George Lindsey, the Alabama native who played Goober on The Andy Griffith Show, Mayberry RFD and Hee Haw, died early this morning in Nashville after a brief illness. He was 83. Goober was the cousin of the character Gomer Pyle played by Jim Nabors. Griffith issued a statement: “George Lindsey was my friend … Our last conversation was a few days ago … I am happy to say that as we found ourselves in our eighties, 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’.” Best known as Goober, Lindsey had a long TV career that included roles in Gunsmoke, MASH, The Wonderful World of Disney, CHIPs, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, The Real McCoys, The Rifleman, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour and The Twilight Zone. Movie roles included Cannonball Run II, Take This Job and Shove It and voicing characters in Disney animated features The Aristocats, The Rescuers and Robin Hood.