Monday, June 27, 2022

Whatever Happened to the Cast of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.?

 "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 was a likable, naive, bumbling rural character who gave up his job as a gas-station attendant in Mayberry to join  the peace time Marine Corps, which stationed him at Camp Henerson, California."

- The Complete Directory to Prime Network TV Shows 1946 - Present

Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., a spin-off of The Andy Griffith Show, ran on CBS for five seasons, from September 22, 1964 until May 2, 1969.  The series was created by TV director and producer Aaron Ruben, who directed episodes of The Phil Silvers Show and later produced The Andy Griffith Show.  Ruben produced Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. with Sheldon Leonard and Ronald Jacobs,   

Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C, aired in black-and-white during its first season and in colour for the remaining four seasons.


JIM NABORS (Private Gomer Pyle): 

"I really love Gomer.  I had the good fortune, if you're gonna play a character, to play as nice a guy as he was.  People always ask me if I would like to be identified differently and I tell them, 'Absolutely not!'  I really enjoyed it and still do.  I haven't necessarily made my career totally on Gomer, because I've used so much music in my career, but I've been very blessed in that I've a a diverse career.  I had a situation comedy, a concert career and a variety show.  It's all been very wonderful, because in show business you're always kind of looking for your  next job.  It's a very insecure business.  Fortunately, I was never without a job in 40 years."
- Jim Nabors in an interview with Allan Newsome for his Two Chairs, No Waiting Andy Griffith Show podcast.

James Thurston Nabors was born in Sylacauga, Alabama on June 12, 1930.  The singer, actor and comedian was one of  the biggest television stars of the 1960s and 1970s..  Singing at church and at school played a big part in his early life.  He graduated from the University of Alabama, where he performed in skits.  After graduation, Jim moved to New York City and became a typing clerk at the United Nations.  He spent a year in New York before heading to Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he took a job as a film cutter for an NBC affiliate station, mainly inserting commercials into late night movies.

Still, Jim Nabors wanted to get into show business and Hollywood beckoned.  A move to Los Angeles made sense from a career perspective, but also because Jim suffered from asthma, so the environment in California would be beneficial to his health.  He planned to work as an assistant film editor at NBC, but ss it turned out, it was his act at The Horn, a nightclub in Santa Monica, California that led to his stardom.  

Jim sang and danced in cabaret style at The Horn and his routine featured a character similar to Gomer Pyle.  Jim's character sang in a beautiful baritone, but his speaking voice was often high-pitched and comedic.  Comedian Bill Dana saw Jim's act and invited him to appear on The Steve Allen Show, which according to several sources, he did.  

Jim, however, was also seen at the Horn by fellow Southerner, Andy Griffith and it was his discovery by Andy that would determine his fate.  Andy hired Jim to play Gomer Pyle, a dimwitted, but good-hearted, gas station attendant for one episode of his show.  Gomer was the cousin of Goober Pyle, played by George Lindsey.  The two worked at Wally's Filling Station in the small town of Mayberry, North Carolina.  

Jim's character was very well-received and he soon became a regular on the Andy Griffith Show.  Gomer, the likable mechanic, introduced such catchphrases as "Gol-ly" and "Shazam" to American TV audiences.  His childlike innocence seemed to appeal to viewers.

Jim Nabors appeared over 20 times on The Andy Griffith Show before it was decided to star him in a spin-off.  The pilot for Gomer Pyle, U.S.M,C. aired on May 18, 1964 as the season finale of the fourth season of the Griffith show.   In the episode, simply entitled "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.," Gomer joins the Marines and Andy drives him to the base.  When Andy discovers that Sergeant Carter (Frank Sutton) intends to send Gomer home, he attempts to get  the sergeant to understand Gomer's point of view.

Jim's new series debuted the following September.  It was a ratings hit and Jim became a popular television star in his own right.  After Gomer Pyle ended its run in May of 1969, Jim hosted a CBS variety show, The Jim Nabors Hour, The Jim Nabors Hour premiered in September of that year, with Andy Griffith as a guest star.  Jim was able to display his singing talent on the show and his castmates from Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. made regular appearances.

Jim and Carol Burnett were good friends.  Carol appeared on The Jim Nabors Hour and he was a frequent guest on Carol's show.  Carol considered Jim her "good luck charm" and he was the guest star on the first episode of every season during the 11 years that her show was on the air.  Jim was also a friend of Lucille Ball and he appeared with her as Gomer Pyle in a 1966 episode of The Lucy Show entitled "Lucy Gets Caught Up in the Draft" (Air Date, November 14, 1968)

Due to his Gomer Pyle role, Jim was often typecast and given comedic roles.  He played his first dramatic role in a 1973 episode of The Rockies entitled "Down Home Boy" (Season 2, Episode 11, November 19, 1973).  In the episode, Jim portrayed Corley Curlew, a man called on to be an assassin after the death of his sister  

Jim was a guest star in a 1974 episode of the Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour.  From 1975 to 1976, he and Ruth Buzzi co-starred in The Lost Saucer, a Saturday morning children's show.  They played bumbling androids who travel through time with two children.  

