Actor George Lindsey, who charmed audiences as Goober Pyle on The Andy Griffith Show, died on Sunday in Nashville of a brief and undisclosed illness. He was 83.
Lindsay first played the country bumpkin mechanic on The Andy Griffith Show and went on to portray Goober on Mayberry R.F.D. and Hee Haw. In 1985 he summed up his best-known character’s appeal, saying, “Goober is every man; everyone finds something to like about ol’ Goober.”
Andy Griffith said in a statement that he and Lindsey remained close over the years. “George Lindsey was my friend. I had great respect for his talent and his human spirit,” Griffith said. “In recent years, we spoke often by telephone. Our last conversation was a few days ago…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.'” Lindsey is survived by a son, a daughter, and two grandsons.