Contact Us

‘Gilligan’s Island’ Star Russell Johnson Dead at 89

Turner Entertainment

Russell Johnson, the veteran TV actor best known for playing Professor Roy Hinkley on ‘Gilligan’s Island,’ passed away from kidney failure on Thursday. He was 89.

In a statement to ABC News, Johnson’s wife Constance said, “He died at home, peaceful, in his sleep at 5:21 am today. [He was] a very brave guy who knew what he wanted, and he wanted to be at home.”

Born in 1924, Johnson’s acting career began in 1950 following a highly decorated stint in the United States Air Force, where he flew dozens of combat missions during World War II. He worked steadily throughout the ’50s and ’60s, appearing in countless TV shows and movies, eventually becoming a regular on ‘Black Saddle’ in 1959. He was cast as the Professor in ‘Gilligan’s Island’ in 1964 and the rest is TV history. Although not particularly beloved at the time, the show has become iconic over the past 50 years. Every TV fan has joked at least once about how the Professor could build all kind of technology out of scraps but couldn’t fix the slightly damaged boat that had stranded him and his shipmates.

Although ‘Gilligan’s Island’ ended up being his definitive role (and one that he embraced whole-heartedly), he continued to work, appearing on shows like ‘The Twilight Zone,’ ‘Dallas,’ ‘Gunsmoke,’ ‘Wonder Woman,’ ‘The Jeffersons,’ ‘MacGyver,’ ‘Newhart,’ ‘Dynasty’ and ‘Alf.’ He stepped away from acting in 1997.

Johnson leaves behind a wife and countless friends and fans, including ‘Gilligan’s Island’ co-star Dawn Wells, who paid tribute to him on Facebook:

My two favorite people are now gone.  The professor passed away this morning.  My heart is broken. Russell was a true gentleman, a good father, a great friend, and ‘the rest.’

More from Q103

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://q103albany.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on Q 103 - Albany's Rock Station quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here.

Register on Q 103 - Albany's Rock Station quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!