A familiar face to television viewers for the past 60 years has left us. Russell Johnson, best known as Professor Roy Hinkley on Gilligan’s Island, has died at the age of 89. He passed away early this morning from kidney failure at his home on Bainbridge Island, Washington.
Johnson played numerous roles on television prior to Gilligan and often played heavies. However, his role as the Professor so typecast him as a nice guy that it became difficult for him to be cast as the bad guy after the popular sitcom went off the air.
He reprised his role for all of the Gilligan reunion movies and the two animated series as well. Johnson was one of three surviving regular castmembers from the show. Now, only Dawn Wells (Mary Ann Summers) and Tina Louise (Ginger Grant) remain.
Via Twitter, Wells posted this photo and wrote, “My 2 favorite people are now gone. The Professor past away this morning. My heart is broken.”
She later wrote, “A picture of Russell and his lovely wife Connie. Russell was a true gentleman, a good father, a great friend, and “the rest”. I love him and shall miss him. My heart goes out to Connie and his daughter Kim. I love you.”
What do you think? How will you remember Russell Johnson?