George Lindsey, who spent nearly thirty years as the grinning Goober on “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Hee Haw,” has died after a brief illness early Sunday, May 6, 2012. He was eighty-three years old. George Lindsey was born in Jasper, Alabama, the son of a butcher. He received a bachelor of science degree from Florence State Teachers College in 1952 after majoring in physical education and biology. After spending three years in the Air Force, he worked one year as a high-school coach and history teacher near Huntsville, Alabama. In 1956, he attended the American Theater Wing in New York City and began his professional career on Broadway, appearing in the musicals “All American” and “Wonderful Town.” He moved to Hollywood in the early 1960s and then to Nashville in the early 1990s until his death.
Lindsey was the beanie-wearing Goober on “The Andy Griffith Show” from 1964 to 1968 and its successor, “Mayberry RFD,” from 1968 to 1971. He played the same jovial character, a service station attendant, on “Hee Haw” from 1971 until it went out of production in 1993. As Goober, Lindsey wore a brown felt beanie with turned-up scalloped edges and had a tire gauge, pens and pencils stuffed into the pocket of his work shirt and a rag hanging out of the back pocket of his high-wasted pants.
The Andy Griffith Show has always been one of my favorite television shows; re-runs that I know by heart but never get tired of watching! For those of you that do not know, The Andy Griffith Show is an American sitcom first televised for eight years from 1960 -1968. Andy Griffith portrays a widowed sheriff named Andy Taylor in the fictional small community of Mayberry, North Carolina. His life is complicated by an inept but well-meaning deputy, Barney Fife, a spinster aunt and housekeeper, Aunt Bee, and a young son, Opie. Along with several other Mayberry friends and neighbors.
I love this quote from Andy Griffith on the passing of George Lindsey: “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.”
Regardless of how long it took them to say that expression of gratitude to each other let us remember not to wait until tomorrow to express, “I love you” to the people we love!
Thanks for the laughter, George Lindsey.
As Lindsey said in the 1985 AP interview, “Goober is Everyman. Everyone finds something to like about ol’ Goober.” Reflecting on his career, George said: “There’s a residual effect of knowing I’ve made America laugh. I’m not the only one, but I’ve contributed something.”
God bless his memory.
Have a good day. Rosie