Born in Sylacauga, Alabama on June 12, 1930, Jim Nabors was raised in a typical religious Alabama household, he had two sisters and his father Fred Nabors was a police officer while his mother Mavis Pearl was a homemaker.
From as far back as high school, the young Jim was already making a name for himself as a decent singer, he also sang in the local church choir. Upon graduating from the University of Alabama, (where he had already started dabbling into some acting) he moved to New York City, where he worked as a typist for the United Nations.
Jim soon moved to L.A because of his asthma and got involved with TV on the periphery as a film cutter. He also performed at nightclubs on the sides, it was at one of such performances that he caught the eye of comedian Bill Dana who invited him to appear on The Steve Allen Show.
Jim’s breakthrough, however, came when TV star Andy Griffith offered him the part of gas station attendant “Gomer Pyle” on his popular 60s sitcom. The Gomer Pyle fever had gripped America and it was only a question of time before the character would spin off into his own series – Gomer Pyle: USMC in 1964.
With the fame and pomp of Gomer Pyle, Jim became a regular guest performer on all the top prime-time variety and late night shows in the country. Jim first showed off his singing ability on national TV in a guest appearance on The Danny Kaye Show in 1964. Blessed with a unique baritone, Jim went on to record his own songs most of which were country, pop and a few gospel tunes. One of his more memorable singing appearances came when he sang the national anthem before the first game of the 1973 World Series in Oakland. He went on to feature in many more sitcoms, theater performances over an impressive 30-year career
Net Worth and Properties
Jim Nabors lived for over three decades in Honolulu, Hawai where he owned a sprawling plantation. In the later years of his life, he sold it to the National Tropical Botanical Garden, a conservationist organization, but still retained significant farming rights to the land.
As an actor and singer, Jim never ran out of shows, jobs and gigs of all sorts to keep the revenue streams ticking. He starred on many shows including The Andy Griffith Show, Sonny & Cher, The Tonight Show, The Dean Martin Show, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, The Leslie Uggams Show, The Lost Saucer, The Muppet Show, The David Frost Show and The Joey Bishop Show.
Based on the earnings prevalent at the time, Jim Nabors was definitely an A-List Performer; what is however certain is that he would have commanded much higher figures if he worked in this day and age. His net worth is put at $15 million
Was Jim Nabors Gay or Straight?
There was a time when being gay was alien, even in the American society. For many years before gay marriage was legalized in the US, it was already rumored that Jim was gay. In 1978, he had brought his then-boyfriend Cadwallader along to his Indy 500 performance. Although he never came out openly to speak about his sexual orientation at the time, this action sent tongues wagging.
On the 15th of January 15, 2013, at the age of 82, a month after same-sex marriage became legal in Washington; Jim Nabors married his partner of 38 years, Stan Cadwallader, at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Washington.
The marriage ceremony held in the privacy of the couple’s hotel room and was presided over by a Washington Judge. The lovers met in 1975 when Cadwallader was a Honolulu firefighter.
Jim Nabors was married to Stan Cadwallader. In his heydays, there were rumors that suggested Jim was involved with, and in fact, married to actor Rock Hudson. At the time, Hudson never publicly admitted to being gay and neither did Jim. The saga was swept under the carpet but the pair were never in talking terms again.
Cause of Death
On a trip to India in 1994, Jim contacted hepatitis B after he cut himself with a razor, he underwent surgery that same year to replace his liver via a transplant. Doctors told him the Hepatitis B would remain in his system and could at some point infect his new liver.
As part of measures to control the condition, he was told he would be needing large doses of a gamma-globulin serum as well as other drugs for the rest of his life. Jim Nabors died at his Honolulu, Hawaii, home on November 30, 2017, at the age of 87