George “Goober” Lindsey, best known for playing Goober Pyle on “The Andy Griffith Show,” died Sunday (May 6) in Nashville at the age of 83 after a long hospitalization. The Alabama native was also known for his work on “Gunsmoke,” “Herbie the Love Bug” and as a 20-year cast member of the country music sketch comedy show “Hee Haw.”
Actor Andy Griffith released a statement following the announcement by Lindsey’s family of his passing:
“George Lindsey was my friend. I had great respect for his talent and his human spirit. In recent years, we spoke often by telephone. Our last conversation was a few days ago. We would talk about our health, how much we missed our friends who passed before us and usually about something funny. 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.'”
Lindsey’s “Hee Haw” co-star Ray Stevens also says, “‘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. I know I enjoyed doing the Hee-Haw shows. It was a big happy family. I think he had a pretty full life.”
In addition to his acting work, Lindsey was known for his charity involvement. His George Lindsey Celebrity Golf Tournament raised over $1.7 million for the Alabama Special Olympics.
Lindsey is survived by son George Jr., daughter Camden Jo, grandsons Carson and Andrew and his longtime partner Anne Wilson.