'The Andy Griffith Show' Star Jim Nabors Dead at 87

Jim Nabors, who played the lovable Gomer Pyle on The Andy Griffith Show star has passed away at the age of 87.

As reported by THR, Nabors passed away early Thursday morning.

There is no confirmation at this time as to the cause of death.

Nabors is most famous for his role as Gomer Pyle on The Andy Griffith Show in the 1960s. He was originally only contracted for one episode but ended up being so popular that the TV studio decided to make him a recurring character.

In the finale of the fourth season of The Andy Griffith Show, Gomer Pyle goes off to join the U.S. Marines. This was a lead-in for his spin-off series, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., which ran for five years on CBS.

In 1969, Nabors gave an interview where he spoke in detail about the decision to hang up his Gomer Pyle hat.

"It got down to what you think you want to be, an actor or an entertainer. I want to entertain," Nabors said. "I don't think I'm much of an actor. The only part I ever played was Gomer. I'm the most surprised person around that I'm successful anyway."

He then went on to host The Jim Nabors Hour, a variety show, for two seasons, and also had supporting roles in films such as The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Stroker Ace, and Cannonball Run II.

In 2013, Nabors married his partner of nearly 40 years, Stan Cadwallader, in front of a judge in a Seattle, Washington hotel room. The two met in 1975.

A year after marrying Cadwallader, Nabors sang "Back Home Again in Indiana" at the Indy 500 for the last time. He'd done it fairly regularly over the previous four decades.

"I'll be honest with you, I didn't want to stay too long at the fair," he said. "Everyone has been so incredible to me so many years. The first time I was here was 1972, so I guess most people have grown up with me."