Gilligan's Island Has Lost Its Professor

January 17, 2014

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Gilligan's Island star and coconut innovator Russell Johnson reportedly died on Thursday in his Washington home. He was 89.

Russell was typecast as a westerns villain--appearing in Gunsmoke, Wagon Train, and more--before getting his memorable role as The Professor on Gilligan's Island. He would carry the part through three seasons, some TV movies, and for some reason an episode of Alf. Though the character was actually a school science teacher, not a professor, he did have a PhD and sufficient scientific and mechanical knowledge to build an array of inventions across the series run. Cleverly, Johnson played him so affably that it was scarcely even noticed that The Professor was a sociopath, essentially holding his fellow castaways hostage when he could easily just rebuild the boat.

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