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It's just Ginger and Mary Ann now

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  • It's just Ginger and Mary Ann now

    Russell Johnson, an actor who made a living by mostly playing villains in westerns until he was cast as the Professor, the brains of a bunch of sweetly clueless, self-involved, hopelessly naïve island castaways, on the hit sitcom “Gilligan’s Island,” died on Thursday at his home in Bainbridge Island, Wash. He was 89.

    His agent, Michael Eisenstadt, confirmed the death.

    “Gilligan’s Island,” which was seen on CBS from 1964 to 1967 and still lives on in reruns, starred Bob Denver as Gilligan, the witless first mate of the S.S. Minnow, a small touring boat that runs aground on an uncharted island after a storm.

    Besides Gilligan and the Professor, five others were on board: the Skipper (Alan Hale Jr.); Ginger, a va-va-voom movie star (Tina Louise); the snobbish wealthy couple Thurston Howell III (Jim Backus) and his wife, known as Lovey (Natalie Schafer); and Mary Ann, a girl-next-door type (Dawn Wells).

    In the show’s first season, Mr. Johnson and Ms. Wells were left out of the opening credits and their characters were ignored in the theme song, which named the other castaways but dismissed the two of them with the phrase “and the rest.” The snub was rectified for the second season, at the same time that the show went from black-and-white to color.

    The Professor was a good-looking but nerdy academic, an exaggerated stereotype of the man of capacious intelligence with little or no social awareness. Occasionally approached romantically by Ginger (and guest stars, including Zsa Zsa Gabor), he remained chaste and unaffected.


    Ms. Louise and Ms. Wells are the only surviving “Gilligan’s Island” cast members.

    After “Gilligan’s Island,” Mr. Johnson made a career guest-starring in television series, including the dramas “Mannix,” “Cannon” and “Lou Grant” and the comedies “Bosom Buddies” and “The Jeffersons,” usually as an upright character with smarts.

    He also reprised the Professor role in the 1970s and 1980s in the cartoon series “The New Adventures of Gilligan” and “Gilligan’s Planet” and in three made-for-television “Gilligan” movies.
    Rather sad. They touch on it some in the obit, but he had quite a military career: 44 flown missions, which is a pretty impressive number; most people weren't expected to survive more than 20 or 25.
    It's been ten years since that lonely day I left you
    In the morning rain, smoking gun in hand
    Ten lonely years but how my heart, it still remembers
    Pray for me, momma, I'm a gypsy now

  • #2
    Robert Francis O'Rourke, Democrat, White guy, spent ~78 million to defeat, Ted Cruz, Republican immigrant Dark guy …
    and lost …
    But the Republicans are racist.


    • #3
      Jayne Mansfield was offered the Ginger character first.

      That may put you over the top in your next Quizzo. You're welcome.
      Science that cannot be questioned is propaganda.

      Cameras in classrooms now.