'Andy Griffith' Star George Lindsey Dead at 83
'Goober' character kept America laughing for nearly 30 years
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2012 1:41 PM CDT
This May 1992 photo provided by the The Andy Griffith Show shows Jim Nabors, right, with George Lindsey.   (AP Photo/The Andy Griffith Show)
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(Newser) – George Lindsey, who spent almost 30 years appearing in TV classics like "The Andy Griffith Show" and "Gunsmoke," has died at age 83, WSFA reports. The small-town Alabama boy kept America laughing from 1964 to 1971 with his jovial Goober character on "Andy Griffith" and its follow-up, "Mayberry RFD," then continued the role in "Hee Haw" until production ended in 1992. "America has grown up with me," Lindsey once told the AP. ""Goober is every man; everyone finds something to like about ol' Goober."

When he wasn't on TV, he did voice-over for Disney animated films, recorded country music, opened a short-lived chain of steak houses, and lent his support to a cause close to his heart, the Special Olympics. He also kept up a friendship with Andy Griffith, often cutting up with him on the phone and recalling the good old days. "I am happy to say that as we found ourselves in our eighties, we were not afraid to say, 'I love you,'" Griffith says. "That was the last thing George and I had to say to each other. 'I love you.'"