Jim Nabors was a breakout star in the legendary 1960s sitcom “The Andy Griffin Show.” He portrayed Gomer Pyle, a figure who connected with and lived through Nabors until his death.
As an aspiring actor in the 1960s, Nabors was daring to be upfront about his sexuality, despite the persecution that came with it.
One of his co-stars, who sat in the front row and saw how Nabors was handled differently, said that he understood his advantages as a straight guy.
The co-star confessed that straight males had a superior experience, not just in terms of how they were seen behind the scenes but also by the public.
Everyone on set was aware of Nabor’s sexuality, but it became an unofficial rule not to bring it up. Another notable name to emerge from “The Andy Griffin Show” was Ron Howard, who indicated that the treatment of performers varied.
For example, Howard was treated with compassion and care, whereas Nabors got the short end of the stick. Several crew members even called Howard nasty names behind his back. “And not in a nice way,” Howard said.
Nabors had dealt with individuals gossiping behind his back at work, but he had to handle public pressure when reports about him marrying actor Rock Hudson arose.
The two performers were said to have married privately, but the public disregarded it since it seemed strange and incorrect.
The details of the alleged wedding ceremony were disjointed. The wedding allegedly took place in a variety of locales, including New York, Carmel, Las Vegas, Vancouver, Chicago, and a Hollywood celebration, to name a few.
There was no data on how or why the event would have taken place. Hudson and Nabors were never lovers, only casual acquaintances, yet when the controversy emerged, the two performers were never seen together again.
Nevertheless, when Hudson died, the tale resurfaced, and a putative ceremony attendee came forward. The covert homosexual wedding was attended by a model whose identity was concealed.
According to the ex-Vogue model, the wedding took place in the magnificent candlelit living room of a Belgravia mansion. The accused pair exchanged vows in front of a priest and their eighteen guests. According to reports, the majority of those invited were male designers and supermodels.
The model, though, said that the situation was strange for her, particularly as a 15-year-old who assumed they were going to a heterosexual wedding.
Nabors’ secret wedding rumors not only cost him a buddy but also cost him a program on CBS television.
Even though the actor was aware from the start that his eventual companion would not be a woman, his character Gomer Pyle never had a wife or girlfriend.
Gomer had love interests, but they never developed into anything serious. In “The Better Man,” Gomer persuaded his lover, Lou-Ann Poovie, to marry an old boyfriend from her hometown.
Gomer was said to have made that choice since he did not feel his manhood measured up to the two males in his girlfriend’s life, her dad and her prospective spouse.
The ordinary man was seen as someone who owned a company, frequented a country club, drank strong liquor, was fascinated with football, and seemed to be capable of fighting.
Gomer, on the other hand, had other hobbies: his favorite drink was beer, and he enjoyed sewing fabric flowers for Lou-Ann; they also attended culinary lessons together, and he had little interest in sports. Gomer was teased by Lou-Ann’s father for not being macho enough for his daughter.
While Gomer was portrayed as the polar opposite of what was required of a man, Nabors enjoyed playing him and connected with him in many ways.
Nabors was not only a talented actor, but he also had an operatic voice. The actor had a few television appearances, demonstrating his powerful baritone. In 1969, CBS broadcast “The Jim Nabors Hour,” in which the actor hosted famous guests who would perform comedy or sing country and opera music.
In 1972, Nabors also made his operatic debut at the Indianapolis Speedway. It became a custom for the actor to begin the play with “Back Home Again in Indiana” by Louis Armstrong. His final performance was in 2014, when he was 84 years old and still capable of hitting high notes.
The public may have made fun of Nabors’ love life, but the actor met his true love, Stan Cadwallader, in 1975, just after his supposed marriage to Hudson.
