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George Lindsey, Goober on 'The Andy Griffith Show,' dies at 83

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
May 7th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

George Lindsey, who starred as Goober on "The Andy Griffith Show," has died at the golden age of 83 on early Sunday morning.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The beanie-wearing Goober played on "The Andy Griffith Show" from 1964 to 1968 and its successor, "Mayberry RFD," from 1968 to 1971. Lindsey played the same cheery character on "Hee Haw" from 1971 until 1993, when it went out of production. When Jim Nabors, who portrayed Gomer Pyle, left the "The Andy Griffith Show" in 1964, Lindsey replaced Nabors as Gomer's cousin.

Other TV credits included roles on "M*A*S*H," ''The Wonderful World of Disney," ''CHIPs," ''The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour," ''The Real McCoys," ''The Rifleman," ''The Alfred Hitchcock Hour," ''Twilight Zone" and "Love American Style."

He also had movie roles, appearing in "Cannonball Run II" and "Take This Job and Shove It." His voice was used in animated Walt Disney features including "The Aristocats," ''The Rescuers" and "Robin Hood."

"At that time, we were the best acting ensemble on TV," Mr. Lindsey once said. "The scripts were terrific. Andy is the best script constructionist I've ever been involved with. And you have to lift your acting level up to his; he's awfully good."

Born in Jasper, Alabama, Lindsey received a bachelor degree in science from Florence State Teachers College, now the University of North Alabama, in 1952 after majoring in physical education and biology. Lindsey also played quarterback on the college's football team. After spending three years in the Air Force, he worked one year as both a high-school baseball and basketball coach and a history teacher.

In 1956, Lindsey attended the American Theatre Wing in New York City, beginning his professional career on Broadway, appearing in the musicals "All American" and "Wonderful Town." In the early 1960s, he moved to Hollywood and then to Nashville in the early 1990s.

Much of Lindsey's spare time went to raising funds for the Alabama Special Olympics. He sponsored a celebrity golf tournament in Montgomery that raised money for the mentally disabled for 17 years. In 1992, the University of North Alabama awarded him an honorary doctorate.

Reflecting on his career, he said in 1985: "There's a residual effect of knowing I've made America laugh. I'm not the only one, but I've contributed something."

In a statement released through the funeral home, Mr. Griffith said, "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....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.'"

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