Gomer Pyle just got hitched.
Jim Nabors, the 82-year-old actor beloved for playing everyone's favorite naïve but good-natured Marine in the classic TV series, quietly married his longtime companion.
Per Hawaii News Now, which broke the story, Nabors and 64-year-old Stan Cadwallader made it official on Jan. 15 in a low-key ceremony at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle, after gay marriage became legal in Washington State in December.
"I'm 82 and he's in his 60s and so we've been together for 38 years, and I'm not ashamed of people knowing, it's just that it was such a personal thing I didn't tell anybody," The Andy Griffith Show alum and longtime Hawaii resident told the station. "I'm very happy that I've had a partner of 38 years and I feel very blessed. And what can I tell you, I'm just very happy."
Nabors said that with gay couples now gaining equal rights under the law, it was important for them to tie the knot to ensure both he and his partner are protected legally should one of them, say, become sick or god forbid pass away.
"It's pretty obvious that we had no rights as a couple, yet when you've been together 38 years, I think something's got to happen there, you've got to solidify something. And at my age, it's probably the best thing to do," noted Nabors, who underwent open-heart surgery last May.
The tube star added that it's the first time he's publicly acknowledged his sexuality, though it's something he's known since he was a child and never kept secret from his colleagues and friends, even back during his pop-culture heyday in the '60s when Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. was a big hit.
"This is really no big deal. My friend and I, my partner, we went through all of this 38 years ago. So, I mean, we made our vows and that was it. It was to each other, but nevertheless, we were a couple," revealed Nabors, adding that he has no plans to become a gay rights activist.
Guess he and Jodie Foster have something in common. Congrats, Jim!