LOS ANGELES • Jim Nabors, who created beloved comic television character Gomer Pyle and used his rich baritone voice on several hit records, died on Thursday at age 87.
A staff of his entertainment company said he died at his home in Hawaii of multiple causes.
He had been ill for a while. His partner told news media that the actor's immune system had been suppressed since a liver transplant in 1994.
Nabors' roles included the gullible but endearing auto mechanic Gomer Pyle on The Andy Griffith Show and a good-hearted, if inept, Marine on a spin-off, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.
The roles made him one of the more beloved television actors of the 1960s.
His patented phrases, such as "Gawww-leee", "Surprise, surprise, surprise" and "Shazam!", were instantly recognisable, delivered in a high-pitched Southern drawl that contrasted sharply to his sonorous baritone singing voice.
After his shows went off the air, Nabors bounced between the stage, concert tours, the occasional television role - he struggled with being typecast - and full-length movies, three of them with his friend, fellow actor Burt Reynolds.