Obit of the Day: "Goober"
Goober Pyle had originally hoped to be Gomer Pyle. George Lindsey had auditioned for the part of Gomer that went to Jim Nabors on The Andy Griffith Show. Nabors’ portrayal of the dim-witted Southern gas station attendant was so popular that he was going to be given his own show: Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. So the show’s producer called Mr. Lindsey back and offered him the role of Gomer’s cousin, “Goober.”
After Gomer Pyle left Mayberry, Goober was put in place to run the town’s gas station. Lindsey would portray Goober for seven years, four on Andy Griffith and three on Mayberry R.F.D., the latter was an attempt to keep the show going after Andy Griffith left. When Mayberry R.F.D. was cancelled in 1971, Lindsey would continue to portray Goober on the country variety show Hee Haw.
Lindsey’s voice can also be heard in the Disney productions of Robin Hood (as “Trigger”) and The Rescuers (as “Rabbit”). He would guest star on various television shows over the next several decades. You can find his full filmography here.
George Lindsey actually had a degree in Bioscience from the University of North Alabama (originally Florence State Teachers’ College) and was a science teacher before using the G.I. Bill to attend theater school after World War II. After the end of his acting career, Lindsey was involved in raising money for the Special Olympics and promoting the George Lindsey Film Festival held at his alma mater.
George Lindsey was 83 years old.
Very Random Note: According to Leonard Nimoy, George Lindsey was actually Gene Roddenberry’s choice to play the character of Spock. Source: imdb.com
(Image is courtesy of wikimedia.com)