Actors give nicknames to other actors that make sense. George Lindsey never understood what Andy Griffith’s nickname for him meant.
Lindsey, who played “Goober Pyle” on “The Andy Griffith Show,” sat down for a 2010 interview with Melissa Parker of Smashing Interviews Magazine. He was asked if he sees or talks with Griffith and former costar Ron Howard.
“Well, I must say that Mr. Howard is about as pleasant a guy to work with that I’ve ever been around,” Lindsey said. “As a youngster, he always came with his words learned. Andy and I still talk – we talked last week.”
Lindsey’s Nickname From Andy Griffith Remained Mystery Forever
Parker asked in the 2010 interview about Griffith’s health.
“I think he’s had some health problems, but we talk on the phone a good bit and he called me ‘Grover’ so I know that he was OK,” Lindsey said. “‘Grover’ was his nickname for me, but I don’t know how that came about (laughs) … hey Grover!”
One might surmise that Griffith was goofing on Lindsey’s “Goober” character’s name. Neither Lindsey nor Griffith copped up to what was behind “Grover” at all. You might recall “Goober” worked at the Mayberry gas station with “Gomer Pyle,” played by Jim Nabors. Now Nabors went on to play Pyle in the Griffith show spinoff, “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.”
Lindsey died on May 6, 2012, at 83 years old. He also played “Goober” on “Mayberry R.F.D.,” which starred “F Troop” star Ken Berry. That show was a spinoff from “The Andy Griffith Show.” Lindsey also had a 20-year run playing a different kind of “Goober” character on “Hee Haw.”
Griffith died on July 3, 2012, at 86 years old.
George Lindsey Shared Stage Time With Future ‘Brady Bunch’ Mom
Way before George Lindsey found himself playing “Goober,” he found himself on Broadway with actress Florence Henderson. Does Henderson’s name sound familiar to classic TV fans? It better! She played Carol Brady on “The Brady Bunch” on ABC.
But she found herself as part of the Broadway cast of “Wonderful Town” in 1957. Lindsey shares his memories of that time.
“I went on a United States tour with Florence Henderson in ‘Wonderful Town,’” Lindsey said. “We ran on Broadway, then we went to Atlanta, San Francisco, and all of the major cities. We went by train and it paid good money.”
Lindsey, at the time, was 29 years old. He served in the Air Force, then went to drama school on the G.I. Bill.
He found Broadway and, in just a few years, he would find Andy Griffith and Mayberry. The rest is classic TV history.