Actor and singer Jim Nabors, who came to fame playing the lovable Gomer Pyle on “The Andy Griffith Show,” passed away today at the age of 87. Our condolences go out to his family, friends and fans, but his loss hits close to home. There are those in Chattanooga Theatre Centre circles who know that decades ago, Jim appeared on our stage when we operated as the Little Theatre.
Jim was born in Sylacauga, Alabama, where he sang for his high school and church. He attended the University of Alabama, where he tried his hand at acting. After graduation, he moved to New York City, where he worked as a typist for the United Nations, but after a year, he moved to Chattanooga, where he got his first job in the TV industry as a film cutter. It was during his days in our city that Jim auditioned and earned a role in the Little Theatre’s production of “A Fireman’s Flame,” a melodramatic musical about the life of the red-hot hose boys in the days of the volunteer firemen.
We don’t know much more than that. If you know any details, such as when the show was staged, what role Jim played, or stories about his experience here, please share! Email Julie at [email protected]
Rest in peace, Jim.