club and church choir.
Upon graduation from college he moved to New York where he worked for the United Nations as a typist. A year later he moved back south, to Chattanooga, Tenneessee. While there he worked as a film cutter.
He had never forgotten about acting, though. Because of childhood asthma which had never completely disappeared, he moved to Los Angeles. There he worked at NBC as an apprentice film cutter. At night he performed at The Horn in Santa Monica and eventually he was 'discovered' by Andy Griffith, who asked him to audition as a bumbling gas station attendant, Gomer Pyle. The rest is history, as the saying goes.
His character on the Andy Griffith show was so popular that a spin-off series, Gomer Pyle, USMC, was developed.
Jim also guest-starred on Carol Burnett's variety show for many seasons.
No one would have expected the beautiful baritone voice to emerge from someone who portrayed such goofy characters on television. He recorded twenty-eight albums and many singles, garnering five gold and one platinum record.
In the years since his television career ended, Jim Nabors has done many public performances in Las Vegas and in musical theater, including the role of Harold Hill in "The Music Man." His film credits include "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" with Burt Reynolds and Dolly Parton, and "Stoker Ace," another film in which he co-starred with Burt Reynolds.
In 1991 he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was inducted into the Alabama Hall of Fame in 2001.
He currently lives in Hawaii, where he owns a macadamia farm and grows tropical flowers.
In 2001 Jim Nabors was made an Honorary Marine and promoted to Honorary Lance Corporal, and in 2007, on the 43rd anniversary of "Gomer Pyle, USMC," he was again promoted; this time to Honorary Corporal.
His response upon being awarded this honor? "Well Gol-ly!"
I found full episodes of Gomer Pyle, USMC on http://www.tvduck.com/
from 1964-1969. It would be worth a short trip down memory lane. They don't make 'em like this any more!