Jim Nabors - still alive! - married at 82
January 30, 2013 12:59 AM   Subscribe

Gomer Pyle got married to his partner of 38 years, Stan Cadwallader, last week. Jim Nabors, aka Gomer Pyle of Mayberry and of the U.S.M.C., also of many records featuring his inimitable voice, particularly this rendition of "The Impossible Dream,", and the national anthem, married his partner of 38 years, Stan Cadwallader, last week in Seattle. [First link opens a news window, which can be loud.]

"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."
posted by goofyfoot (87 comments total) 39 users marked this as a favorite

 
Thank you for making this the first thing my eyeballs landed on on the interwebs this morning. It was exactly what I needed.
posted by you must supply a verb at 1:09 AM on January 30, 2013 [10 favorites]


Yay!
posted by brundlefly at 1:15 AM on January 30, 2013


The title should have been "Suprise suprise, suprise!"
posted by atomicmedia at 1:16 AM on January 30, 2013 [97 favorites]


But spelled right.
posted by pracowity at 1:26 AM on January 30, 2013 [10 favorites]


Damn that's nice.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:48 AM on January 30, 2013


Someone has to say it: Gollee!

Congrats to Mssrs. Nabors & Cadwallader...
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 2:01 AM on January 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


Oh hurray Mr. Nabors! Our here, he's a big supporter of the arts. Much love to him!
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:05 AM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


That is nothing short of fucking lovely. (What a shame they had to wait so long, but if they were in Australia... they'd still be waiting. Grmph.)
posted by malibustacey9999 at 2:08 AM on January 30, 2013


Jim missed the Indy 500 this past year, but this announcement has got to cause a few race fans to take a moment to consider the significance of this event. Having an icon of the Indy cars and beer crowd take this step is a significant event...

Good for him!
posted by HuronBob at 3:13 AM on January 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


Ball's in your court, Mathis.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 3:36 AM on January 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


He made it sound like not a big deal, just taking care of some legal issues as I am 82 and just had heart surgery. I guess after 38 years, he is pretty sure the relationship will last.

Mazel Tov!
posted by JohnnyGunn at 3:37 AM on January 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


He wasn't at the Indy 500 in person, but he did pre-record it a few weeks earlier. Not bad, considering he's only missed once or twice since 1972.

And damn, what a great fellow. It seems so corny, but there's always been something ridiculously sweet and kind about Gomer Pyle. For a character that should be all caricature, that level of open-heartedness is something worthy of aspiration.
posted by grabbingsand at 3:53 AM on January 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


Awesome
posted by photoslob at 4:06 AM on January 30, 2013


I would have bet you five dollars that Jim Nabors was dead, so this makes me super-happy on TWO counts!
posted by ersatzkat at 4:13 AM on January 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


Shazam!
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:25 AM on January 30, 2013 [9 favorites]


This is fantastic news! Congrats to both of them.

Having an icon of the Indy cars and beer crowd take this step is a significant event...

The political overtones of Jim's Indy 500 appearance this year will be immense. Indiana's republicans have been trying their damnedest to make Indiana the reddest of the red, with varied success. There are enough idiots in the state legislature to make Nabors an issue. Additionally, the owners of the Speedway, the Hulman-George family, are solid Catholics, and have long had the Archbishop of Indianapolis give the benediction before the race. It'll be interesting to see if that happens if Nabors comes back.

All that said, I can easily see the fans at the 500 giving Jim the biggest ovation of his career, should he appear live this year to sing the only song that matters.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:25 AM on January 30, 2013 [12 favorites]


Outstanding!
posted by Kinbote at 4:32 AM on January 30, 2013


Jim Nabors is way cool.
posted by explosion at 4:33 AM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


May they have many happy years together.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:42 AM on January 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


Nabors has no plan to get involved in the gay marriage debate. "I'm not a debater. And everybody has their own opinion about this and actually I'm not an activist so I've never gotten involved in any of this," Nabors said.

I hope he realizes that it's because other people did debate the issue and were activists that he could get married now.

