Gomer was the good-hearted, clueless goober, first in Mayberry, then in the Marines–a beloved character for the Baby Boom generation.
The “Marines” show was a spin off from his success on the Andy Griffith Show.
Nabors, it turned out, was also a fine singer, and had a variety show for several years after the sit-com ended.
Originally from Sylacauga, Alabama, he spent his final decades in Hawaii, living with his husband of nearly forty years, Stan Cadwallader. (NYT obituary here.)
I have a small, personal connection to Jim Nabors, who was a business major at the University of Alabama, as was my Dad and my brother Steve. My Uncle Harry was a professor of marketing there and actually taught Nabors. From all I heard, Jim was apparently just as likeable in person as he was on TV, and, unlike his characters, was a thoughtful, cultivated man.
May he rest in peace.