George Lindsey, TV's Goober Pyle, Dies at 83
George Lindsey, best known as the naive and bumbling gas station attendant and eventual owner Goober Pyle on The Andy Griffith Show, has passed on. He died in a Nashville health care center after battling an illness that has not yet been released. Lindsey was 83 years old.
The Pyle character was first talked about on the series without being seen. He was the cousin of Gomer Pyle, played by Jim Nabors. Eventually, Lindsey and Nabors had one scene together in which Lindsey's Pyle did his take off on Cary Grant, which was a horrendous uttering of "Judy, Judy, Judy." When Nabors left the show to star in Gomer Pyle USMC, Lindsey took his place on the Griffith Show and remained one of the key supporting players for the remainder of the show's run, including the spinoff series, Mayberry RFD with Ken Berry. He and Nabors reunited years later in 1986 for the reunion movie, Return to Mayberry.
When the comedy series ended, Lindsey went on to a successful run in the musical comedy series, Hee Haw, joining the show in 1971 and staying to the end of its syndicated run in 1992-1993.
Other notable acting appearances included a number of different roles on Gunsmoke and an interesting portrayal as Capt. Roy Dupree in M*A*S*H. He made an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and made the game show rounds, including Hollywood Squares.
In a statement, Andy Griffith said in part, "George Lindsey was my friend. I had great respect for his talent and his human spirit." He went on to say, "I am happy to say that as we found ourselves in our eighties, we were not afraid to say, 'I love you,'"
The Alabama native was divorced and leaves behind two children, two grandchildren, and many people who loved and respected him.