Jim eventually grew tired of the hard work and grind associated with prime time TV.  So, he moved away from television work to focus on concert performances and and his role in a touring production of Man of La Mancha.  Jim had vacationed in Hawaii since the 1960s.  In 1976, he moved from Bel Air, California to Honolulu. 

In 1994, Jim underwent a liver transplant after contracting Hepatitis B in India. He stated that he had cut himself with a contaminated straight razor that he had bought there.

 In 1996, Jim returned to television, reprising his Gomer Pyle role for the TV movie Return to Mayberry, which reunited the cast of The Andy Griffith Show.. 

In 2013, Jim married Stan Cadwallader, his partner of 36 years, at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle.  The ceremony took place a month after same-sex marriage became legal in the state of Washington.

Jim was known for singing "Back Home Again in Indiana" every Memorial Day weekend at the Indianapolis 500 beginning in 1972, except when faced with scheduling conflicts.  He performed the song for the last time in 2014 because health issues were making it difficult for him to  travel.  His physical condition had deteriorated because his immune system had been affected by the liver transplant.  On November 30, 2017, Jim Nabors died peacefully at his Honolulu home.  He was 87 years old at the time of his passing.  

FRANK SUTTON (Sgt. Vince Carter)
:  Frank Sutton, who played Gunnery Sergeant Vince Carter, died on June 28, 1974.  He was only 50 years old at the time of his death.  While preparing to perform in a play in Shreveport, Louisiana, he suffered a heart attack.

Frank Spencer Sutton was born in Clarksville, Tennessee on October 23, 1923.  He and his parents moved to Nashville, where Frank belonged to his high school drama club.  After graduation, he returned to his hometown of Clarksville and worked as a radio announcer.

During World War II, Frank enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in the South Pacific.  After being honourably discharged, hie began acting on stage again, graduating with a degree in dramatic arts from Columbia University in New York.

In the 1950w and early 1960s, Frank made guest appearances in episodes of  such TV series as The Goldbergs (1955), I Spy - an anthology series hosted by Raymond Massey 1955, 1956), Have Gun-Will Travel (1962), The Twilight Zone (1962), Gunsmoke (1961, two 1962 episodes), Combat! (1963), The Fugitive (1963) and Death Valley Days (1963).  In the early 1960s, Frank also had a stint as Joe Sullivan in the daytime drama The Secret Storm.

Frank's breakthrough role came in 1964, when he appeared the Gomer Pyle episode on The Andy Griffith Show, which led to his major role on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., as Gomer's nemesis, the gruff, cynical Sergeant Carter,  From 1969 to 1970, Frank appeared regularly on The Jim Nabors Hour.  From 1970 to 1971, he guest-starred in five episodes of The Love Boat.  His last television role was as Bert Pearson in the 1974 TV movie Hurricane.

Frank married soap opera writer Toby M. Igler in 1946.  They had two children, Joe and Amanda.  Joe  Sutton is a playwright.        

RONNIE SCHELL (Private First Class and later Corporal Gilbert "Duke" Slater):  Ronnie Schell portrayed Duke Slater on Gomer Pyle from 1964 to 1969.  He appeared in 92 episodes of the series.  Duke was a Marine private.  He was Gomer's best friend and bunkmate.

Ronald Schell was born on December 23, 1931 in Richmond. California,  He attended San Francisco State University and began his career as a nightclub comedian.  He developed his routine at the Purple Onion, a popular cellar club in the North Beach area of San Francisco.  In 1958, during his senior college year, Ronnie's career was given a boast when he toured with the Kingston Trio.  He later served as the opening act for Andy Griffith and Don Knotts on the Las Vegas Strip and Lake Tahoe, earning the nickname "American's Slowest-Rising Comedian" 

In 1964, Ronnie launched his television acting career with his role on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M,C.  Ronnie left the serries in 1967 o star in his own sitcom, Good Morning World, in which he played a disc jockey named Larry Clarke.  The show also featured Goldie Hawn before she became a star on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In.  However, Good Morning World never made an impact because it was cancelled after only one season (1967-1968) and 26 episodes.  Ronnie then  returned to Gomer Pyle, U.S,M.C. as a corporal for its fifth of final season

Ronnie also appeared on The Jim Nabors Hour, Jim's variety show, in 1969 and 1970.  His TV guest appearances include The Andy Griffith Show (1966, 1968), That Girl (two 1966 episodes and one in 1970), The Patty Duke Show (two 1965 episodes and one1966), The Brian Keith Show (1972, 1973),  Happy Days (two 1974 episodes)x The New Dick Van Dyke Show (1972), Sanford and Son (1976), Alice (1977, 1979), Mork and Mindy (1979), One Day at a Time (1979), Charlie's Angels, (1979), The Dukes of Hazard (1979), The Love Boat (1981), Too Close for Comfort (1982), Trapper John, M,D. (1982, 1984), Emergency!, Adaam-12, x Black Sheep Squadron and Jesse. Saved by the Bell (1989), Empty Nest (1989), The Golden Girls (1990), Coach (1995, 1996), Step by Step, (1998) Yes, Dear (2004), Retired at 35 (2012), You'll be Fine (as Harry in one 2014 episode and two 2015 episodes), See Ya  (2017, 2018), Kaplan's Corner (2019), and Beyond Hope (2020)

Ronnie has done voice work for animated series such as The Smurfs (four episodes from 1982 to 1988), Yo, Yogi (1991), Tom and Jerry Kids Show (1992) 

Ronnie has been married to Janet Rodeberg since 1968.  They have two children, Greg and Chris Schell.  As of this writing, he is 90 years old.

