George “Goober” Lindsey Dead at 83

Actor and comedian George “Goober” Lindsey died early Sunday morning after an extended illness.   He was 83 years old.

Lindsey was born in 1928 in Fairfield, Alabama, and grew up in the small town of Jasper.  He became interested in acting after seeing a production of Oklahoma! when he was just 14.

Lindsey worked as a teacher in his hometown after graduating in 1952 from the University of Northern Alabama, but soon moved to New York to pursue a career in theater. He did small parts in local productions and always dreamed of working in Hollywood.

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He got his big break after 1962 when he moved to Los Angeles and signed with the William Morris Agency. Lindsey got roles on TV programs such as The Rifleman, Twilight Zone and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.

Lindsey is probably best known for his role as Goober in the popular television series The Andy Griffith Show. He originally auditioned for the role of Gomer Pyle, but fellow actor and Alabama native Jim Nabors ended up with the part.

When Nabors got his own show later, Lindsey was approached about resuming his role of Goober, which he did for the next five years.

Following the cancellation of The Andy Griffith Show, most of the actors from the series reprised their roles in the subsequent spin off, Mayberry R.F.D.

A few years later, Lindsey also recorded an album in Nashville called “Goober Sings.” After the release of the recording, he was approached about carrying on the character of Goober in the popular television variety show Hee Haw. Lindsey worked on Hee Haw for the next 20 years.

In addition to his television roles, Lindsey appeared in numerous Disney movies.

Lindsey’s humanitarian efforts involved fundraising for the Special Olympics, and held a celebrity golf tournament for more than a decade which raised money for mentally disabled children.

Statement by Andy Griffith About George Lindsey

“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.”
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