Jim Nabors became a friendly face and voice in our lives decades ago, making us laugh with his goofy charm as Gomer Pyle and moving on to the world of music, where he recorded 46 albums. Since 1972, he's been the opening act for the Indy 500, but now, he says he's ready to make a change.
Citing a desire to stop traveling and stay at his macadamia nut farm on Maui--where he's made a life with longtime partner Stan--Nabors said his last Indy 500 performance will be this Sunday.
"It's a really remarkable thing for me. It's the highlight of my year because it's 500,000 of my closest friends and they do make me feel like I'm their best friend," Nabors said of the event.
The 82-year old actor and singer says it's remarkable to look back on his career--which saw his Andy Griffith role spawn its own spinoff--and see how many lives he touched.
"You kind of go back and say, 'Duh! Did I really do all that?' I've been so blessed. My career and all the incredible people I've gotten to know and become friends with. It's been amazing," he said.
Nabors and Stan Cadwallader were married last year in Seattle just weeks after same-sex marriages became legal in Washington; Nabors said that the couple had no rights until that point and that after so many years together, it just seemed like the way to go.
"When you’ve been together 38 years, I think something’s got to happen there, you’ve got to solidify something. And at my age, it’s probably the best thing to do," he said.
Image via Wikimedia Commons