ELIZABETH MacRAE (Lou-Ann Poovie
): Elizabeth MacRae played Lou Ann Poovie, Gomer's girlfriend for most of the series.  Lou-Ann, a nightclub singer from North Carolina, was sweet, but somewhat naive.  She quickly became Gomer's girlfriend and her Southern charm reminded Gomer of home.. She was always a willing participant in Gomer's mishaps.

Prior to Gomer Pyle, Elizabeth guest-starred in episodes of Maverick (1961), Dr. Kildare (1962), 77 Sunset Strip (1962), Hawaiian Eye (1962), The Untouchables (1962), Death Valley Days (1963), Route 66 (four episodes (1960 - 2 episodes, 1962, 1964), Burke's Law (1964), Rawhide (1964), The Fugitive (1964), The Virginian (1965), Gunsmoke (four episodes 1962-1965), I Dream of Jeannie (1965), The Andy Griffith Show (1967) and Bonanza (1968).  

Elizabeth made her debut as Lou-Ann in a 1966 episode of the show entitled 'Love's Old Sweet Song" (Season 3, Episode 15, Air Date: December 28, 1966). She remained with the show until it ended in 1969, appearing in 15 episodes.  After Gomer Pyle, Elizabeth appeared in episodes of such series as Judd for the Defense (1969), Mannix (1972), Petrocelli (1975), Kojak (1975), Barnaby Jones (1976) and Rhoda (1977).  She also appeared in four soap operas.  She played Meg Bentley on General Hospital from 1969-1970 and from 1971-1973)..  She played Phyllis Anderson on Days of Our Lives from 1976 to 1977.  In 1984, she played Agatha Dobson on Guiding Light and in 1984, Jazie on Search for Tomorrow.

Elizabeth MacRae was born on February 22, 1936 in Columbia, South Carolina and was raised in Fayetteville, North Carolina.  She is 86  years old as of this writing.

ROY STUART (Corporal Charles "Chuck" Boyle)
:  Roy Stuart played Corp. Chuck Boyle in 58 episodes of Gomer Pyle from 1965 to 1968, during the second, third and fourth seasons of the show.  Cpl. Boyle was the enthusiastic aide to Frank Sutton's Sgt. Vince Carter.  At the end of the fourth season, Boyle just vanished with no explanation and Roy Stuart left the show.  After his departure, Duke Slater, played by Ronnie Schell, was promoted to corporal.

Roy Stuart was born in The Bronx, New York on July 27, 1927.  The veteran character actor began his career  performing in theatre and nightclubs.  In the 1960s, he appeared in Broadway musicals such as Beg, Borrow or Steal and Cafe Crown.

Prior to his role on Gomer Pyle, Roy guess-starred on such TV series as Mister Ed (1965), Bewitched (1965) and Hazel (1966).  After leaving Gomer Pyle, he made appearances in episodes of Room 222 (1969), The Carol Burnett Show (1972), Marcus Welby, M.D. (1973), Sanford and Son (3 episodes, 1975-1976), Laverne and Shirley (1977), CHiPS (1980), Hotel (1983), Scarecrow and Mrs. King (1985), The Golden Girls (1987) and Mama's Family (1989).  HIs last TV role was as Frank Theasher in a 1990 episode of The Munsters Today. He also appeared in numerous television commercials through the years.

On December 25, 2005, Roy Stuart died of cancer at the Motion Picture Hospital in Woodland Hills, California.  He was 78 years old.  Roy was survived by his companion, Claude Hubert.  On an online message board, there is speculation that Roy was fired from Gomer Pyle because of his homosexuality.

TED BESSELL (Private Frankie Lombardi)
:  Ted Bessell is best known for his portrayal of Donald Hollinger, the boyfriend of aspiring actress Ann Marie (Marlo Thomas) on the hit comedy, That Girl, from 1966 to 1971.  

Howard Weston "Ted" Bessell Jr. was born in Flushing, New York on  March 30, 1935.  He began his television career in the late 1950s, appearing on Who Do You Trust?, a game show hosted by Johnny Carson, and The Dick Clark Show.  

Prior to That Girl, Ted played Frankie Lombardi in 19 episodes of Gomer Pyle from 1965 to 1966.  Lombardi was introduced in Season 2 of the show.  He served as a recruit under Sergeant Vince Carter.  He was best friends with Duke Snider and a confidant to Gomer.

Ted Bessell left Gomer Pyle, U.S.M,C. for a starring role on That Girl, alongside Marlo Thomas.  When That Girl ended, Ted starred in another sitcom, Me and the Chimp, in which he portrayed Mike Reynolds, a dentist who is persuaded by his children to look after a runaway chimp.  The show was created by Garry Marshall and it was not well received.  It only ran ran for 19 episodes in 1972.  

