Actor George Lindsey, who played the automobile mechanic on The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry R.F.D., died early Sunday morning at the age of 83.
George died at a healthcare center in Nashville after a brief illness, according to his manager manager and booking agent, Carrie Moore-Reed.
“George Lindsey was my friend,” Andy Griffith said in a statement. “I had great respect for his talent and his human spirit.”
Noting that he had his last conversation with the actor a few days ago, Griffith said: “I am happy to say that as we found ourselves in our 80s, 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.’ ”
“The Andy Griffith Show,” the classic 1960s situation comedy starring Griffith as the kindly sheriff of Mayberry, N.C., was in its fourth season in 1964 when Lindsey first appeared as the cousin of naive gas station attendant Gomer Pyle, played by Jim Nabors.
Lindsey was also a regular on the long-running country music comedy show Hee Haw.