George Lindsey, who spent nearly 30 years as the grinning, beanie-wearing Goober on the iconic TV series ”The Andy Griffith Show” and “Hee Haw,” has died at the age of 83.
A press release from Marshall-Donnelly-Combs Funeral Home in Nashville said Lindsay died early Sunday morning after a brief illness. Funeral arrangements were still being arranged.
Actor Andy Griffith said in a statement that accompanied the family’s Sunday morning announcement of Lindsey’s death: “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 was on “The Andy Griffith Show” from 1964 to 1968 and its successor, “Mayberry RFD,” from 1968 to 1971. He played the same cheerful character – a service station attendant – on “Hee Haw” from 1971 until it went out of production in 1993.
The seasoned actor also appeared in MASH, Gunsmoke, Herbie the Love Bug and C.H.I.P.S. He was in movies including Take This Job and Shove It and Cannonball Run II, was a judge for the Miss USA pageant for years, and lent his voice to an assortment of animated Disney characters in movies including The Aristocats, The Rescuers and Robin Hood.