Alabama Not Just Football: 30 Amazing People Who Were Built By Bama

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Jim Nabors

Jim Nabors was born in Sylacauga, AL and attended the University of Alabama. After graduating, he moved to New York and worked as a typist at the United Nations. A year later, he moved to Chattanooga to work as a film cutter. His asthma soon forced a move to southern California where he began work as a film cutter at NBC.

While working at NBC, Nabors also worked at The Horn, a Santa Monica bar as a singer and actor in cabaret theater. Comedian Bill Dana saw him perform and invited him on The Steve Allen Show. Nabors accepted but the show was soon cancelled. Andy Griffith later discovered him at the Horn and invited him on his show.

Gomer Pyle was developed as a one-episode role based on the character Nabors played in his act at The Horn. Pyle was so popular that he was written into the show as a regular on The Andy Griffith Show and was later given his own show, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.

Jim Nabors sang on a 1964 episode of The Andy Griffith Show and went on to record 28 albums. Three are certified gold and one platinum.

Nabors has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and is an Honorary Sergeant of the United States Marine Corps. Highway 280 in Talladega County bears his name. He was honored by the University of Alabama at a football game in 2006. The Gomer Pyle character received an honorary promotion from the USMC to Lance Corporal in 2001 and another to Corporal in 2007. Jim Nabors lives in Hawaii.