John Shearer: Actor And Former Chattanoogan Jim Nabors Dies

Thursday, November 30, 2017 - by John Shearer

Noted actor Jim Nabors — who gained fame in the 1960s starring in a minor role on "The Andy Griffith Show” and later as the down-homey Marine who was always innocently making mistakes in “Gomer Pyle, USMC” — died on Thursday in his longtime home of Honolulu. He was 87.

Before he became famous, he lived in Chattanooga for approximately two years in the late 1950s. The Sylacauga, Ala., native had worked as a film editor for WRGP-TV, which later became WRCB-TV Channel 3.

At the time, the station was located in a still-standing building at 1214 McCallie Ave.

He also resided at 110 Hilldale Drive in the Shepherd Hills subdivision on the east side of Missionary Ridge.

Mr.
Nabors also had an opportunity to show his acting and singing skills while here.


He was in the Little Theatre play, “The Fireman’s Flame,” when the theater was located in a former fire hall at East Eighth Street and Park Avenue before the move to near Coolidge Park.

In those days when TV shows still had a lot of local live programs, he would occasionally come down from the film editing room long enough to sing a song on the Channel 3 show, “Holiday for Housewives,” colleagues later remembered.

He landed a role on “The Andy Griffith Show” shortly after leaving Chattanooga. “Gomer Pyle, USMC,” an offshoot, was on CBS from 1964-68.

One of his close Chattanooga friends even after leaving Chattanooga was the late Farol Seretean.

jcshearer2@comcast.net

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