Russell Johnson, forever known as “The Professor” on GILLIGAN’S ISLAND, passed away on January 16, 2014, at the age of 89.
Johnson’s Professor Roy Hinkley, and the rest of the cast (-aways) of GILLIGAN’S ISLAND have achieved such iconic status that they need no further introduction.
Oddly, Russell Johnson did not appear in the pilot for the very series he would become indelibly identified with. The Professor there was played by an actor named John Gabriel – but Johnson's version of The Professor was added for the first broadcast episode of GILLIGAN’S ISLAND, and there he would remain.
Beyond his “tropic island nest”, Russell Johnson was known for westerns (Four appearances on GUNSMOKE and three on WAGON TRAIN) and numerous big and small screen products of fantasy, sci-fi, and horror.
Something of a regular presence in ‘50s Sci-Fi cinema, Johnson had a key supporting role in Jack Arnold and Universal’s ultra-classic 3D fifties-fear-fest “It Came from Outer Space” (1953).
|Jack Arnold's aliens teach The Professor a "lesson"!|
|All in all, he'd probably prefer "Gilligan's Island" to "This Island (Earth)"!|
March, 2014 Update: For one additional ‘50s Sci-Fi Film role of significance, please go HERE!
Of course, GILLIGAN’S ISLAND would reunite Russell Johnson with Jack Arnold, who directed many episodes of that series.
|Did The Professor just see a "Jack Arnold monster"?|
On TV, he was seen on such genre series as:
· THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN
· ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS
· THE TWILIGHT ZONE
· THE OUTER LIMITS
· THE INVADERS
And a special mention for:
BORIS KARLOFF PRESENTS THRILLER
where, in the excellent horror episode
he appears alongside William
Shatner -- with both actors on the
verge of the respective TV roles
that would eternally define
them and their careers!