But I do realize this criticism of him is problematic — if I had ever found someone I wanted to marry I would have been able to marry him without political debate or activism. Even now Jim Nabors couldn't get married in his home state of Hawaii, but had to go to Seattle.
posted by orange swan at 4:49 AM on January 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


It's only because people fought and took gigantic risks that we have democracy, wage and hour laws, enfranchisement of women and minorities--there are a lot of people out there who've made gigantic sacrifices to produce progress. There are also many more people who reap the benefits of those sacrifices without themselves being the ones to fight. We aren't all fighters, but even if we're not, we can support the ones who are.
posted by Ex-Wastrel at 4:54 AM on January 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


Shocked no one else has said this: Well Gooooooooooooooooooooooooooollllllllllllly!!!!!!!!!!!
On review. Dad gummit. Missed the earlier reference.
posted by grimjeer at 4:55 AM on January 30, 2013


I hope he realizes that it's because other people did debate the issue and were activists that he could get married now.


I'm certain he did, and considering the still raw and controversial nature, getting married is in and of itself an activist act - a quiet announcement that he is gay and committed to his partner, and that it's a normal part of American life, not some monstrous aberration.

Now, can we get a duet with George Takei?
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:58 AM on January 30, 2013 [19 favorites]


So, the rumors about him and Rock Hudson were true after all?
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:17 AM on January 30, 2013


Yay for Jim! I'm kind of hoping nobody tells my mom, though.
posted by JanetLand at 5:19 AM on January 30, 2013


"Sergeant, Sergeant, how come I talk like this, but sing like this?"

(OK, OK, so you you have to tell it in the right voice, but it's funny if you get it right.)
posted by 3.2.3 at 5:22 AM on January 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Awesome. (Though now I wonder if my grandma-in-law is going to stop watching Gomer Pyle reruns in protest now, without stopping to think about how many LGBT people there are in her family.)
posted by Foosnark at 5:29 AM on January 30, 2013


Wow, this is awesome. So glad it could take place for him and his partner. Thanks, WA, for legalizing same-sex marriage!
posted by hippybear at 5:30 AM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


He was in the very first broadcast (3rd produced, I think) Muppet Show. Did a great rendition of "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" in the barn with lots of chickens.
posted by Melismata at 5:32 AM on January 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


!
posted by drezdn at 5:33 AM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


only 2 things come from Texas private pyle and your loving husband don't look like no cow to me so congratulations on your nuptials and I'm promoting you to Sergeant.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:36 AM on January 30, 2013 [30 favorites]


Gotta say, I like how lowkey this was. Makes it all so ordinary, you know what I mean? Just two people in love, getting married just like any other happy couple.

Congrats to the newlyweds, and may you share many happy years together!
posted by easily confused at 5:41 AM on January 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


My family loved Gomer Pyle the instant he first appeared on the Andy Griffith Show, in a way reserved for few other performers (Don Knotts among them, BTW). It was because his inherent decency and gentle nature surrounded him like an aura... he was so real and sweet you wanted to hug him. You never felt that his innocence was an act--it felt bona fide. That quality also comes through in his wonderful voice.

I've always had a big soft spot for this guy and he sounds grateful and so happy! Now I'm grinning like an idiot at my desk. Thank you for posting this.

I'd still love to give him a hug. Stan, too. Mazel tov, gentlemen.
posted by kinnakeet at 5:50 AM on January 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


He looks good for 82. Good for the both of them!
posted by jquinby at 5:50 AM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ah, good, he survived the thawing!
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:01 AM on January 30, 2013 [7 favorites]


I clearly remember hearing news that he had died. This was back in the 90s. Maybe I'm thinking of someone else.

Anyway, congrats to the happy couple!
posted by bondcliff at 6:05 AM on January 30, 2013


... his inherent decency and gentle nature surrounded him like an aura... he was so real and sweet you wanted to hug him. You never felt that his innocence was an act--it felt bona fide.

It's true. Some actors and entertainers always come across as genuinely sweet and warm because they can't act that well and that's who they are. Likewise others who can't act that well and who don't have an attractive temperament always give off a jerk vibe. Tom Selleck and John Goodman can't play bad guys; Tom Cruise and Mel Gibson never come across as truly nice guys even what that's what their characters are supposed to be.
posted by orange swan at 6:07 AM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, golly
posted by The Whelk at 6:08 AM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Aw. Congrats to them!
posted by rtha at 6:12 AM on January 30, 2013


Wait...does this mean gay marriage isn't even on the table in Hawaii yet? It seems like a natural...liberal voters plus destination same-sex weddings?
posted by JoanArkham at 6:12 AM on January 30, 2013


JoanArkham, Hawaii has civil unions, and there is currently a push to draft marriage legislation, but it hasn't happened yet.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:25 AM on January 30, 2013


Holy CRAP Gomer's got pipes. I had no frickin' idea.
posted by infinitewindow at 6:29 AM on January 30, 2013


I remember hearing he was gay back in the early 80s. As a kid, I heard he and Rock Hudson had a relationship.

