Gomer Pyle is gay? Well, that’s going to cause a few wingnut heads to explode. Jim Nabors, the actor who played the southern hick in his own show and on that classic of old-time rural Americana, the Andy Griffith show, was so happy to see gay marriage approved in several states that Nabors hopped on a plane with Stan Cadwallader, flew to Seattle, and got hitched.

"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."

That’s sweet.


  1. marcus says

    Congratulations Jim! Like Caine I thought this was common knowledge. I never cared much for either show myself but always liked him when he guest appeared on Carol Burnett , etc.
    Ain’t love just grand?(!)

  2. PDX_Greg says

    Been hangin’ with Sgt Carter, PZ? You were the only two that didn’t know. Yay for Mr Nabors and his spouse! How sad that they had to wait 38 years and with most of that time probably thinking that legal marraige would ever be available to them. I privately hope the first thing he said when the marraige became official was “Go-ol-ly!!”

  3. EvoMonkey says

    Congrats to the happy couple!

    The best part of Jim Nabors quote – “I’m not ashamed of people knowing”.

    I’m looking forward to hearing him sing “Back Home Again in Indiana” at the 500 this year.

  4. spamamander, internet amphibian says

    I must be that one other person who didn’t know, lol. Not that it makes a whit of difference, except that I’m thrilled to see him and his partner be able to marry here. The pictures of the older couples featured in those first few days of marriage equality just get me all puddly- it’s horrible so many have had to wait so very long, but seeing the utter joy in being able to finally have their relationship recognized is beautiful.

  5. says

    Well surprise, surprise, surprise!

    He had never been public about it (until now) but he was never really in the closet about it, either: “confirmed rumors” have been circulating since before I came out in 1983, and he did record a promo song a few years back when Hawaii was making its own push for marriage equality. Like many celebrities, he worked to keep his private life private, and I repsect him for that.

    I am very glad that both he and his partner have the legal protections that come with marriage: Hawaii is one of the states that respects same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions even though they do not allow it themselves.

  6. Alverant says

    I’m a bit torn. On one hand, I’m all for equal marriage and glad a loving couple could take their vows and be recognized by the government. On the other hand, I don’t care for celebrity gossip. It’s none of my business who married whom and who got a divorce and all that. So for now I’ll wish Jim and Stan the best and hope they can live out the rest of their lives in marital bliss away from the stalkaratzi and the homophobes.

  7. la tricoteuse says

    I’m adding my voice to The Few, The Proud, the Had No Idea-ers. Congratulations to them both.

    Also, while I agree that celebrity gossip is irritating and unnecessary, and pries where it has no business so doing, I also think that more celebrities coming out, more actors behind beloved characters showing the world that love has many different forms, can only be a good thing in terms of ‘normalising’ (if that’s the right word) LGBQT relationships in the public perception.

    People manage somehow to tie themselves into knots to excuse horrible things celebrities they like do (see: Chris Brown, Roman Polansky, Jimmy Savile), so it shouldn’t be too optimistic of me to think that they might be able to question their views about things (in this case homosexuality, but not necessarily limited thereto) that aren’t objectively wrong, but against which they hold irrational prejudices, if someone they admire comes out.

    Right?….RIGHT? D:

  8. wholething says

    For a minute I thought you meant Texas republican Louie Gohmert.

    Gomer is the smarter one.

  9. Sastra says

    Well! This is certainly a slap in the face to the good, ol’ fashioned, down-home family values of the great city of Mayberry, North Carolina!

    (Actually, I always had my suspicions about Floyd the barber.)

  10. Alverant says

    #14 @Gregg
    That’s not how I define gossip. If ordinary people can do it and NOT make the news then it’s gossip. People have been coming out and it hasn’t made the news. As for equal marriage, the law itself made news, the ability for homosexuals to marry made news, individual couples getting married not so much news.

  11. says

    I loved it in the interview when he said “I mean, I’ve known since I was a child.” It’s nice to see that more and more this is the sort of thing that’s being reported in a positive way. More of a “by-the-way, so-and-so married his partner” kind of way.

  12. zb24601 says

    When I was a kid, back in the late 1960’s, I heard that both Jim Nabors and Rock Hudson were gay (or whatever word was used back then). I remember thinking “OK, so what”.

