George Lindsey, Andy Griffith Show Character Goober Pyle, Dies at 83

George Lindsey, who gained fame for his role of gas station attendant Goober on both “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Hee Haw,” passed away early Sunday morning after a short-term illness.

Lindsey joined the cast of “The Andy Griffith Show” in 1964 when Jim Nabors, who played the character Gomer Pyle, left the program.

Lindsey (left) and Griffith (right) on the set of "The Andy Griffith Show"

Goober Pyle, who was once mentioned briefly as Gomer’s cousin, took Gomer’s place, making both Lindsey and Goober household names.

Lindsey played Goober on “The Andy Griffith Show” from 1964 to 1968 and on its successor, “Mayberry RFD,” from 1968 until 1971. Then, he took Goober’s character to the show “Hee Haw,” which ran from 1971 until 1993.

“America has grown up with me,” Lindsey said in an Associated Press interview in 1985. “Goober is every man; everyone finds something to like about ol’ Goober.”

In a statement released through the funeral home, Andy Griffith said of his dear friend, “I had great respect for [George’s] talent and his human spirit. In recent years, we spoke often by telephone. Our last conversation was a few days ago…I am happy to say that as we found ourselves in our eighties, we were not afraid to say, ‘I love you.’ That was the last thing George and I had to say to each other. ‘I love you.’”

Pondering his career, Lindsey said in 1985, “There’s a residual effect of knowing I’ve made America laugh. I’m not the only one, but I’ve contributed something.”

Lindsey certainly made his way into the homes and hearts of many Americans, appearing not only on “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Hee Haw,” but also on shows such as “MASH,” “The Wonderful World of Disney,” “CHIPs,” “The Alfred Hitchcock Hour” and “Twilight Zone.”

He also appeared on the silver screen in films such as “Cannonball Run II” and “Take This Job and Shove It.” He also lent his voice to many animated Walt Disney features, including “Robin Hood,” “The Rescuers” and “The Aristocats.”

Funeral arrangements for the acting legend are still being made.

About Alex Chrum

St. Louis. Left of liberal. Feminist. Bookworm. Hockey fan.
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