Friday, November 13, 2009

The GILLIGAN'S ISLAND "Professor" Today At 85

Remember Russell Johnson who played Roy Hinkley, "The Professor" on GILLIGAN's ISLAND? Well, Johnson is alive and well at the age of 85 and living in Washington state. Johnson has written a great book about his experiences entitled, "Living On Gilligan's Island".

One of Johnson's demands from producer Sherwood Schwartz, to accept the role of "The Professor" was the scientific accuracy of any statements that he would make. Schwartz was impressed that this actor wanted credibility.

Few know it, but Johnson was awarded the Purple Heart after being shot down in the Philippines by the Japanese and breaking both ankles. He flew 44 combat missions as a bomber for the United States Army Air Force.

For some strange reason, as "The Professor", Johnson's character was able to build just about anything out of coconuts, except a rescue boat. Few know it, but Johnson was not in the pilot episode of GILLIGAN's ISLAND. There was actually some sort of school teacher that filled his role, yet strangely in the first aired episode of GILLIGAN'S ISLAND some of the three actors who were in the pilot but not in the regular series were clearly visible knocked unconscious in the wreck of the Minnow.


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