Officially coming out to the media as gay, Andy Griffith Show actor Jim Nabors has announced his marriage to his partner of nearly 4 decades, Stan Cadwallader. Since same sex marriage is not legal in their native Hawaii, Nabors and Cadwallader traveled to Washington State to exchange vows.
The private ceremony was held on January 15 in a room at Seattle’s Fairmount Olympic Hotel. A few of the couple’s friends from Hawaii attended.
“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. And at my age, it’s probably the best thing to do,” Nabors, 82, told Hawaii News Now of marrying Cadwallader, 64.
“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,” he explained.
“I’m very happy that I’ve had a partner of 38 years and I feel very blessed,” added Nabors. “And, what can I tell you, I’m just very happy.”
Nabors is best known for playing Gomer Pyle on The Andy Griffith Show and Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. Cadwallader is a former Honolulu fireman.
The death certificate for Andy Griffith shows the iconic TV star died of a heart attack in his Manteo, North Carolina home. The certificate, which was filed Thursday in Dare County, says coronary artery disease, hypertension and hyperlipidemia were contributing factors in his death.
Griffith passed away Tuesday at 7 a.m., 24 hours after he suffered the heart attack. He was buried less than five hours later in the Griffith Family Cemetery on Roanoke Island. Griffith was 86.
The Matlock star is survived by his wife of 29-years, Cindi, and his daughter, Dixie. “Andy was a person of incredibly strong Christian faith and was prepared for the day he would be called Home to his Lord. He is the love of my life, my constant companion, my partner, and my best friend. I cannot imagine life without Andy, but I take comfort and strength in God’s Grace and in the knowledge that Andy is at peace and with God,” Cindi said in a statement this week.
Griffith is best known for his role as Sheriff Andy Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show. He also starred for 9 years on the legal drama Matlock.
Hours after news of Andy Griffith’s death hit the internet Hollywood stars close to the actor took to Twitter to pay tribute and offer their condolences to his family. Ron Howard, a child actor-turned-director who starred as Griffith’s son Opie on The Andy Griffith Show, was among them.
“Andy Griffith: His pursuit of excellence and the joy he took in creating served generations and shaped my life. I’m forever grateful RIP Andy,” Howard, 58, wrote.
Griffith passed away Tuesday around 7 a.m. at his Manteo, North Carolina home. The cause of death has not been released. Griffith was 86. His wife of 29 years, Cindi, released a statement saying, “Andy was a person of incredibly strong Christian faith and was prepared for the day he would be called Home to his Lord. He is the love of my life, my constant companion, my partner, and my best friend. I cannot imagine life without Andy, but I take comfort and strength in God’s Grace and in the knowledge that Andy is at peace and with God.”
President Barack Obama also offered his condolences. “Andy was beloved by generations of fans and revered by entertainers who followed in his footsteps. He brought us characters from Sheriff Andy Taylor to Ben Matlock, and in the process, warmed the hearts of Americans everywhere. Our thoughts and prayers are with Andy’s family,” Obama said in a statement.