Jan. 30, 2013 at 7:23 AM ET
Shazam! Jim Nabors, best known for playing Gomer Pyle in "The Andy Griffith Show" and "Gomer Pyle, USMC," is a newlywed at age 82.
The actor married his longtime partner, Stan Cadwallader, 64, earlier this month, he told Hawaii News Now on Tuesday. The Honolulu-based couple, who have been together for 38 years, traveled to Washington -- where gay marriage became legal in December -- and were married at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle.
"We've been together for 38 years, and I'm not ashamed of people knowing, it's just that it was such a personal thing, I didn't tell anybody," Nabors told the paper. "I'm very happy that I've had a partner of 38 years, and I feel very blessed. And, what can I tell you, I'm just very happy."
Nabors had never publicly acknowledged his homosexuality in the media but said he never really tried to keep it secret.
"I haven't ever made a public spectacle of it," he said. "Well, I've known since I was a child, so, come on. It's not that kind of a thing. I've never made a huge secret of it at all."
The couple met in 1975 when Cadwallader was a firefighter; he later worked for Nabors, and then they started dating.
Nabors originated the role of Gomer Pyle -- known for such catchphrases as "shazam," "surprise, surprise, surprise" and "golly" -- in the early '60s on "The Andy Griffith Show." After two seasons, the popular character was spun off into "Gomer Pyle, USMC," which lasted five seasons. He reprised the role for the 1986 TV movie "Return to Mayberry" and for the early-90s series "Hi Honey, I'm Home."
Nabors also made frequent appearances on such shows as "The Carol Burnett Show," "The Sonny and Cher Show" and "The Love Boat" and hosted his own series, "The Jim Nabors Hour," from 1969-71.
Nabors, who also is a singer known for his baritone voice, has recorded more than 25 albums and has performed in numerous musical theater productions.