Good for him, wish him well. He was fantastic on the Andy Griffith Show.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 6:51 AM on January 30, 2013


I sure wish I could meet a GIRL who smelled like that.
posted by snottydick at 6:51 AM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


God I wish my Step-father were alive to see this news. His love of Andy Griffith's shows and random trivia made me far more aware of Jim Nabors than anyone my age should be. Congrats, Mr. Nabors!
posted by DigDoug at 6:53 AM on January 30, 2013


You're up next, Beetle Bailey.
posted by brain_drain at 6:56 AM on January 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


This made my day a little brighter.
posted by malocchio at 7:16 AM on January 30, 2013


That's wonderful! Good for him.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:20 AM on January 30, 2013


JoanArkham, Hawaii has civil unions, and there is currently a push to draft marriage legislation, but it hasn't happened yet.

I think that civil unions can actually be a problem when fighting for marriage equality. Over in the UK, opponents to marriage equality keep trotting them out, claiming that they are "just the same" and people don't need marriage.

Not that I'm against civil unions - I've known straight couples who would like to have one but don't want the M-word. But language does matter and even if civil unions have the same rights as marriages to start with, being a different legal status means that equality could slip away so easily. Also, lots of same-sex couples want the M-word.

At least the opponents are losing anyways. Couples in civil unions are just calling themselves married, "husbands" or "wives", and the tide of public opinion is turning.
posted by jb at 7:21 AM on January 30, 2013


Holy CRAP Gomer's got pipes. I had no frickin' idea.

Oh yeah. Ads for his various albums were a staple of early TBS (and maybe even CNN) broadcasts. Where the local stations would drop in local ads, it was constant commercials for Jim Nabors, Roger Miller, Boxcar Willie on the main feed(s).
posted by jquinby at 7:22 AM on January 30, 2013


And he married a fireman. For gay guys, that's better than snagging a doctor.
posted by roger ackroyd at 7:22 AM on January 30, 2013 [11 favorites]


I hope he realizes that it's because other people did debate the issue and were activists that he could get married now.

You know, this comment pisses me off.

Showing middle America in 1964 that one could simultaneously be effeminate, tender, sympathetic, and likable in the Cold War Marines of all places shows is far more ground breaking than any thing done by any activist in 2013. Fuck, having the same partner from the Reagan years onward is damn well braver and more inspiring than just about anything I've ever done. We all do our part in the fight and if at 82 he wants to let the younger generation carry the water I think he's fucking earned it.

On edit, I didn't mean to be so fighty. It's just that I don't see him as someone who didn't struggle the same as the rest.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:23 AM on January 30, 2013 [17 favorites]


I'm almost embarrassed to admit this but my thought process on reading the title of the post was: "Wait, isn't he g... oh yeah, gay people can get married now."

Seriously.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:23 AM on January 30, 2013


And he married a fireman. For gay guys, that's better than snagging a doctor.

This is true.
posted by The Whelk at 7:25 AM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Snopes article about Nabors and Rock Hudson.
posted by Melismata at 7:33 AM on January 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


It was certainly eye-opening as a kid the first time I heard him sing. I mean, the disconnect! Congrats to them, and Stan Cadwallader is a great name, the likes of which I fear are vanishing, for some reason...
posted by AJaffe at 7:40 AM on January 30, 2013


And he married a fireman. For gay guys, that's better than snagging a doctor.
posted by roger ackroyd


I know a doctor who married a fireman - she seems pretty happy.
posted by jb at 7:45 AM on January 30, 2013


Jim Nabors - still alive! - married at 82

The second part of that is critical or the third part would have been ruined, really.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:46 AM on January 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


And to think I was in a choir singing the doo-wops behind Mr. Nabors at the National Prayer Breakfast for Ronald Reagan.
posted by straight at 7:53 AM on January 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


I think that civil unions can actually be a problem when fighting for marriage equality. Over in the UK, opponents to marriage equality keep trotting them out, claiming that they are "just the same" and people don't need marriage.

