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Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. aired from September 1964 until September 1969 on CBS.
After little more than a season playing Gomer Pyle on The Andy Griffith Show, Jim Nabors got his own series built around the same character. Gomer ( Nabors), was a likable, naive, bumbling rural character who gave up his job as a gas station attendant in Mayberry to join the Peacetime Marine Corps ( Despite the war going on in Vietnam at the time, this series never mentioned it), which stationed him at Camp Henderson, California. His Nemesis in the Marine Corps was his immediate supperior, Sgt. Vince Carter ( Frank Sutton), who tried hard to be a cynical tough leatherneck, but was constantly confounded by Gomer's wide-eyed innocence and trust in practically everyone. At first Carter believed that Gomer was trying to make a fool out of him, but he later realized that it was just Gomer's nature to be the way he was. Sgt. Carter eventually became Gomer's friend and protector, a role belying his gruff exterior. That is not to say, however, that Gomer did not continue to drive him crazy on a relatively regular basis.
Among the other regular's were Corp. Boyle ( Roy Stuart), Frankie Lombardi ( Ted Bessell), Private Hummel ( William Christopher), Sgt Hacker ( Allan Melvin), Col. Gray ( Forrest Compton),and private ( later promoted to Corporal) Duke Slater ( Ronnie Schell) , who did a mean impression of Carter. Lou Ann ( Elizabeth MacRae), was Gomer's girlfriend. Bunny ( Barbara Stuart), was Sgt. Carter's girlfriend, although the writers could never get her last name straight-it was Harper in one episode, Olsen in another, Wilson in another. Perhaps she was a fugitive.
Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. was a smash hit during it's entire run ( it reached # 2 during it's final season). Jim Nabors quit the show in 1969, figuring he had done all he could with the character. That fall him, Frank Sutton, and Ronnie Schell appeared together in The Jim Nabors Hour, a comedy-variety show which would take advantage of Jim Nabors singing talents.
An Article From Time Magazine
Success Is a Warm Puppy
Friday, Nov. 10, 1967 Article
As a young 'un in Sylacauga, Ala., which is just down the road a piece from Gantts Quarry, Jim Nabors was a regular cutup. He used to play tricks with his voice by hollering down drain pipes and talking through knotholes.
And when he dressed up like a hillbilly for a high school skit, he was funnier than a bowlegged mule. But later on, after he graduated from the University of Alabama and worked for a spell in New York City as a typist, he came back with a highfalutin accent, and no body thought he was funny any more.
His mother, Mavis Pearl, straightened him out right quick. "Stop talking like a fool," she said.
Mama knew best. By talking natural-like, Nabors, as the star of CBS's Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C., has grown successively more popular in four seasons, and last week his show finished third, just behind The Lucy Show and Bonanza in the ratings sweepstake. He croons, too, in a big, booming baritone that, on his five bestselling albums, sounds vaguely like, well, a fellow hollering down a drainpipe. On the state-fair cir cuit, he harvests $25,000 for an appearance in which he tells a few jokes ("The tornado was so bad a hen laid the same egg twice") and does songs (She Was a T-Bone Talking Woman but She Had a Hot-Dog Heart}. In Las Vegas, he sings "You load 16 tons and what do you get? A hernia." That's good for $40,000 a week.
Nervous Cat. Nabors is both a representative and a caricature of the noble American rustic. As Gomer, a leatherneck Pfc, he wears a gee-whiz expression, spouts homilies out of a lopsided mouth and lopes around uncertainly like a plowboy stepping through a field of cow dung. He is a walking disaster area. When his drill sergeant chastises him for "taking the taxpayer's money without putting in a day's work," the hapless recruit returns part of his paycheck and fouls up the bookkeeping system of the entire Marine Corps. Yet in the end, Gomer's goodness always wins out. He is, in short, an innocent out of step with the swinging '60s, which must explain why the Nielsens love him so.
Nabors, who offstage is only slightly less gentle than Gomer, went to Los Angeles in 1958 not to feed his ambition but to foil his asthma. He worked as an apprentice film cutter, sang on amateur nights at a club called The Horn. TV's Andy Griffith dropped by one night, liked his country-bumpkin patter between songs and offered him a walk-on role in his series. Nabors says he was as nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs, but Griffith assured him that "all I had to do was act like one of those fellows down home who sit around the gas pump reading comic books." Shucks, that was easy, and Nabors soon became a regular on the show. Gomer, naturally, was a spinoff. No Belchfire. Though he will make $500,000 this year, Nabors is hardly the type to go Hollywood. His fans like to think of him as "jes folks," and he knows on which side his cornbread is buttered. He lives alone in a sixroom house in unchic Studio City with a swimming pool that, by Hollywood standards, is little more than a glorified bathtub. No dual-exhaust Belchfire sports car for him; his speed is a Rambler station wagon. He leaves the wheeling and dealing to his manager, Dick Linke, a Hollywood slicker who limits Nabors to a weekly allowance of $75, pours the rest of his money into California real estate. Most recent acquisitions: a 160-acre farm near Palm Springs for $500,000, a 330-acre tract on an island near San Francisco for $300,000.
"Jim is a warm puppy," says Linke, who fully expects him to soon outearn his other top client, Andy Griffith. "I figure another year of Jim doing Gomer, then on to Broadway. Then back to Hollywood for the movies. I've got another Al Jolson on my hands. You see how in his act I got him dropping down on one knee like Jolie? He hasn't got that voice throb yet, but it's coming, it's coming."
The folks back in Sylacauga don't much cotton to that kind of talk, including Mavis Pearl. "I get tickled at her sometimes," says Nabors. "She has more money to spend than she ever had in her life, and you know what she does with it? Puts it in the bank in my name just in case."
