“Gomer Pyle” star Jim Nabors marries male partner
He never married Rock Hudson as a persistent urban legend alleged.
But Jim Nabors is finally a married man – and married to a man!
Television’s Gomer Pyle recently got married in the state of Washington to his longtime partner, Stan Cadwallader.
Nabors, 82, had never come out publicly as a gay man but confirmed the marriage to Hawaii News Now.
“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 told the station.
“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.”
The wedding took place at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel on January 15.
Nabors came to fame as gas station attendant Gomer Pyle on The Andy Griffin Show in 1962. His character proved so popular that after two years, he was spun off into his own show titled Gomer Pyle USMC which ran for five seasons.
Tired of the role, Nabors quit the show in 1969 to host The Jim Nabors Hour, his own weekly variety show which showcased his rich baritone singing voice. He also went on to record 28 albums, four of which were certified gold or platinum.
He was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for hosting The Jim Nabors Show (a talk show) in 1977-78 then appeared with Burt Reynolds in the films The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Stoker Ace and Cannonball Run II in the early 80s.
His last appearance as Gomer Pyle was in the 1986 TV reunion movie Return to Mayberry which also starred Andy Griffith and Ron Howard.
In the 1970s, Nabors and fellow closeted actor Hudson were the subjects of a stubborn urban legend that they had gotten married. Although they were never more than friends, they avoided being seen in public in order not to feed the rumor.
Nabors met Cadwallader in 1975 when his future husband was working as a firefighter in Honolulu. He says he was always open about his sexuality with co-workers and friends.
‘I haven’t ever made a public spectacle of it,’ he said in the interview with Hawaii News Now. ‘Well, I’ve known since I was a child, so, come on. It’s not that kind of a thing. I’ve never made a huge secret of it at all.’
Although he says he is not a gay marriage activist, Nabors did want to make things with Cadwallader legal: ‘It’s pretty obvious that we had no rights as a couple, yet 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.’