Ted played Mary Richards' boyfriend, Joe Warner, in two 1975 episodes of The Mary Tyler Moore Show.  He eventually directed episodes of The Tracey Ullman Show and Sibs.  In 1989, he was the co-winner of an Emmy as a producer for The Tracy Ullman Show.

Ted Bessell married Linnell Nobori in 1982 and the couple had two daughters, Sarah and Mary.  On October 6, 1996, Ted died in Los Angeles at the age of 61, the result of a ruptured aortic aneurysm.  

BARBARA STUART ("Miss" Bunny Wilson)
:  Barbara Stuart appeared in 21 episodes of Gomer Pyle from 1964 until 1969.  In her first appearance on the show, she played a character named Hannah in an episode entitled "Gomer and the Dragon Lady" (Season 1, Episode, Season 8, Air Date: November 13, 1964).  She went on to play Bunny, Sgt. Carter's girlfriend, Bunny, for most of the series.

Barbara Stuart was born Barbara Ann in Paris, Illinois.  Prior to her role on Gomer Pyle, Barbara guest-starred in numerous episodes of TV shows.  In 1963 alone, she guest-starred on Sam Benedict, The Bill Dana Show, Arrest and Trial, Rawhide, The Danny Thomas Show and 77 Sunset Strip. Some of her most notable TV appearances are her roles in two episodes of Perry Mason in 1961.  She played Violet Ryder in "The Case of the Guilty Clients" and Maizie Freitag in "The Case of  the Barzen Request."  She also guest-starred in a 1964 episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show entitled "Dear Mrs Petrie, Your Husband is in Jail."

In the 1970s, Barbara made guest appearances on such shows as Barnaby Jones (1973), Kung Fu (1973), Cannon (1973), The Rookies (1975), Starsky and Hutch (1979) and Trapper John, M.D.  In the 1980s, she had roles on Quincy M.E. (1982), Three's Company (1980, 1983), Mama's Family (1983), Highway to Heaven (1986) and Simon & Simon (1998).  

In the early 1990s, Barbara performed in dinner theatres.  In the '90s, she also appeared in episodes of l..A. Law (1993)and Nash Bridges (1999).  Her final TV role was as Alice in five episodes of the comedy-drama Huff from 2004 to 2006.

In 1967, Barbara married entertainer Dick Gautier and she became stepmother to his children from a previous marriage..  Dick and Barbara divorced in 1979.  Barbara died at a nursing home in St. George, Utah on May 15, 2011.  She was 81 years old at the time of her death.

WILLIAM CHRISTOPHER (Private Lester Hummel):  
William "Bill" Christopher was born in Evanston, Illinois on October 20, 1932.  Bill portrayed Private Lester Hammel in 16 episodes of Gomer Pyle from 1965 to 1968.  Prior to his role on the series, he made guest appearances on such shows as 12 O'Clock High (1955), The Patty Duke Show (1966), The Andy Griffith Show (1965, 1966), Death Valley Days (1966).  He also appeared in four episodes of Hogan's Heroes from 1965 to 1968, That Girl (1969, 1970), The Virginian (1971), Alias Smith and Jones (1971), The Carol Burnett Show (1971), Columbo (1971),, Movin' On (1974) and Lucas Tanner (1975).

Bill is best remembered for his role as Father Francis Mulcahy, a Catholic priest, on M*A*S*H from 1972 to 1983. He reprised his Father Mulcahy role on the show's spin-off, AfterMASH, from 1983 to 1985.  His later TV guest appearances include Murder, She Wrote (1985), Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1997), Diagnosis Murder (1998) and Mad About You (1998).  Bill's final TV acting role was in 2012, as Father Tobias, on the soap opera Days of Our Lives.

In 1957, Bill  married Barbara O'Connor and they adopted two sons, John and Ned. During his time on M*A*S*H, Bill was unable to appear in as many episodes as he wanted because he had to help his wife with the care of their autistic son, Ned.  According to, during the Season 5 filming of the M*A*S*H, episode "Hepatitis," Bill actually contracted hepatitis and producers were ready to cancel his contract.  It was Alan Alda who advocated on Bill's behalf.  He argued that Bill's family relied on his income.

In the 1990s, Bill toured with his M*A*S*H co-star Jamie Farr in a production of Neil Simon's The Odd Couple.

On December 31, 2016, William Christopher died at his home in Pasadena.  His son, John Christopher, stated that the cause of his death was lung cancer.  The actor was 84 years old at the time of his passing.

FORREST COMPTON (Colonel. Edward Gray)
: Forrest Compton appeared in 41 episodes of Gomer Pyle from 1964 to 1969.  He played Captain Brinson in two 1964 episodes of the series.  From 1965 to 1969, he portrayed Col. Edward Gray, a strict but fair-minded battalion commander.

Forrest Compton was born in  Reading, Pennsylvania on September 15, 1925.  After graduating from Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, he received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Yale School of Drama, where he became friends with Paul Newman.