Dollie Cole, Scot Coors, Stan Caldwallader and Jim Nabors and my hubby Kent at Jim & Stan's reception last night! pic.twitter.com/yS99FdjdwH— RUTH BUZZI (@Ruth_A_Buzzi) April 14, 2013
Cadwallader was a fireman who eventually ended up working for Nabors, which is how their affair began. Before getting married in 2013, the pair had been together for 39 years.
Nabors was 82 years old at the time, while Cadwallader was 64. The couple went to Washington State, where homosexual weddings became legal in 2012.
After the wedding, the actor spoke with Hawaii News. Nabors kept his marriage and connection private, but he explained that he was not embarrassed by his spouse; rather, their union was precious to him, and he desired to keep it private.
Their wedding was small and personal. It was conducted in a hotel room at Seattle’s Fairmont Olympic Hotel and was overseen by a judge. As witnesses, the couple used acquaintances who lived nearby.
Nabors expressed gratitude for having had a life companion for over four decades. Yet he recognized that the state did not acknowledge his long-term relationship, so once it became legal, he desired that he and his spouse be legally recognized as a couple.
The actor was also questioned about whether his partnership felt different with a ring on his finger, but he said that everything they swore had already been fulfilled throughout the course of their 39-year relationship.
The couple spent their years together in Hawaii at their house. Nabors said the island has been special to him since his first visit in the 1960s. He liked how nice and helpful everybody was to him, which was sufficient to persuade him that he would call it home one day.
As a result, the actor purchased his two-story house in Honolulu, Ke’ahamoe, in 1992. It featured five bedrooms, six bathrooms, and a living room on the second level that opened out to a covered lanai when it was erected in 1950.
The guest bedroom has an en-suite bathroom, and the living area opens out to the pool and a cabana with a wet bar. The actor also has a wall with photos of memorable occasions, famous acquaintances, and family.
The couple’s home is surrounded by palm trees and provides convenient access to the beach. The property boasts 170 feet of beach frontage and stunning ocean views.
The master bedroom has a soothing wood floor as well as a deep blue checkered accent wall. There is a working room and a quiet lounge with floor-to-ceiling sliders that provide a picture-perfect sunset. The 5,900-square-foot house went for $12 million.
Nabors’ lovely house was not only for him and his companion. The actor exuded the same welcoming attitude and friendliness he experienced in Hawaii. Several of his neighbors remember that Nabors liked talking to people and having them over to his house.
Danny Keleikini, one of his friends in Hawaii, admired how Nabors did not allow his celebrity in Hollywood to get to him. He seemed at ease and eager to share bread and talk with everyone.
Several people claimed Nabors’ heart was as large as his voice. The actor was well-known for staging local Christmas events and donating to charities such as the Hawaiian Humane Society. After receiving a liver transplant, he also assisted in promoting Hawaii’s organ donor program.
Despite the hurdles he encountered, Nabors had a meaningful life, and his partner emphasized how grateful and lucky he felt to have been a part of his diverse life.
Nabors never wanted people to see or remember him just for his sexuality. He claimed to have known since boyhood and had never intended to make a public show of it.
The actor yearned for an exciting life that would enable him to accomplish all he wanted, and one of his obsessions was opening the Indy 500 event. Cadwallader displayed a candid photograph of the actor performing in one of his favorite areas of the house.
Cadwallader also mentioned that his spouse had an idea of how he wanted to be remembered. He said that he wanted to be remembered as a kind man.
His health deteriorated after a liver transplant after getting hepatitis B. Cadwallader did say that the actor was hospitalized for a while in his last days.
Nabors eventually asked to be transported home, and on November 30, 2017, he died quietly in his home, accompanied by his spouse. He was 87.
Cadwallader expressed shock at his death on the morning of his death. He tried to put his sentiments into words and concentrated his efforts on funeral preparations. Cadwallader worried whether he’d ever be able to come to terms with his death.
Nabors had a wide range of abilities. He lived his truth both on and off the screen, and he handled life’s blows with grace. He has created a legacy that his admirers and loved ones will cherish.