The Delirious Movie Wikia
Advertisement

Russell Johnson was an American actor and writer best known for playing the part of Professor Roy Hinkley on the iconic television series "Gilligan's Island" and its sequels. In fact, he became so famous for the role that the character followed him long after the series ended and rendered him typecast for years afterward.
Born Russell David Johnson on November 10, 1924, Johnson had a long film career before staring in the series. His Hollywood acting career began in 1952, with the college fraternity hazing exposé film "For Men Only" and in "Loan Shark," also released in 1952 and starring George Raft. He was a close friend of Fifties Western film star Audie Murphy, and appeared with him in three of his films, "Column South" and "Tumbleweed" in 1953 and "Ride Clear of Diablo" in 1954. His early roles were primarily in Westerns, such as "Law and Order" with Ronald Reagan, and in Science Fiction, such as "It Came from Outer Space" in 1953, "This Island Earth" in 1956, "Attack of the Crab Monsters" in 1956 and "Space Children" in 1958. He also appeared in "Ma and Pa Kettle at Waikiki."
During the 1950s, he guest starred on Rod Cameron's syndicated crime drama TV series "City Detective." He played the head of a gang of crooks in an episode of "Adventures of Superman," which was filmed in 1951 but not broadcast until January, 1953, filmed in 1951. He was also cast on the religion anthology series "Crossroads" and "The Californians." He also appeared three times in the series "Jefferson Drum" and twice on "The DuPont Show" with June Allyson. He also co-starred with William Shatner in a 1961 episode of "Thriller." before "Gilligan's Island" he starred in the short-lived Western series "The Dakota" and in the series premiere of the series, "Breaking Point," which starred Paul Richards and Eduard Franz.
Johnson subsequently auditioned for and received the role of the Professor on "Gilligan's Island," replacing actor John Gabriel from the pilot. The role became his most popular acting credit in his career, but after the series was cancelled, he found himself partially typecast. He went on to star in the TV shows "The Big Valley" "Death Valley Days," "The Invaders," "Lassie," "Ironside" and "Gunsmoke." He appeared perhaps most notably in the miniseries "Vanished," He also appeared uncredited in the Robert Redford spy thriller "Three Days of the Condor," a film based on the 1971 novel by Fletcher Knebel.
Following the reunion movies, Johnson published his memoirs, "Here on Gilligan's Isle" in 1993. After the death of Bob Denver, he was one of the three original surviving cast members of "Gilligan's Island," the other two being Tina Louise, who played the part of Ginger Grant, and Dawn Wells, who played Mary Ann. His acting roles were reduced to reprising the role of the Professor in two "Gilligan's Island" reuinion movies and Professor-like roles on "Alf," "Newhart" and "Roseanne."
Sadly, he passed away from kidney failure at his home in Bainbridge Island, Washington, on January 16, 2014, at the age of 89.

Advertisement