While Jim Nabors was playing lovable Gomer Pyle on two hit shows, he was also covering up his secret life as a gay man — before being dragged out of the closet over a prank!
Jim was still enjoying his stardom from “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Gomer Pyle, USMC” when the rumors began that Jim was going to marry another closeted star — veteran leading man Rock Hudson.
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The talk began when a gay couple who hosted a yearly party sent out their invitations, and mocked the celluloid closet by mocking up a fake wedding announcement for the two closeted stars!
The invite even had the punch line that Rock would change his last name to that of Jim’s famous TV character — making him Rock Pyle!
“Despite our denials,” Rock later complained, “some people are going to believe what they want to believe!”
Literary giant Armistead Maupin mourned the gossip, though, saying: “Rock and Nabors were just good friends, but the rumor made it impossible for them to be seen together!”
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Jim would join closeted celebrities like Richard Chamberlain in moving to Hawaii for privacy — but later proudly came out of the closet as a gay man.
He spoke exclusively to The ENQUIRER when he wed longtime lover Stan Cadwallader in 2013, declaring: “We’ve been together for 38 years, and I’m not ashamed of people knowing. It’s just that it was such a personal thing!”