Fans lost two of “The Andy Griffith Show” biggest stars back in 2012. Andy Griffith and one of his co-stars died only two months apart.
Both Griffith and George Lindsey, who played Goober Pyle, passed away within a two-month span. Lindsey died on May 6 at a healthcare center in Nashville. Meanwhile, Griffith passed away on July 3 from a heart attack at his North Carolina home. Both actors lived into their 80s, 86 and 83 respectfully.
Like many actors on “The Andy Griffith Show,” Griffith and Lindsey had been friends in real life. When he discovered Lindsey was ill, Griffith reached out to the actor. And the two talked shortly before Lindsey’s death and shared their friendship and camaraderie for each other.
“George Lindsey was my friend,” Andy Griffith said in a statement. “I had great respect for his talent and his human spirit. I am happy to say that as we found ourselves in our 80s, 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.’”
Lindsey appeared as Pyle for 86 episodes of “The Andy Griffith Show” and later starred on “Mayberry R.F.D.” as well. Additionally, Lindsey reprised the character for almost 20 years on the variety show “Hee Haw.”
Andy Griffith and His Co-Stars
Griffith was never known to leave things on bad terms with anyone. While filming the hit TV show, Griffith often disagreed with Aunt Bee actor Frances Bavier. But the two reportedly made amends with each other in a private phone call before Bavier’s death in 1989. Likewise, Griffith had been there at the end when his best friend Don Knotts passed away in 2006.
“I was able to tell him I loved him and I asked him to ‘Breathe, breathe, keep breathing Jess,’” Griffith said. “His name was Jesse and he never liked that name but he let me know it one time and I always called him Jess.”
In his later life, Griffith retired to North Carolina to live a simple and peaceful life. The actor had been born in the state and always felt more at home there among the mountains than out in California. Griffith often returned to the state throughout his life and finally made the move later in his life.
But even though they’re gone, Griffith and Lindsey continue to live through their adventures in Mayberry in reruns of the popular classic.