'Gilligan's Island' Professor, actor Russell Johnson, dead at 89

 

The actor who played the Professor in "Gilligan's Island" has died. Russell Johnson, who played Professor Roy Hinkley, died of natural causes at his home in Washington. Dawn Wells, who played Mary Ann, just posted on Facebook, "My 2 favorite people are now gone.  The professor past (sic) away this morning.  My heart is broken." The other person who died is Bob Denver, who played Gilligan.  He died in 2005.

Johnson played the iconic role of Professor Roy Hinkley, whose scientific schemes to get the castaways rescued were always foiled by Gilligan's bumbling.

He died at his home in Washington, where he lived with his wife, Connie. She and their daughter, Kimberly, were at his side, said agent Mike Eisenstadt. Johnson is also survived by a stepson, Court, and a grandson, he said.

Johnson worked up until his death, signing autographs over the holidays, said Eisenstadt. He called Johnson's death "unexpected."

He was "just a positive and nice guy" who always treated people with respect, his agent said.

His acting career began in the early 1950s with many jobs as a character actor on television. He played Marshal Gib Scott in two seasons of "Black Saddle," a Western that ran in 1959 and 1960.

Johnson acted in dozens of television shows after the four seasons on "Gilligan's Island," but his career seemed stranded on its own island because of the popular sitcom role.

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