From 1959 to 1969, Forest had a recurring role in the NBC series The Troubleshooters with Keenan Wynn and Bob Mathias.  Some of his other television credits include The Twilight Zone (1963), 77 Sunset Strip,(1961, 1962, 1963), The Fugitive (1963), My Three Sons (1969), Mayberry RFD (1969), Mannix (1970), Hogan's Heroes ( 6 episodes 1965-1970) and That Girl (1969, 1970)..

Forest is best known for his portrayal of attorney Mike Karr on The Edge of Night, the soap opera on which he appeared from 1970 to 1984.  He also appeared on other daytime dramas such as Another World, One Life to Live, As the World Turns, All My Children and Loving.

Forest Compton married Jeanne Sementini on September 28, 1975.  His last acting role was in 2002 on three episodes of the TV comedy-drama Ed, after which he retired to Shelter Island, New York.  On April 4. 2020, Forest died on Shelter Island of COVID-19.   He was 94 years old at the time of his passing.

ALLAN MELVIN (Sgt. Charley Hacker)
:  From 1965 to 1969, Allan Melvin had the recurring role of  Sgt. Charley Hacker in 16 episodes of Gomer Pyle.  Hacker was Sgt. Carter's rival.

Allan Melvin was born in Kansas City, Missouri on February 18, 1923.  Although he never had a leading role, Allan was a very familiar face on American television.  From the 1950s to the 1990's, he was cast in numerous episodes of television series.  

Allan's role as Cpl. Steve Henshaw on The Phil Silvers Show was his first big break on TV.  He appeared in all 142 episodes of the series from 1955 to 1959.  From 1962 to 1967, Allan appeared in eight episodes of The Andy Griffith Show.  From 1969 to 1974, he played Sam Franklin ("Sam the Butcher') in eight episodes of  The Brady Bunch.  Sam owned a local butcher shop and he dated Alice (Ann B. Davis), the Brady family's  housekeeper.  

In 1971, Allan had a guest spot as a Sgt, Pulaski, a policeman, in an episode of All in the Family entitled "Archie in the Lock-up" (Season 2, Episode 3, Air Date: October 2, 1971).  From 1972 to 1979, he played the recurring role of Barney Hefner, Archie Bunker's neighbour and friend.

From 1979 to 1983, Allan continued his role as Barney Hefner on Archie Bunker's Place, a spin-off of All in the Family.  When Archie Bunker's Place ended in 1983, Allan became a voice actor for cartoons until 1994.  His final voice-over was as Magilla Gorilla in Scooby-Doo in Arabian Nights, a made-for-television animated film.

Allan married Amalia Faustina Sestero in New York City in 1944 and they had two children.  On January 17, 2008, Allan Melvin died of cancer.  He was 84 years old at the time of his death in Brentwood, California.

TOMMY LEONETTI  (Nick Cuccinello)
:  Tommy Leonetti played Cpl. Nick Cuccinello from 1964 to 1965 on Gomer Pyle.  His character served under Gunner Sergeant Vince Carter.  Tommy later had guest roles on I Spy (1966), Hawaii Five-0  (1977), The Waltons (1978)  and The Eddie Capra Mysteries (1978).

Tommy was born Nicola Tomaso Leonetti in Bergen County, New Jersey on September 10, 1929.  He was a pop singer-songwriter from the 1950s to the 1970s.  In 1957 and 1958, he was a vocalist for NBC's Your Hit Parade.  He wrote songs for films and Broadway plays.

In 1966, Tommy accepted a singing gig in Sydney, Australia, having enjoyed some success on the Australian charts during the 1950s.  He fell in love with the city and moved there in 1968 and remained there into the 1970s.   His song "City of Sydney" was very successful in Australia and was used as a signoff for an Australian television station 

On June 13, 1959, Tommy married Patricia Quinn, who played the tittle role of Alice Brock in the 1969 film Alice's Restaurant, co-starring James Broderick and Arlo Guthrie.  Tommy and Patricia divorced in 1964.  On November 27, 1965, Tommy married actress Cindy Robbins in Beverly Hills, California.  The couple moved to Australia, along with Cindy's young daughter, Kimberly, now actress Kimberly Beck Beck  Tommy and his family lived in Sydney, where he hosted his own talk show, The Tommy Leonetti Show, from 1968 to 1970, for the Australian network ATN-7.

On September 15, 1979, Tommy died in a hospital in Houston, Texas after a lengthy battle with cancer.  He was only 50 years old at the time of his passing.

LARRY HOVIS (Private Larry Gotschalk)):  
Larry Hovis played Private Larry Gotschalk on Gomer Pyle from 1964 to 1965.  He was given the role by Andy Griffith's manager and he appeared in 11 episodes of the series.  

Larry Hovis was born in Wapato, Washington on February 20, 1936.  He moved to Houston, Texas when he was a small child.  As a youth, he appeared as a singer on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts.  In 1959, he moved to New York City, where he performed in the 1960 Broadway Revue From A to Z.

From 1961, to 1962, Larry appeared in four episodes of The Jim Backus Show,  In 1965, he guest-starred in two episodes of The Andy Griffith Show.  That same year, he was given a minor role in the pilot episode of Hogan's Heroes.  When an actor withdrew from the series, Larry was given the regular role of Sgt. Andrew Carter, a POW in a World War II German prison camp and an expert on explosives.  Carter was of Sioux ancestry.

