SEATTLE (Reuters) - American actor Jim Nabors, the star of 1960s television comedy “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.,” married his long-time male partner at a downtown hotel earlier this month, according to report by a television news program in Hawaii, where the 82-year-old actor lives.
Nabors, 82, also a singer, wed 64-year-old Stan Cadwallader, his partner of some 38 years, in a small ceremony on January 15 at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in downtown Seattle, where the couple traveled after same sex marriage became legal in Washington state last month.
“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, according to the report by Hawaii News Now aired on stations KGMB and KHNL on Tuesday night.
“I’m not ashamed of people knowing, it’s just that it was such a personal thing, I didn’t tell anybody,” Nabors said.
The marriage could not be independently confirmed by Reuters. A copy of the wedding certificate was not immediately found by a clerk at Seattle’s King county Archives. A spokeswoman for the hotel said she could not confirm the report.
Nabors, an Alabama native, played goofy gas-station attendant Gomer Pyle on “The Andy Griffith Show” and in the spin-off “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.,” among many other television and musical appearances.
Nabors said he met Cadwallader, a former fire fighter in Honolulu, in 1975. Cadwallader eventually went to work for Nabors.
Nabors said he was open with his colleagues and friends about his sexuality but he chose not to be a vocal activist in the bitter national debate over same-sex marriage.
“It’s pretty obvious that we had no rights as a couple, yet when you’ve been together 38 years, I think something’s got to happen there, you’ve got to solidify something,” Nabors said, before the ceremony, according to the report.
“And at my age, it’s probably the best thing to do.”
Nine of the 50 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia have legalized gay marriage. Another 31 states have passed constitutional amendments restricting marriage to heterosexual couples.
Reporting by Eric M. Johnson and Laura Myers in Seattle; Editing by Paul Thomasch and Leslie Gevirtz