GILLIGAN'S ISLAND's 'The Professor' Russell Johnson Dies at Age 89
TMZ reports that Russell Johnson, who portrayed Professor Roy Hinkley on three seasons of the CBS comedy GILLIGAN'S ISLAND, has passed away of natural causes at the age of 89. The actor passed away in hospice, surrounded by his wife and 2 children in Washington state.
Actress Dawn Wells, who co-starred with Johnson on the series, turned to Facebook to share her sorrow, posting: "My 2 favorite people are now gone. The professor past (sic) away this morning. My heart is broken." Along with the comments, Wells posted a photo from earlier days featuring herself, Johnson and co-star Bob Denver, who died in 2005.
Gilligan's Island was created and produced by Sherwood Schwartz and featured Bob Denver, Alan Hale, Jr., Jim Backus, Natalie Schafer, Tina Louise, Johnson, and Wells. It aired for three seasons on the CBS network beginning in 1964,
The show followed the comic adventures of seven castaways as they attempted to survive and escape from the island on which they had been shipwrecked. Most episodes revolved around the dissimilar castaways' conflicts and their failed attempts (invariably Gilligan's fault) to escape their plight.
Johnson's other TV credits included "77 Sunset Strip," ''Gunsmoke," ''Rawhide," ''Wagon Train," ''The Lone Ranger," ''The Twilight Zone," ''Ben Casey," ''Hawaiian Eye" and "Death Valley Days."
He appeared in more than two dozen feature films, including "MacArthur," ''The Greatest Story Ever Told" and cult science fiction favorites such as "It Came From Outer Space."