Larry was a regular on Hogan's Heroes until the series of cancelled in 1971.  In the mid-1970s, Larry appeared on the game show Match Game and on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-ii alongside Richard Dawson, his castmate on Hogan's Heroes.  In the 1970s, Larry guest-starred in episodes of The New Dick Van Dyke Show (1972), The Doris Day Show (1972), McMillan and Wife (1972), Adam-12 (1973), Chico and the Man (1974) and Alice (1977, 1978).

From 1979 to 1981, Larry toured in the musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.  He played Melvin P. Thorpe.

In the 1990s, Larry taught drama at Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas (now Texas State University-San Marcos.  His final TV role was as Wilhelm in two 2007 episodes of Heathens, a Western series.  Larry Hovis died of  esophageal cancer in Austin, Texas on September 9, 2003.  He was 67 years of age.         

Larry wed Carol Ann Corrigan in Houston on November 26, 1955.  They remained married until her death of cancer in 1995. The couple had four children.

SOURCESCloser Weekly, "Here's What Happened to Gomer Pyle from 'The Andy Griffith Show,'" by Ed Gross, March 1, 2022;  '"The Complete Directory to Prime Network TV Shows 1946 - Present; Los Angeles Times, obituary for Roy Stuart, "Roy Stuart; 78; Veteran Character Actor Known for Role in "Gomer Pyle,'" December 31, 2005; Wikipedia; Internet Movie Database (IMDb)

- Joanne

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Y&R Report (Saturday, June 18, 2022): The Latest on The Young and the Restless

Hey Y&R fans, every second Saturday TV Banter discusses the latest happenings and provides commentary on your favourite daytime drama. Note to U.S. readers - SPOILER ALERT: Here in Canada, I watch the show on Global TV which is one episode ahead of CBS.  I will inevitably refer to incidents you haven't seen yet.  Read at your own risk.  If you are the curious type, though, you may prefer to discover some things in advance.

Hi fans,
As I mentioned in the last edition of Y&R Report, this will be my final Y&R blog posting for the summer.  I am going to take a break  This column will return on Saturday, September 24, 2022.  Don't forget to mark that date on your calendars.  Thanks for your continued support and readership.  It is much appreciated.  If you would like to contact me during the summer, I will respond to your emails.
Well, Princess Victoria has declared her independence.  The Rebel Princess wants to prove she can make it on her own.  She's giddy with the prospect of creating a really successful company without the Newman name attached to it.  I don't doubt that she can do it.  It's just that the all-powerful Victor Newman will never allow it. to happen.  Victoria can't stay in New York permanently or she will have to leave the show.  So she will eventually go home.
Diane has become Genoa's City's resident party crasher.  I wasn't surprised when she crashed the Mariah-Tessa extravaganza, using the excuse that Kyle was officiating at the ceremony.  I really expected that to happen.  However, I didn't expect her to crash the Chancellor-Winters launch at the Grand Phoenix.  Kyle wasn't even there, so she wasn't able to use him as a convenient excuse, as she always does.  Instead, she said that she had an appointment at the spa and that she wasn't really aware of the party.  If you believe that, then you've probably bought some swampland in Florida.
Diane displayed a lot of nerve when she burst into the Chancellor-Winters event uninvited and unwanted.  Nikki and Abby both expressed their profound contempt for her.  That didn't faze Diane at all.  She's used to being vilified and criticized.
Adam Newman (Mark Grossman) is as smug as a Cheshire Cat right now.  He's grinning from ear to ear because he's been appointed CEO of Newman Enterprises and his girlfriend, Sally Spectra (Courtney Hope) will be the  new head Newman Media.  He and Sally drank champagne because they think they have everything they've always wanted.  Adam really feels he has control of the Newman empire.  I'm astonished that he thinks Victor would give him that much power so easily.  
The first thing the newly appointed CEO of Newman Enterprises decided to do was to take down Victoria's portrait (at least he didn't smash it).  Adam doesn't seem to have any plans to replace the portrait with one of himself.  He mentioned hanging up a work of abstract art instead.  Perhaps he has the right idea about that.  There does seem something narcissistic about looking at your own portrait in your office all day.
Imani is quite brazen in her attempt to win over Nate Hastings.  It's true that she's been coming on far too strong and that Nate doesn't seem very impressed with her behaviour.  However, the situation is bound to change and Nate will be drawn to her.  In the previews, Amanda learns some disturbing news about the health of her and her Imani's mother.  Will that affect the situation?
It looks like a bumpy road ahead for Michael and Lauren.  They don't seem to be on the same page right now.  Lauren is not happy about the work Michael is doing for Victor.  Michael enjoys doing it..  Lauren detests Diane, while Michael has a soft spot for her.           


If you have any comments on Y&R, please email them to me with "Viewer Forum" in the subject line. I will be happy to publish your comments and reply to them  You do not have to use your real name. 

