Thursday, January 31, 2013

Jim Nabors, AKA Gomer Pyle

The gay news was abuzz about the reports that not only was Jim Nabors gay, but also that he married his partner of thirty-eight years recently in Seattle, Washington.  The thing is, and maybe it's just Alabama knowledge (he was raised in Alabama), that Jim Nabors is gay.  I've known that for many years, though I can't remember when I first learned this fact.  He just was, it was accepted, and no one made a big deal about it.  The news media is treating it like he just came out, even though there were apparently no exclamations of "Shazam!" or "Golly!" — just a simple exchange of rings in front of a judge in a Seattle hotel room, after which Jim Nabors, the star of television's "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.," married Stan Cadwallader, his partner of 38 years, according to a report by a Hawaiian television news station.

On January 29, 2013, Hawaii News Now reported that Nabors married his partner of 38 years, Stan Cadwallader, at Seattle, Washington's Fairmont Olympic Hotel on January 15. (Same-sex marriage became legal in Washington the previous month.) The news program quoted Nabors as saying that though he had always been open about his sexuality to co-workers in the entertainment industry, he did not plan to get involved in the national debate over gay marriage.

"I haven't ever made a public spectacle of it," Mr. Nabors said, according to Hawaii News Now. "Well, I've known since I was a child, so, come on. It's not that kind of a thing. I've never made a huge secret of it at all."
Mr. Nabors, who was born and raised in Sylacauga, Ala., originated the character of the hapless but loveable gas-station attendant Gomer Pyle on "The Andy Griffith Show," and reprised the role in five seasons of "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." (on which the goofball character was perpetually making trouble for his military superiors). Mr. Nabors also appeared on "The Carol Burnett Show," "The Muppet Show," and his own variety series, "The Jim Nabors Hour."
An urban legend maintains that Nabors married Rock Hudson in the 1970s. In fact, the two were never more than friends. According to Hudson, the legend originated with a group of "middle-aged homosexuals who live in Huntington Beach" who sent out joke invitations for their annual get-together. One year, the group invited its members to witness "the marriage of Rock Hudson and Jim Nabors," at which Hudson would take the surname of Nabors' most famous character, Gomer Pyle, becoming "Rock Pyle." Those who failed to get the joke spread the rumor. At the time Nabors was dating his boyfriend, Stan, whom he eventually married; Hudson was also gay but closeted, and because of the fear that one or both of them might be outed, Nabors and Hudson never spoke to each other again.

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Bob said...

I think we all "knew" it but Nabors never acknowledged or denied being gay, so, for me, this is a kind of Coming Out for him.
And a happy ending to a nearly four-decade love story.

silvereagle said...

Jim Nabors - A Good man, a Great actor, and he would be a Great neighbor,....and to top it all, he is Gay!!! Perfect combination. Best wishes to the couple!!!!!!!

Coop said...

Congrats to the happy couple. I'm pleasantly surprised that Jim's sexuality hasn't caused an uproar in Alabama. It's said that he and Rock felt their friendship had to be ruined, though.