George Lindsey remembered as 'Goober' on TV's 'Andy Griffith Show' & 'Hee Haw'
George Lindsey, an Alabama native and veteran, was a teacher and coach before turning to acting on the stage, television and films.
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Reflecting on his career, he said in 1985: "There's a residual effect of knowing I've made America laugh. I'm not the only one, but I've contributed something."Skip to next paragraph
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He had movie roles, too, appearing in "Cannonball Run II" and "Take This Job and Shove It." His voice was used in animated Walt Disney features including "The Aristocats," ''The Rescuers" and "Robin Hood."
Lindsey was born in Jasper, Ala., the son of a butcher. He received a bachelor of science degree from Florence State Teachers College (now the University of North Alabama) in 1952 after majoring in physical education and biology and playing quarterback on the football team.
After spending three years in the Air Force, he worked one year as a high school baseball and basketball coach and history teacher near Huntsville, Ala.
He moved to Hollywood in the early 1960s and then to Nashville in the early 1990s.
At that time, he said the Griffith show "was the first soft rural comedy with a moral."
"We physically and mentally became those people when we got to the set."
He did some standup comedy — ending the show by tap and break dancing.
One of his jokes:
"A football coach, holding a football, asks his quarterback, 'Son, can you pass this?' The player says, 'Coach, I don't even think I can swallow it.'"
Lindsey devoted much of his spare time to raising funds for the Alabama Special Olympics. For 17 years, he sponsored a celebrity golf tournament in Montgomery, Ala., that raised money for the mentally disabled.
The University of North Alabama awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1992, and he was affectionately called "Doctor Goober" by acquaintances after that.
Funeral arrangements were still being made.