My email address:

I received the following email from longtime Y&R viewer, CC in Etobicoke:

Hi Joanne,

I really enjoyed the episode looking back on the lives of Traci and Ashley.
They have both been such crucial characters in building the spirit of Genoa City.
Both Beth Maitland and Eileen Davidson were so young when they started on the show.
It is a real tribute to them to have developed their characters and lived  their own lives simultaneously!

Looking forward to the reveal of a connection between Diane and Allie. It must be something quite sinister.

Haven't we all come across 'Diane's' in our lives.  They may not have been so criminally minded but they insinuate themselves into the lives of others so easily, and are so annoying, yet they act like they are accepted and belong. All the while they are just methodically carrying out schemes to create havoc for everyone while they get what the set out to get.

It looks like things seem be starting to unravel for Diane.  She has gone a little too far by baiting Kyle with a hope of getting a work position through with him. 
It results in her revealing a little too much about what her life has been all about during these may years.
Phyllis will come to the rescue and out her eventually.

What evil and terror awaits Victoria now that she has reconciled with Ashland?

Waiting with bated breath to find out what other plans Victor has in store for Ashland.

Will Billy and Lili survive as a couple?

What lies ahead for Sharon?

I also enjoyed Traci and Ashley's trip down memory lane, CC,  The history of the Abbott family is one of the foundations of Y&R, and we watched the sisters grow up on the show.  Yes, Eileen Davidson and Beth Maitland deserve credit for developing their characters during their 40 years on the soap.  However, I was disappointed that Y&R missed a perfect opportunity to pay tribute to Jerry Douglas, the man who portrayed John Abbott, the patriarch of  the family.  Jerry played such an important role on Y&R and he appeared in flashbacks in this special  episode.  At the end of the episode, there could have been a picture of him and a dedication.  Jerry passed away on November 9, 2021 at the age of 88.  Y&R has been remiss in not paying tribute to him.  Will it be done by the first anniversary of his death?  What about Doug Davidson?  Why wasn't he given a similar tribute for his forty years as Paul Williams on Y&R?  Why was he so shabbily treated?
CC, there is a reason why Diane Jenkins has asked Kyle to help her find a job.  She's going to end up working at Jabot, where she'll be around Jack all the time.  She's going to manipulate him and he will likely fall into her trap..  Diane will also be around Allie, who will mostly certainly be given a job in the Jabot lab.  Then we'll see if there is any connection between Diane and Allie, and if it involves anything sinister.
There's also a reason why Michael has agreed to look into Diane's life in Los Angeles.  He will discover something about her past.  It may even be related to Allie's mother.  By the way, if Diane is in such need of money, how did she afford to buy Keemo's house?  Since she's decided to stay in Geona City "as long as Kyle wants her there," why doesn't she sell the house in L.A. and use the money to pay for her expenses in Genoa City?
Victoria and Ashland's reconciliation will be a disaster.  I've watch Y&R long enough to know that Victor Newman always wins.  Whatever he has in store for Ashland Locke, it will be devastating for Locke.  
Will Billy and Lily survive as a couple?  I doubt it, although they are really trying to make it work.  Billy seems really sincere about having a good relationship with Lily.  He appears to have matured and learned from  his mistakes.  However, this is a soap and there is bound to be complications.  Something could make him go back to his old ways.  Billy Boy s trying very hard not to be bothered by Victoria's decision to go back to Ashland.  Sooner or later, he won't be able to stay out of it.  He will get involved and Lily will not be pleased.
As for Sharon, the only thing I foresee is that she will reunite with Nick Newman.  It's a matter of time.


Susan Walters

Peter Bergman
It's obvious that Diane's master plan is reunite with Jack Abbott.  Will she somehow get to him?  Will he eventually buy into her attempts to to portray herself as a changed woman.  Will he believe her expressions of remorse for her past actions.  Diane has been using her own son, Kyle, to achieve her goal of winning Jack's approval.  Will Jack be gullible enough to let her back into his life and romance her again?  What do you think, fans?  Replay to the poll below and let me know.

Do you think Jack Abbott will hook up with Diane again? free polls

That's all for now.  Have a great summer and I will be back in September.  They'll be lots of summer fun on Y&R.  Also, remember that the Daytime Emmys will be broadcast on Friday, June 24, 2022.

Take care,


Monday, June 6, 2022

Jeopardy! Update

Here's the latest on Jeopardy! on this first Monday in June.  Mayim Bialik has hosted the show for the past four weeks She returned to the helm after Ken Jennings announced that he'd be away for "months."  The permanent hosting position still hasn't been filled.  It is expected to be decided at the end of the season in July and that the choice will probably be between Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik.  

In the meantime  the long win streaks just keep on coming.  Ryan Long, a rideshare driver from Philadelphia, enjoyed his 16th victory in a row on Friday.  He's won a grand total of $229,400.00 so far.  Ryan is now seven games short of Canadian tutor Mattea Roah's 23 wins.  He will compete in the Tournament of Champions in November along with such winners as Mattrs, Matt Amodio and Amy Schneider.

Ryan Long

Ryan Long has made it the Leaderboard of Legends and the Jeopardy! Hall of Fame.  Only eight players in the history of the show have won more games than Ryan.  He says he has no particular strategy.  "I'd be lying if I said I had any kind of plan," he has admitted.  He just like to do "what feels right" to him at the moment."  It's certainly working for him.

