LOS ANGLES (LALATE) – Jim Nabors is not dead. Jim Nabors is battling fake death reports today. The confusion comes days after Nabors tells news he will miss the Indy 500, but still will tape a recording in advance of the 2012 race. The confusion apparently is also being caused by fans confusing Andy Griffith Show characters.
Jim Nabors fake death reports today are unlike anything in recent memory. If it’s Lil Wayne, or J. Cole, fake celebrity death reports lately concern fabricated car, plane, or train crashes. Usually musicians are falsely reported dead on Route 80, actors are falsely reported perishing on Zermatt slopes, and reality stars are erroneously reported crashing on tropical waters. But today, fake death reports surfaced as fans confused Goober Pyle with Gomer Pyle.
George Lindsey died yesterday at age 83. But today, Twitter users, many not born when The Andy Griffith Show first aired, began to erroneously tweet that Gomer Pyle (played by Nabors), not Goober Pyle (played by Lindsey), had died.
Goober was Gomer’s cousin. And while both characters originated in the Andy Griffith Show, Gomer was the subject of a famed spinoff. Gomer Pyle was spun off by producers for the Griffith Show in 1964 and ran for five seasons.
Today, the confusion is evidenced by heated comments on Twitter. When one user wrote that Gomer Pyle’s actor had died, one fumed back “Nope, Goober. Gomer was his cousin, played by Jim Nabors.” Another wrote the same “You all the way wrong… Jim Nabors [is] not dead. It’s George Lindsey who played Goober Pyle, not Gomer Pyle”.
Nabors has sung “Back Home in Indiana” for the start of every Indy 500 since 1972 with the exception of one year. Due to health reasons in 1987, he was unable to perform. But this year, Nabors will be back performing the song again, just via a tape recording.
But Nabors tells news that he will tape this year’s performance at home in Hawaii. The 81 year old tells news that he is honored to sing the song again.
And despite heart surgery scheduled for later this month, Nabors will record the performance this week with a film crew. The company’s doing the recording is IMS Productions. Its spokesperson Doug Boles issued a news statement explaining that Nabors offered the idea for the Hawaii recording. “He offered that. ” Boles added “You’ve got to remember that (the 500) is as much a highlight of his year as it is for the hundreds of thousands of fans who hear him sing.”