‘Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.’: Jim Nabors Worked For the United Nations Before Acting Career Took Off

by Will Shepard

Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. is one of the shows from the 1960s that you’ll never forget once you’ve seen it. The show had everything you could want in it. It was as hilarious as it was serious; all in all, it gave sitcoms a great name. The star of the show, Jim Nabors, is as good as they get.

Jim Nabors got his big break in acting on The Andy Griffith Show in the mid-1960s playing Gomer Pyle. He was playing a dimwitted gas attendant that resonated incredibly well with the audience of the show. Because he was so popular on that show, he was given his own spinoff show, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.

Before he got his break, he was working at the United Nations. Before ever getting into his first television job, he was working as a typist, according to the New York Times.

“After earning a degree in business from the University of Alabama, he moved to New York, where he worked as a typist at the United Nations while harboring hopes for a stage career. Those hopes went unfulfilled.”

Jim Nabors’ Career Leading Up to His Leading Role in “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.”

Jim Nabors passed away at 87 years old in 2017 after an amazing career in television. During his time on screen, his Gomer Pyle character not only inspired many Halloween costumes but also inspired a lot of sitcoms.

After graduating from the University of Alabama, he was dedicated to finding a role either on the screen or on stage. Even though he was never able to truly make his dreams of working on the stage come to life, he found another avenue.

Interestingly, his first television jobs were behind the scenes for a TV station in Tennessee. He was working in Chattanooga as a film editor, trying to find his big break.

Another interesting fact about the lead actor in Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., is that Jim Nabors was gay. He reportedly knew this fact from a very early age. Perhaps the best part was that he never hid it from any of his friends or co-workers. However, he never discussed the matter publicly because he felt that it was personal and didn’t want to become the face of homosexuality in Hollywood.