EXCLUSIVE! TV’s GOMER PYLE, JIM NABORS, 81, tells The ENQUIRER he needs heart surgery before Memorial Day or he’ll DIE!
BUT he’s still confident he’ll be around to celebrate his 100th birthday!
In an exclusive ENQUIRER interview, actor Jim Nabors, 81, spoke openly about his aortic valve replacement surgery, scheduled for May 29 in Honolulu, Hawaii.
“For the past couple of years, I’ve been getting fatigued toward the end of the day and I just attributed it to old age,” said the performer.
Nabors, who underwent a liver transplant in 1994, has a thorough physical each year, including an electrocardiogram to detect potential heart problems. Following this year’s results, he was diagnosed with aortic stenosis – a narrowing of the aortic valve. Fortunately, the aging star was eligible for a minimally invasive form of surgery that uses a catheter to replace the valve.
“It’s about a three-hour surgery, and if all goes well, I should have to spend only one night in the hospital,” he said.
“This is less invasive than having to open my chest, but anything that has to do with the heart area is always a bit scary, especially at my age.”
Nabors played bumbling but lovable hayseed Gomer on “The Andy Griffith Show” and went on to get his own sitcom, “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.”
Because of his surgery, the entertainer, who has a beautiful singing voice, won’t be able to perform “Back Home Again in Indiana” at the Indianapolis 500 on Memorial Day weekend – only the second time since 1987 he will miss the honor.
But he plans to be back at Indy next year “and every year until I’m 100 years old.”