Best known for his role as "Goober" on The Andy Griffith Show, George Lindsey has died at the age of 83.
The thesp, who starred on Hee Haw and appeared on TV shows like Gunsmoke, died Sunday after battling an undisclosed illness, according to Nashville television station WSFA.
Before Lindsey's career in television sparked, he dabbled in theater, landing roles in Broadway plays like All American and Wonderful Town after studying at the American Theater Wing in New York City.
He then went on to play villainous characters on western shows like The Rifleman and Gunsmoke, and appeared in The Real McCoys, The Twilight Zone and The Jar, among other things.
But Lindsey's career truly took off in 1964 when he landed the role of Goober Pyle on The Andi Griffith Show (he had previously auditioned for the role of Gomer Pyle, Goober's cousin, but lost it to Jim Nabors), and went on to play the character for seven seasons on the hit show.
In a statement, Andy Griffith told WSFA, "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.'
"George often told me his fondest memories of his life in show business were the years he spent working on The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry R.F.D. They were for me, too."