You can still catch the series on television in reruns, however. It was televised by CBS between October 3, 1960, and April 1, 1968. It was also one of those shows that ended its run on top, finishing its final season at No. 1, and never finishing lower than No. 7 in the ratings.
"The Andy Griffith Show" spawned a spin-off series, "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." (1964) which ran five seasons, and a sequel series, "Mayberry R.F.D." (1968), which ran three seasons. There was also a reunion telemovie, "Return to Mayberry" (1986).
That spin-off, "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." was important for another reason. It removed the character of Gomer Pyle from Mayberry and the Andy Griffith show. A simple, somewhat dim-witted mechanic at Wally's Filling Station, when Gomer (Jim Nabors) left the series, his cousin Goober took over the job.
George Lindsay, who played Goober, had originally read for the part of Gomer, which went to neighbors. In addition to portraying Goober on "The Andy Griffith Show," he continued the role on "Mayberry R.F.D.," as many of the characters from the first series transitioned to the sequel.
During his first full season, Goober was initially referred to as "Goober Beasley." However, to better solidify the connection to Gomer, his surname was changed to "Pyle."
After the end of "Mayberry R.F.D.," Lindsay portrayed the same jovial service station attendant on the country music-comedy show until the show ended in 1983.
A press release from Marshall-Donnelly-Combs Funeral Home in Nashville said that George Lindsay died early Sunday morning after a brief illness. Funeral arrangements are still being made.
Lindsay once told an interviewer of the wonderful cast and crew, and time on "The Andy Griffith Show." He said, "At that time, we were the best acting ensemble on TV. The scripts were terrific. Andy is the best script constructionist I've ever been involved with. And you have to lift your acting level up to his; he's awfully good."
In a statement released through the funeral home, Andy Griffith said, "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 ... 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.'"
George Lindsay died on May 6, 2012, at the age of 83, according to press reports. However, Wikipedia says he was 76.
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