The late Jim Nabors was a popular TV presenter who spent most of his days living a double life. Few people knew he was gay and had been with his partner for decades, even though he was famous as the homespun Gomer Pyle.
For decades, actor Jim Nabors played the iconic role of Gomer Pyle on “The Andy Griffith Show,” which won the hearts of millions worldwide.
Andy Griffith, who is a television producer, was the one who brought him on as a guest star in the role. Nabors left quite an effect on the people who lived in Mayberry. Eventually, his persona won over millions of viewers; consequently, he was soon cast as a regular in the lengthy tv series.
Actor Jim Nabors as Gomer Pyle, a gasoline station attendant on “The Andy Griffith Show.” | Source: Getty Images
The catalyst for Nabors’ discovery of his vocal ability was a Southern boy with asthma underneath his cheerful character. As an adult, Nabors had a baritone voice that captivated audiences, and he was also known for his excellent performances on television variety shows and comedic acts.
In addition, while the native of Alabama was enjoying a highly successful public life, he concealed a big part of his identity that involved his love life.
Nabors Was Low-Key A Gay Man
A studio portrait of singer Jim Nabors wearing a cardigan sweater and posing with one hand in his pocket in 1965. | Source: Getty Images
The singer admitted in January 2013 that he had been in a relationship with a younger man named Stan Cadwallader for the previous three decades. Stan Cadwallader was 18 years younger than the singer. According to Nabors, the reason he never brought up that part of his life was that it was a private matter:
“I’m 82, and he’s in his 60s, 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. “I’m very happy that I’ve had a partner of 38 years, and I feel very blessed.”
The pair first met in 1975 when Cadwallader served as a Honolulu firefighter. After that, he started working for his future husband, and things got interesting.
Comedian Jim Nabors posing while wearing a shirt paired with an ascot scarf in 1970. | Source: Getty Images
Nabors revealed that he was open about his sexuality to his colleagues and friends during his time in Hollywood in the 1960s and 1970s, even though the media had no record of his sexuality then. On the other hand, he confessed that he had never acknowledged this fact to the media.
The former guest star of “The Carol Burnett Show” claimed that he was aware of his sexual orientation even when he was a child but never planned to keep it a secret as an adult.
Jim Nabors was pictured smiling while posing in a black tuxedo. | Source: Getty Images
He and Cadwallader officially tied the knot at the beginning of January 2013 before his publicly coming out as gay. Nabors shared with Hawaii News Now that he and his husband tied the knot in Seattle on January 15, 2013, and that he and his partner are overjoyed to be starting their new life together as a married couple.
The couple went on a trip to Washington, D.C., which is the location where gay marriages were made legal at the beginning of December 2012. They said their wedding vows at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle, Washington.
A headshot portrait of television icon Jim Nabors posing while folding his arms. | Source: Getty Images
A judge officiated the wedding in their hotel room, where close friends were witnesses. Before they got married, Nabors emphasized that it was obvious that, as a same-sex couple, they were robbed of the opportunity to bond their time forever together:
“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.”
Significantly, Cadwallader had been with the famous comedy from “The Jim Nabors Hour” for all of their years together, and they had seen both the fun moments and the bad times together.
Many Health Concerns About Nabors
Jim Nabors during The 2003 Trendsetters in Television Tribute to Icons in Film at The Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images
While continuing to work at the pace of his busy schedule in the 1970s, Nabors started to encounter health problems. As a consequence of this, he acquired an ulcer, and he later recalled that he became fatigued:
“I was completely burned out. I’d had it with the bright lights.”
After getting hepatitis B, the actor best known for his role in “Return to Mayberry” had a liver transplant in 1994. Because of his ongoing struggle with health problems, he had to postpone or cancel his attendance at several of his performances in 2007. Yet a year later, in 2008, he made a rapid comeback.
Jim Nabors during an appearance on “Saturday Night Live With Howard Cosell,” on October 4, 1975. | Source: Getty Images
In November 2017, Nabors’ husband disclosed to CBS News that the television legend’s health had rapidly declined after Thanksgiving.
According to WVNS-TV, after the star of “The Love Boat” had a series of tests, he was decided to discharge from the hospital and bring him home.
Jim Nabors attended Professional Dancers Society Gypsy Awards Luncheon on February 3, 1991, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images
On November 30, 2017, Nabors passed away at his home in Hawaii. He was 87. His cherished spouse referred to him as a delightful person, saying:
“Everybody knows he was a wonderful man. And that’s all we can say about him. He’s going to be dearly missed.”
As Cadwallader broke the news of the “Cannonball Run II” star’s passing, he noted that the coroner had not yet determined the reason for the actor’s passing. Yet, he did think about the possibility that his husband had passed away due to natural causes.
Nabors’ body was cremated in Honolulu, Hawaii, and his ashes were scattered. The actor best known for his role in “Stroker Ace” had lived the majority of his life in Hawaii, and it was there that he passed away.
Nabors owned a variety of properties In Hawaii.
Jim Nabors attended the 2nd Annual TV Land Awards at The Hollywood Palladium on March 7, 2004, in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images
In the 1970s, Nabors moved his family to Hawaii and bought a macadamia ranch that was 500 acres in size. The property has “rolling lawns, fruit trees, and tropical flowers,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
In 1992, the Hollywood legend bought another home in the Plantation style. It was constructed in the 1950s and remodeled in 1996, giving it almost 5,000 square feet of space.
The two-story mansion has five bedrooms, including the master bedroom with a contemporary-style bed and a turquoise and white color scheme with leather finishes.
There are a total of six bathrooms, in addition to a living room located on the second story. The living room has a marble floor, a beige leather couch, and a white theme. A covered lanai is accessed from the living room, with an ocean view. A painted portrait hangs on the wall, and other wooden pieces are in the room.
On top of the brown carpet in the dining area are a rectangular table and chairs made of matching wood. In addition to the main bedroom and bathroom, the guest suite also features a covered lounge area. The room opens to the swimming pool with a cabana and a wet bar attached.
The Diamond Head mansion has 170 feet of beach frontage, huge palm trees, and tropical landscaping. The Hawaiian mansion of Nabors was sold for $12 million, nearly $3 million less than the price it originally listed.
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