Congrats are in order for Jim Nabors– and they’re a long time coming.
The 82-year-old actor, known for playing Gomer Pyle in the 1960s on The Andy Griffith Show and Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., married Stan Cadwallader, 64, his male partner of 38 years.
In an exclusive interview with Hawaii News Now, Nabors said he and Cadwallader tied the knot in Seattle on January 15. Gay marriage became legal in Washington state last month, and the two reportedly traveled from their home in Hawaii for the ceremony. A judge performed it at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in a hotel room.
“I’m 82 and he’s in his 60s, and so we’ve been together for 38 years. And I’m not ashamed of people knowing, it’s just that it was such a personal thing, I didn’t tell anybody,” Nabors said in a phone interview with the news outlet. “I’m very happy that I’ve had a partner of 38 years and I feel very blessed. And, what can I tell you, I’m just very happy.”
Nabors said that while working in Hollywood in the 1960s and 1970s, he was open about his homosexuality to co-workers and friends. However, he never acknowledged it to the media until now. It’s a similar story from other celebrities from that era who came out in later years, such as actor/comedienne Lily Tomlin and Star Trek’s George Takei.
Nabors met Cadwallader back in 1975 when he was a Honolulu fire fighter. He eventually went to work for Nabors, and from there the couple’s personal relationship developed. However, Nabors has no plasn to get involved in the debate over gay marriage.
“I’m not a debater. And everybody has their own opinion about this. And, actually I’m not an activist, so I’ve never gotten involved in any of this,” Nabors said. “I haven’t ever made a public spectacle of it. Well, I’ve known since I was a child, so, come on. It’s not that kind of a thing. I’ve never made a huge secret of it at all.”
“This is really no big deal,” he said simply. “My friend and I, my partner, we went through all of this 38 years ago. So, I mean, we made our vows and that was it. It was to each other, but nevertheless, we were a couple.”
Hawaii News Now – KGMB and KHNL