I've also seen cases in the US where civil unions have been banned in states, along with same-sex marriage, precisely because SSM opponents have seen it as marriage by another name. And, in Illinois, having passed civil unions into law a couple of years ago, the state legislature is now poised to legalize SSM in part because civil unions haven't caused the sky to fall; think of it as the foot-in-the-door approach.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:55 AM on January 30, 2013


So, he wasn’t out until now? I could have sworn he was, since the 80’s.
posted by bongo_x at 7:59 AM on January 30, 2013


We all do our part in the fight and if at 82 he wants to let the younger generation carry the water I think he's fucking earned it.

At this point it may be that Jim Nabors announcing he is marrying his partner with little fanfare may change more minds and garner more sympathy than yelling and marching. Different people have different roles, different tactics are appropriate at different times.
posted by bongo_x at 8:04 AM on January 30, 2013 [13 favorites]


So, he wasn’t out until now? I could have sworn he was, since the 80’s.

I think he was "out" in the way that Jodie Foster was until last week, and George Takei was until a few years ago -- everyone who knew him personally knew that Stan wasn't his "roommate," and much of his fandom was aware of it but didn't really care, since he wasn't making a big thing of it either.
posted by Etrigan at 8:24 AM on January 30, 2013


I think it's sweet how this news came out, the self-effacing nature of it. I mean, I wish Nabors had chosen to be a Queer Activist and used his great fame for the past 40 years to advance civil rights. But not everyone is called to that, and it's exhausting. And it's great that now he can come out and get married to another man and just say "hey, it's no big deal". It's a benchmark of normalization.

(Bonus fandom link: a mashup video of Pyle's love for Sgt. Carter which is really quite sweet and previously on MeFi.)
posted by Nelson at 9:05 AM on January 30, 2013


Halloween Jack: "I've also seen cases in the US where civil unions have been banned in states, along with same-sex marriage, precisely because SSM opponents have seen it as marriage by another name. And, in Illinois, having passed civil unions into law a couple of years ago, the state legislature is now poised to legalize SSM in part because civil unions haven't caused the sky to fall; think of it as the foot-in-the-door approach."

My general answer to the civil union proposal is to note how well "separate but equal" has worked out in other contexts in the past (not so well.) Personally, I favor the (completely impossible to get passed) version where "marriage" is made a purely social convention and everyone gets civil unions if they want to have a legal partnership. They could be as customizable as wills!

Etrigan: "So, he wasn’t out until now? I could have sworn he was, since the 80’s.

I think he was "out" in the way that Jodie Foster was until last week, and George Takei was until a few years ago -- everyone who knew him personally knew that Stan wasn't his "roommate," and much of his fandom was aware of it but didn't really care, since he wasn't making a big thing of it either.
"

Rosie O'Donnell was another of these. I guess that if relationships don't have any scandal involved beyond being same-sex, it won't sell tabloids, so nobody but the principals care.

These seem like nice folks. I hope they continue to be happy together.
posted by Karmakaze at 9:08 AM on January 30, 2013


Now, can we get a duet with George Takei?

BTW -- check out this sweet video from yesterday: Gay NJ Teen Who Came Out To His Entire School Meets His Idol George Takei.
posted by ericb at 9:19 AM on January 30, 2013


Gay, who cares. It's the cradle-robbing that's scandalous.
posted by Lou Stuells at 9:27 AM on January 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


I clearly remember hearing news that he had died. This was back in the 90s. Maybe I'm thinking of someone else.

You're thinking of George Lindsey, who played Goober Pyle-- Gomer Pyle's brother. He died in May of last year.
posted by vitabellosi at 9:27 AM on January 30, 2013


I have a feeling he did this because he's counting on dying soon, so it may not be all good news.
posted by pracowity at 9:40 AM on January 30, 2013


Well, not to jinx Jim Nabors or anything, but if he is anticipating not being around much longer, I'm glad he and his partner were able to tie the knot before it was too late.

I hope the US legalizes same-sex marriage in all states soon. It's sort of a "Which came first, the chicken or the egg" thing, but I feel that when countries legalize SSM, it hastens widespread acceptance of homosexuality.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:50 AM on January 30, 2013


Gay, who cares. It's the cradle-robbing that's scandalous.

