‘The Andy Griffith Show’: Are Ron Howard and Jim Nabors friends?
Ron Howard and Jim Nabors both starred on The Andy Griffith Show. However, were they friends in real-life years after the show was over?
Jim Nabors on ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ and its spinoff
The character of Gomer, played by Jim Nabors, was first introduced in the middle of the third season of The Andy Griffith Show. Nabors was brought onto the show after Howard McNear, who played Floyd Lawson, left the show for a little while due to some medical reasons.
All in all, Nabors appeared as Pyle in 23 episodes of the show between 1962 and 1964. The actor also went to star in his own spinoff, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., after McNear returned to the show.
The spinoff series, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., ran from 1964 to 1969 for five seasons. Its first episode initially aired as a backdoor pilot for the fourth season of The Andy Griffith Show.
While on The Andy Griffith Show, Pyle is depicted as a naive mechanic and he provided a good amount of the show’s comic relief during the time he was on the series.
Jim Nabors on his friendship with Ron Howard
In a 2014 interview with Indianapolis Monthly before his death, Nabors talked about a number of things, including his friendship with his The Andy Griffith Show co-star Ron Howard.
“I got a letter from him the other day, and it was the sweetest note,” said Nabors of Howard. “A very personal thing, and I was dumbfounded to get it. He was talking about how he just turned 60. See, I’ve known Ron since he was 6 years old. He wrote this letter, and he said that he was going to have a party for his 60th birthday. But it coincided with the Academy Awards, and too many of his friends wouldn’t be able to come. He said if he ever did decide to have the party, I would certainly be on the top of the list.”
He also talked about The Andy Griffith Show fans coming up to him and saying his character’s notable catchphrase, “golly.”
“Oh sure, absolutely,” he said when he was asked about being noticed. “It’s funny, I was watching a TV show, I don’t remember what it was, and it was one of those question-and-answer things. A silly show. But they said, “Where did the habit of kids wearing their hat sideways come from?” I wondered who that was, and I was the answer! It was Gomer Pyle on Andy Griffith.”