- Joanne

Saturday, June 4, 2022

Y&R Report (Saturday, June 4, 2022): The Latest on The Young and the Restless

Hey Y&R fans, every second Saturday TV Banter discusses the latest happenings and provides commentary on your favourite daytime drama. Note to U.S. readers - SPOILER ALERT: Here in Canada, I watch the show on Global TV which is one episode ahead of CBS.  I will inevitably refer to incidents you haven't seen yet.  Read at your own risk.  If you are the curious type, though, you may prefer to discover some things in advance.

Hi fans,
It's going to take a while, but Sharon and Nick are on course for a reconciliation.  Their reunion has been coming for a long time.  It will likely happen, but not until Sharon waits a respectful amount of time after Rey's death.  That's way she didn't dance with Nick or anyone else at her daughter Mariah's wedding.  As for Nick, he doesn't seem to have enough to occupy himself.  He's always talking about his involvement with New Hope, but he doesn't seem to spend much time with it.  Since his breakup with Phyllis, all he's been doing is hanging around Sharon's coffee shop.  When he and Phyllis were together, all he did was hang around Phyllis' hotel, The Grand Phoenix.  I wondered why Nick was listening so intently to that long conversation Sharon had with Chance.  The conversation was mostly about Rey.  Was he  trying to pick up vibes?  Was he trying to find out where Sharon's head was at.

I can't wait to find out  what Dishy Diane (or should I say Grandma Di Di?) has up her sleeve.  It looks as if she and fellow outcast, Ashland Locke, will form an alliance.  Also, according to an online spoiler, Nikki and Phyllis will team up against Diane.  Even though Nikki and Phyllis have never really gotten along, they have a common enemy - Diane - and they both want to drive her out of town.  You know the old saying, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend."  
Phyllis is desperate right now.  She has ruined her relationship with Jack because of her obsession with Diane Jenkins.  She is playing her cards all wrong.  Meanwhile, Diane is winning the just sitting back and enjoying the show.  Phyllis has lost self-control and she is paying the price.

Victoria Newman has become the Rebel Princess.  She is going to go back to Ashland even though her family and friends despise him.  Will she give up her CEO tittle at Newman Enterprises for Locke's sake?  Adam is just itching to get his hands on the company.  He's waiting like a vulture to swoop in and grab the CEO position.  However, don't expect Victor Newman  to abandon his daughter when she defies him about getting back with Ashland.  When it comes to Victoria, Victor has a very soft spot.  Adam and his sidekick, Sally Spectra, will not have as easy a time as they think.  Expect Victor to put up roadblocks to Adam's ambitions.  

Amanda's younger sister, Imani Benedict (Leigh Ann Rose), has hers sights set on Nate Hastings and she doesn't even try to hide it.  She's been warned by Amanda that Nate's in a "committed relationship" with Dr, Elena Dawson.  That hasn't stopped her from trying to move in on Nate.  Imani is forceful woman and she seems to be quite confident,  She's not very subtle, though, is she?  We still don't know how devious she can be or how far she'll go to win Nate's affections.  
Elena certainly considers Imani a threat, even though she gave Amanda the false impression that she isn't worried about Imani at all.  In fact, Elena is very concerned about the situation.  She even had a dream about Imani running off with Nate.  As for Nate, he's caught in the middle.  His loyalty to Elena will be tested, although he may be tricked in some way by Imani.   I don't think he and Elana will last as a couple.
Another couple is also set to have problems - Billy Abbott and Lily Winters.  Billy doesn't seem comfortable with the new Chancellor-Winters merger.  Also, Lily is almost at the end of her rope with Billy's inability to keep his distance from Victoria.  If Billy discovers that Victoria is back with Ashland, he will do everything in his power to oppose their reconciliation.  Lily will not be pleased about that.


Kelsey Wang (Allie)

Rory Gibson (Noah)
Ah, spring in Geona City, and love is in bloom.  Romance seems to be in the air for Noah Newman (Rory Gibson) and Allie Nguyen (Kelsey Wang), Jack Abbott's newly discovered granddaughter.  Since Allie has a degree in chemical engineering, it won't be long before she has a job in the lab at Jabot.  But is there also chemistry between her and Noah?
These two young people are both trying to find their paths in life and they have both been hurt, Allie by the death of  her father, Noah by his breakup with his girlfriend in London.   Now that want to stay in Genoa City, it seems as if they would be a good match.  What do you think, fans?  Do Noah and Allie suit each other?  Would they make a happy couple?  Respond to the poll below and let me know.

Is there chemistry between Noah and Allie? Would they make a good couple? free polls


I need your feedback.  If you have any comments on Y&R, please email them to me with "Viewer Forum" in the subject line. I will be happy to publish your comments and reply to them  You do not have to use your real name.  I really need your input.  I really need to hear your opinion.  I want to know if you agree or disagree with me. 

My email address:

That's all for now.  Don't forget that the next edition of Y&R report will appear in this space on Saturday June 18, 2022.  Then I will take a break until September.

Take care,