Surprise, surprise, surprise! Could it be that Pope Francis, the beloved Holy Father, has a kindred spirit in none-other-than actor Jim Nabors, better known as Gomer Pyle?
Do you see it? The twinkling eyes. The good-natured grins. The way they wear a uniform. And that’s not all the Pontiff and the private have in common. Check out these biographical connections…
Actor Jim Nabors, who created the lovable hillbilly Gomer Pyle first on The Andy Griffith Show and later on his own spinoff, was born in Sylacauga, Alabama in 1930, just six years before Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a.k.a. the Pope, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Both struggled with health issues as kids. Nabors had severe asthma, which may have been a blessing in disguise – it prevented him from playing sports and so he turned to performing. His Argentine doppelganger Bergoglio had a serious respiratory infection as a teen and underwent surgery to remove part of his lung, which may have something to do with his priestly calling to help the sick.
More coinkydinks? They both had odd jobs before they found their higher purpose: Nabors was a typist at the United Nations, and Bergoglio was a nightclub bouncer at a Buenos Aires club. (Yes, a nightclub bouncer!)
Now you’d think the holy smokes(!) similarities end with the fact that Jim Nabors is married to a man (his partner of 38 years whom he wed in 2013). Although, the Pope vocally opposed the legalization of same-sex marriage when he was Bishop of Argentina, he surprised the world in 2013 when he told reporters: “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”
Well, gawwwllly! Maybe there is a higher power in seeing ourselves in others…