To read Frank Sutton's Obituary go to http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=0V5QAAAAIBAJ&sjid=KFgDAAAAIBAJ&dq=frank%20sutton&pg=1804%2C3983614
Here is Barbara Stuart's Obituary from The New York Times
Barbara Stuart, TV Actress, Is Dead at 81
By WILLIAM GRIMES
Published: May 19, 2011
Barbara Stuart, an actress with a familiar if not famous face on television for half a century, who appeared on nearly 80 television series that spanned much of the medium's history, died on Sunday in St. George, Utah. She was 81.
Her death was confirmed by her brother, Richard McNeese.
Starting with I Led Three Lives in 1954 and concluding with the Showtime series Huff in 2006, Ms. Stuart never achieved stardom. Viewers with sharp eyes and good memories might recall her as Miss Bunny, the long-suffering girlfriend of Sergeant Carter on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., or as Peggy Ferguson, McLean Stevenson's wife on The McLean Stevenson Show, but her television appearances were notable more for their frequency than their visibility.
After appearing in the recurring role of Bessie, Gildy's inept secretary, on The Great Gildersleeve, in 1955, she found steady employment for the next five decades, compiling a long list of credits that included shows both renowned and long forgotten. She appeared on the classic shows The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, Rawhide, The Twilight Zone, The Dick Van Dyke Show and Taxi. Less celebrated were Jefferson Drum, Markham and Frontier Circus.
Although she had recurring roles on Pete and Gladys, as Gladys's friend Alice, in the early 1960s, and on Our Family Honor, as Marianne Danzig, the wife of a crime lord played by Eli Wallach, in the mid-1980s, she usually worked on just one or two episodes of a series.
She showed up on Batman in 1966 as Rocket O'Rourke, henchwoman to the Puzzler, for two parts of a linked episode and then vanished from the series, only to resurface as Goldie Miner on an episode of T.H.E. Cat. This was the pattern throughout a career that extended from the kinescope era to cable.
Barbara Ann McNeese was born on Jan. 3, 1930, in Paris, Ill., and grew up in nearby Hume. After graduating from high school, she took acting classes at the Schuster-Martin School of Drama in Cincinnati and then moved to New York, where she studied with Stella Adler and Uta Hagen. To pay for her classes, she modeled on the side. For professional purposes, she took the last name Stuart, a family name.
Her first television role came in 1954, when she played Comrade Martine Fenton in the cold war spy drama I Led Three Lives. After being cast in the national touring production of Lunatics and Lovers, with Zero Mostel in the starring role, she was hired for The Great Gildersleeve, and the television parts came rolling in.
Ms. Stuart, who lived in Toluca Lake, Los Angeles, appeared in a handful of films, including Marines, Let's Go! (1961), Hellfighters (1968) and The Pterodactyl Woman From Beverly Hills (1997). In the 1980 satire Airplane!, she was the wife of Rex Kramer, the crack pilot played by Robert Stack. She was Tom Hanks's future mother-in-law in Bachelor Party (1984).
She wound up her television career in a recurring role on Huff. From 2004 to 2006, she played Alice, one of Blythe Danner's bridge partners.
Her marriage to the actor Dick Gautier ended in divorce. In addition to her brother, Richard, of Santa Clara, Utah, she is survived by three stepchildren: Diane Christine Chormicle of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.; Denise Michelle Gautier of Arcadia, Calif.; and Rand Robert Gautier of Santa Rosa, Calif.
To read some articles about Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. go to http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=ViIsAAAAIBAJ&sjid=D8gEAAAAIBAJ&dq=gomer%20pyle%20usmc&pg=884%2C1849692 and http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=kzEvAAAAIBAJ&sjid=fKoFAAAAIBAJ&dq=gomer%20pyle%20usmc&pg=2546%2C3996881 and http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=qq8fAAAAIBAJ&sjid=J9cEAAAAIBAJ&dq=gomer%20pyle%20usmc&pg=2376%2C1845168 and http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=ctxUAAAAIBAJ&sjid=WzwNAAAAIBAJ&dq=gomer%20pyle%20usmc&pg=5580%2C1288219 and http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=5TlIAAAAIBAJ&sjid=vAANAAAAIBAJ&dq=frank%20sutton&pg=4982%2C3420576 and http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=iz0mAAAAIBAJ&sjid=0v4FAAAAIBAJ&dq=gomer%20pyle%20usmc&pg=1137%2C293694
To watch some clips from Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. go to http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=gomer+pyle+u.s.m.c.
To go to Tim's TV Showcase go to https://web.archive.org/web/20100105132427/http://www.timstvshowcase.com/gomer.html
For an episode guide go to http://ctva.biz/US/Comedy/GomerPyleUSMC.htm
For the Official Website of Jim Nabors go to http://www.jimnabors.com/
For the Frank Sutton Webpage go to https://web.archive.org/web/20100420030404/http://www.rissystreasures.com:80/frank.htm
For a page dedicated to Ronnie Schell go to https://web.archive.org/web/20100416050340/http://www.gpproductions.com:80/acts/schell.html
For some Gomer Pyle-related interview videos at the Archive of American Television go to http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/shows/gomer-pyle-usmc
For another review of Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. go to https://web.archive.org/web/20080215232926/http://www.televisionheaven.co.uk/gomer.htm
� Date: Tue January 10, 2006 � Filesize: 50.4kb, 148.4kb � Dimensions: 1024 x 768 �
Keywords: Gomer Pyle USMC (Links Updated 5/19/2017)