He was Gomer Pyle on “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.” She was Mrs. Carol Brady on “The Brady Bunch.” And, they were friends who shared a mutual respect for one another.
Obviously, we are talking about Jim Nabors and Florence Henderson. Following her death on Nov. 24, 2016, the comedic actor talked to WTHR in Indianapolis about the passing of his friend. He learned about Henderson’s passing from one of their mutual friends.
“I’m very sad,” Nabors said, according to WTHR.
Adding to Nabors’ grief about Henderson, was the passing around the same time of a close family member.
“It was heartbreaking,” Nabors reportedly said. “It’s been a bad week for me because I also lost my sister last week. She and I have been together all my life – 86 years. So it’s been a sad week for me.”
Nabors spoke to the Indianapolis news station because he was well known as a fan of the Indy 500. Henderson was also a frequent visitor to the race. She came to love it after the “Gomer Pyle” actor introduced her to it.
“(Florence) and I were doing a show together up in Canada,” Nabors told WTHR. “She said, ‘where you going?’ I said, ‘I’m going to the Indy 500.’ She said, ‘Oh, I’ve never been! You know, I’m from there.'”
Of course, Nabors invited Henderson to attend the race. She accepted and reportedly fell in love with the event. This was just one example of how the friendship the two famous actors shared changed their lives.
And, Jim Nabors was very impressed with Florence Henderson.
“Florence was a life force,” Nabors told WTHR. “She couldn’t stop. She’s like … the Energizer Bunny!”
‘Gomer Pyle’ Actor Thought of ‘Mrs. Brady’ Actress as Family
Nabors also talked about how Henderson was staying active in the days before Florence Henderson’s death.
“Two days before she died, she was at “Dancing with the Stars”! She knew she had heart problems – she’d had little touches of it before. Sad, sad, sad,” the “Gomer Pyle” actor also said.
During the years they shared a friendship, Nabors and Henderson became like family.
“She’s like a sister,” he said. “We were on the road together for several years. Just adored her.”
Henderson passed away in Los Angeles, California, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in November 2016. She was 82 years old and reportedly died of heart failure.
Interestingly, Jim Nabors passed away almost one year to the day after his friend Florence Henderson died. He died on Nov. 30, 2017, at home in Honolulu, Hawaii. He was 87 years old.
According to IMDb.com, Nabors played Gomer Pyle on “The Andy Griffith Show” from 1962 until 1964. The show, “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.” aired from 1964 until 1969.
Florence Henderson played the matriarch of the Brady family on “The Brady Bunch” from 1969 until 1974.