I noticed the age difference, but his husband was 26 or so when they got together, and he was 44, which isn't such a big deal.
posted by jb at 9:52 AM on January 30, 2013


I hope he realizes that it's because other people did debate the issue and were activists that he could get married now.

Jim Nabors the character is all gosh-golly apolitical, but Jim Nabors the individual? Professional actor who probably has socks older than many of us. Jim Nabors realises.
posted by selfmedicating at 10:00 AM on January 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Tom Selleck and John Goodman can't play bad guys

You've clearly never seen Barton Fink.

(As for Hawaii and marriage, the courts ruled that they could have it, so a constitutional amendment was passed to keep the gays away from the hallowed institution. They've got civil unions, and I hope that the job-killing amendment is repealed sometime soon.)
posted by klangklangston at 10:02 AM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Lentrohamsanin: Ball's in your court, Mathis.

It's not for me to say.
posted by dr_dank at 10:05 AM on January 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Tom Selleck and John Goodman can't play bad guys

John Goodman's a good enough actor that he can play whoever he wants to play. His character in The Artist is pretty insufferable; his character on Community, while not exactly evil, is pretty self-serving and very intimidating.
posted by jb at 10:08 AM on January 30, 2013


Sure, Gomer could sing, but his cousin Goober did some killer impressions!
posted by Oriole Adams at 10:13 AM on January 30, 2013


Oh, yay. Happy for them.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:17 AM on January 30, 2013


John Goodman's a good enough actor that he can play whoever he wants to play. His character in The Artist is pretty insufferable; his character on Community, while not exactly evil, is pretty self-serving and very intimidating.

I would add to that list Glen Allen Walken from The West Wing, where he may not be bad, but he's clearly the antagonist or, at the very least, an obstacle to the heroes of the tale.
posted by Etrigan at 10:22 AM on January 30, 2013


orange swan: "Tom Selleck and John Goodman can't play bad guys"

Not to pile on too much here, but Goodman played a helluva Bible salesman/evil cyclops.
posted by brundlefly at 10:26 AM on January 30, 2013 [9 favorites]


Oh, this is just terrific news! YAY GOMER!
posted by magstheaxe at 10:56 AM on January 30, 2013


"Shazam!"
posted by whatgorilla at 11:30 AM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sadly, this just reminds me that I'm the exact age Nabors was when they got together and far, far, far from finding myself a mate, so I may step out in the hall and pull the fire alarm, just in case.
posted by sonascope at 11:49 AM on January 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


(As for Hawaii and marriage, the courts ruled that they could have it, so a constitutional amendment was passed to keep the gays away from the hallowed institution. They've got civil unions, and I hope that the job-killing amendment is repealed sometime soon.)

The person who led the push for this amendment was Mike Gabbard, father of our Representative Tulsi Gabbard. Tulsi was, at one point, an opponent of gay marriage but renounced that stance after her two deployments to Iraq.

Anyhow, just want to take a moment to shame everyone in Hawaii who voted for the amendment. We could have been the first state where this was legal people. Instead, we are like the reverse-color Iowa - a state where the law is opposite what you'd think it would be.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:52 AM on January 30, 2013


I think that civil unions can actually be a problem when fighting for marriage equality.

Yeah, whenever that whole "same thing by a different name" bit gets dragged out about civil unions, I just toss this in the direction of whomever is telling me that [pdf], no matter what side they are on. It's pretty clear that they are NOT equal, and are ENTIRELY separate.

I'm not one to say that marriage is the be-all and end-all of the struggle for LGBT equality, but it's certainly a piece of it which should be available for those who want it. And civil unions are not it.
posted by hippybear at 4:57 PM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


"I'm not one to say that marriage is the be-all and end-all of the struggle for LGBT equality"

That's actually one of the big struggles that we have, and that I imagine four more states are having, where we're working really hard to have people understand that equality is a lot more than marriage — it means a whole lot of structural social justice stuff too that isn't nearly as obvious or simple. And it's just so goddamn frustrating to have, well, essentially rich people (who are our big funders) blow off the rest of the work because they've already got marriage (or will, soon enough).
posted by klangklangston at 5:06 PM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Screwball Jim Nabors Goofs Up Again By Marrying Man
posted by brundlefly at 11:40 AM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


I do seem to recall news that he was seriously ill (liver failure or cancer, I think) and on death's door several years ago.
posted by mike3k at 11:28 PM on January 31, 2013


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