    It’s nice that Mr Nabors lived to see a time when same-sex couples can get married. Rock Hudson never got to see that time. I just wish that so many same sex couples didn’t have to travel to other states to get married. I’m hoping that the courts will soon decide that it is unconstitutional to prohibit marriage based on sex. Until then, same-sex couples married in on state may not have their marriage recognized in other states, or by the federal government.

  13. says

    I confess, I had no idea. I knew nothing about his personal life, only the roles he played on TV.

    Southern men who work as auto mechanics and who serve in the Marines could be gay? UNPOSSIBLE!

  14. glodson says

    I am among those who didn’t know he was gay. But I am glad he was able to get married. It is a sweet story.

  15. tbp1 says

    Good for them. Certainly rumors about Nabors have been circulating for decades.

    I like it that his partner is an ex-fireman. I always get a small pleasure when someone in such a traditionally macho profession (including soldiers, cops, athletes, etc.) turns out to be gay.

  16. Pierce R. Butler says

    Congratulations to the foremost whitewash artist for the Marine Corps during the war against Vietnam.

  17. NitricAcid says

    We didn’t get that show when I was a kid (two channels, both Canadian), so I only knew him from his appearance on the Muppet Show. His sexuality was not an issue in that episode.

  18. Rip Steakface says

    Count me in for “didn’t have a clue.” Congratulations to him, though – it’s possible that having marriage equality in WA will actually bring a number of people to the state and boost our (fairly strong) economy, which is also cool.

    It’s a pretty cool time to be a Washingtonian. Hm… wonder how long til there’s a president from WA… Patty Murray 2016!

  19. yubal says

    Congratulations to the couple!

    On a semi-related note, here is a fun fact from a society where gay relationships are culturally and legally (almost) accepted. Germany.

    Muslim Brotherhood member and president of Egypt, Mohamed Mursi, arrived in Berlin today for a visit while there are peaceful protests and violent riots inside Egypt demanding just a little more equality. The four most influential people in power that might talk to him in Berlin are:

    1. Angela Merkel., first female chancellor, Chief of executive and Germany’s “iron lady”, a power obsessed conservative
    2. Guido Westerwelle, Minister of Foreign Affairs, vice chancellor, libertarian nut, openly gay in office and married.
    3. Klaus Wowereit, Major of Berlin, social democrat, came out gay before his election to office (“Dear comrades, I’m gay, and that is absolutely fine.”) and married
    4. Joachim Gauck, president of the Federal Republic of Germany, Lutheran pastor and veteran in peaceful opposition against oppressive regimes.

    Which is probably a representative set of people Mursi would most likely not listen to if they were Egyptians. A “christian” woman, two gay men and a moderate christian civil rights activist.

    You see? You can be openly gay in a political position and nothing happens. The homophobes still come talk to you. Just make sure your position is powerful and the country you are representing is rich.


  20. tbp1 says

    @30: I get what you’re saying, but it’s very easy for people on the outside to say that an actor should turn down a role when it’s their rent money on the line, and not yours.

  21. says

    How sad that they had to wait for 38 years.
    How many marriages does the average straight celebrity manage in that time?

    On a semi-related note, here is a fun fact from a society where gay relationships are culturally and legally (almost) accepted. Germany.

    Don’t get your hopes high. merkel and her bunch just refreshed their party line not to extend tax benefits and adoption rights to gay people

  22. yubal says


    That is just a matter of time….and the next election is coming up soon :)

    (and those two are the last rights missing, if I remember correctly?)

  23. says

    Back in the late 1970s (circa 1977/1978), I operated 3 valet concessions in Honolulu, HI. They were all restaurants and one of them, “The Marrakesh”, doubled as a disco after hours. I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Jim Nabors and his boyfriend at 2 of these venues (The Marrakesh and Le Escargot). He drove a yellow Bentley at the time and his boyfriend was a tanned, handsome, man obviously younger than he.

    I vividly remember my 2 encounters with him. At the Marrakesh, I found a BIG half-smoked joint in his car’s ashtray. I must admit, I lit it up and took a few tokes. Good stuff. As Jim and his friend left, he said he liked my shirt and asked where I bought it. He laughed when I told him I bought it on special at Sears.

