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Jim Nabors, who is best known for starring as Gomer Pyle on The Andy Griffith Show and Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., came out as gay this week, revealing that he married his longtime partner in a Seattle ceremony earlier this month.
In an interview with Hawaii News Now, Nabors, 82, confirmed that he married Stan Cadwallader, 64, on Jan. 15. The two have been together 38 years and the Hawaii resident said that he never felt a reason to make it public.
“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 told the site over the phone. “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 and Cadwallader traveled to Washington state, where gay marriage was legalized last month, for the ceremony. They married at Seattle’s Fairmont Olympic Hotel.
“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 explained. “And at my age, it's probably the best thing to do.”
Nabors added that he doesn’t plan to join the gay marriage debate, though. “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,” he said.
USA Today notes that Nabors said he was openly gay in Hollywood and the fact was known to his peers in the ‘60s and ‘70s, but this is the first time he revealed this to the media.
"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,” he explained. “I've never made a huge secret of it at all.”
Nabors added that this is “no big deal. 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.”