GAC extends condolences to the family, friends and fans of actor George Lindsey, who died Sunday in Nashville after an extended hospitalization, reports The Tennessean. He was 83. Lindsey was most widely known for playing Goober Pyle on the iconic television series The Andy Griffith Show.
One of Lindsey’s last appearances was at Ray Stevens’ CD release party Feb. 28 at The Rutledge in Nashville to lend support to his good friend and fellow comedian.
“He was in a wheelchair that night and he was really going out of his way to show up for that,” said Stevens to The Tennessean. The two were friends with Lindsey for 35 years. “That’s the kind of friend he was. He was on his last legs that night.”
In a statement released today, Stevens added: “George Lindsey was an excellent actor and comedian as well as a great humanitarian and my good friend. He will be missed by millions and especially by me and the other members of a little group he was a part of that we call the ‘Nashville Breakfast Club.’ We had breakfast together every Saturday morning for years. I remember once when it was Goober’s turn to pick up the check, he studied it carefully for a long time and then asked ‘Who had the jelly?’”
Actor Andy Griffith said in a statement that accompanied the family’s Sunday-morning announcement of Mr. Lindsey’s death: “George Lindsey was my friend. I had great respect for his talent and his human spirit. In recent years, we spoke often by telephone. Our last conversation was a few days ago. We would talk about our health, how much we missed our friends who passed before us and usually about something funny. I am happy to say that as we found ourselves in our eighties, we were not afraid to say, ‘I love you.’ That was the last thing George and I had to say to each other. ‘I love you.’ ”
The Nashville resident’s career extended beyond “Mayberry.” He also appeared in M*A*S*H, Gunsmoke, Herbie the Love Bug and C.H.I.P.S. He was in movies including Take This Job and Shove It and Cannonball Run II, was a judge for the Miss USA pageant for years, and lent his voice to many animated Disney characters in movies including The Aristocats, The Rescuers and Robin Hood. He recorded a comedy album in 1971 called Goober Sings!, and was a member of the Hee Haw cast for 20 years.