George Lindsey has passed away at the age of 83. The actor, who was best known for his portrayal of Goober Pyle on "The Andy Griffith Show", died early Sunday, May 6 morning at a healthcare center in Nashville, Tennessee after a brief illness, his manager and booking agent, Carrie Moore-Reed, informed the press.
Two of Lindsey's former co-stars, Andy Griffith and Ron Howard, have since expressed their grief over the loss. "George Lindsey was my friend," said 85-year-old Griffith in a statement that accompanied Lindsey family's announcement of his death. "I had great respect for his talent and his human spirit. In recent years, we spoke often by telephone."
Griffith continued to recall, "Our last conversation was a few days ago ... 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.' " Meanwhile, Howard tweeted, "George Lindsey-warm intelligent lovable He generated lots of laughs & raised a lot of money for Special Olympics RIP George."
Aside from the two, Lindsey's "Hee Haw" co-star Ray Stevens also paid tribute to the late actor. " 'Hee Haw' was a great place for George to continue doing what he loved to do, and nobody can crawl inside his head, but he seemed to be pretty happy doing what he was doing when I was there," he said. "I know I enjoyed doing the 'Hee-Haw' shows. It was a big happy family. I think he had a pretty full life."
Lindsey is survived by son George Lindsey Jr.; daughter Camden Jo Lindsey Gardner, her husband, Russell, and their sons, Carson Cole Gardner and Andrew Liam Gardner; and his companion of many years, Anne Wilson. His funeral arrangements are reportedly being handled by Marshall Donnelly Combs Funeral Home of Nashville.