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Actor Jim Nabors dies at 87

Actor Jim Nabors, best known for his role as Gomer Pyle on "The Andy Griffith Show," has died, according to reports. He was 87. TV producer Phil Arnone confirmed the death to WBRC on Thursday.

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  1. Nabors, who underwent a liver transplant in 1994 after contracting hepatitis B, died peacefully at his home in Hawaii after his health had declined for the past year, said his husband, Stan Cadwallader, who was by his side.

    "Everybody knows he was a wonderful man. And that's all we can say about him. He's going to be dearly missed," Cadwallader said.

    The couple married in early 2013 in Washington state, where gay marriage had recently been made legal.
  2. Arnone told Hawaii News Now that Nabors died around 3 a.m.
  3. Nabors was born in Sylacauga, Alabama, on June 12, 1930. He earned a degree at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, where he got his first taste of acting. According to his official biography, Nabors acted at the Jason's Jamboree, a Greek skit show, as a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity.
  4. After graduating, Nabors moved to New York City to work for a stint as a typist before heading back down south to take a job as a film cutter in Tennessee.
  5. Nabors had asthma and was advised to move west, so he left his job in Tennessee and moved to Los Angeles. He spent his days working as an apprentice film cutter for NBC and his nights performing at The Horn in Santa Monica, a cabaret theater.
  6. It was during one of his performances at The Horn that Nabors was spotted by comedian Andy Griffith, according to the Los Angeles Times. He was hired on in 1962 to play Gomer Pyle, a bumbling but lovable hometown gas station attendant, on "The Andy Griffith Show." The role was so popular that the character was given his spin-off own show. "Gomer Pyle, USMC" ran from 1964 to 1969.
  7. After playing Pyle, Nabors was known for making guest appearances on a number of variety shows in the late 60s and early 70s.
  8. He was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1991.
  9. Nabors was also an accomplished singer, with dozens of albums in his name, including a platinum record and five gold records, LancasterOnline.com reported.
  10. "I used to sing back in my high school glee club, but I never thought I was that outstanding," Nabors told the news site. "It's amazing to me that I've been able to record so many albums. ... But the truth is, I never wanted to be just a singer. I wanted to be an all-around entertainer."
  11. He retired from the entertainment business in 2008, according to LancasterOnline.com.
  12. Nabors moved to Hawaii in 1976, where he ran a macadamia nut and flower farm in Hana, Maui, Hawaii News Now reported.
  13. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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