    The next time I met Jim Nabors and his friend was at Le Escargot. He remembered me from The Marrakesh and asked if I ever had time to relax.

    If Jim Nabors has been with his partner for 38 years, then that was probably the same partner I met back in the late 1970s.

    It’s been years since of thought of them.

    By the way, they were listening to a Led Zeppelin tape when they pulled into Marrakesh.

    I remember Jim Nabors as imposing, yet accessible and friendly.

  24. spamamander, internet amphibian says

    @ 32

    Patty Murray presidency? Sign me up!! Or at the very least veep under Hillary.

  25. vaiyt says

    You see? You can be openly gay in a political position and nothing happens. The homophobes still come talk to you. Just make sure your position is powerful and the country you are representing is rich.

    They’re the good ones.

    It’s the same mindset that has rich gays where I live become national celebrities while poor gays are murdered every day.

  26. DLC says

    I have to admit, I was reluctant to believe the story when it first appeared, because I did not know of Mr Nabors’ sexual orientation. Well, good luck to the happy couple, I say. Best wishes to them.

  27. leonpeyre says

    I really don’t have any advice. I don’t think I’m qualified

    If only the loudmouths pushing their private agendas in our school system would adopt such a stance of humility!

  28. says

    He’s 82 and his beau is 64, and they have been together 38 years? That means the 44 year old Nabors robbed the cradle (a 28-year old) to grab his mate!

    What do you know – gays are just like straights…. the star found himself a younger mate! ;-)

    Kudos to the two gentleman for getting married, and (especially) for 38 years! Shoot – that’s only 30+ more years than my wife and I managed.

  29. darwinharmless says

    Yeah, this is not news to me. Must be twenty years ago I heard that Jim N. is gay. He always seemed like such a sweet teddybear of a guy, too. Nice to hear he’s spreading the news.

  30. RFW says

    It’s all very well to gush about love and such, but at the end of the day what really matters when it comes to same sex marriage is money, inheritance, and similarly grim legal issues. If P-zed will forgive me for posting the following possibly for a second or third time, here’s a clear-headed discussion of this side of the situation:

    A spouse entering into marriage becomes the next of kin immediately, supplanting all others, including all blood relatives, for the duration of the marriage contract. No other legal paper can be crafted that provides such sweeping privilege a spouse enjoys by virtue of a single piece of paper that is the marriage contract. A spouse needs no Health Care Surrogate paper to exercise such privileges, which are the spouse’s by virtue of marriage. We saw that conclusively in the Terry Schiavo case where spousal rights prevailed over attempts at all levels of government to usurp those rights.

    Centuries of English Common Law have established spousal rights that no legal paper outside of marriage can duplicate. One of these is the prohibition of forcing a spouse to testify against the marriage partner.

    However states may craft domestic partner [i.e. civil union] laws, they cannot duplicate in any one law or any dozens of laws the centuries of English Common Law that have molded the legal status of married partners. The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts recognized the necessity of using marriage as the sole term, that partnership by any other name would not be truly equal.

    Quoted from a gay mailing list I used to subscribe too and re-posted here with the consent of the original author.

  31. bluentx says

    IIRC, I first heard about his ‘orientation’ as part of the ‘Rock Hudson Dying of AIDS’ story. Reportedly, Jim and Rock were friends so JN was dragged into the tabloid mess.

  32. bradleybetts says

    Some people on here didn’t know he was gay, even though it appears to be a very badly-kept secret/not a secret… I didn’t even know he existed! (I was born in 1990, give me a break…)

    However, that does not stop me wishing them well :)

  33. conway says

    I remember hearing way back in the 60s that he and Rock Hudson shared a house together. So no surprise for me. Congats, you young lovebirds!

  34. dysomniak, darwinian socialist says

    The pfft on Nabors and Hudson:

    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.

  35. d.f.manno says

    @ Pierce R. Butler (#30)

    Congratulations to the foremost whitewash artist for the Marine Corps during the war against Vietnam.

    By that standard Werner Klemperer is the foremost whitewash artist for the Nazis.