A genuine chip off the old block, Alan Hale, Jr. not only had a remarkable resemblance to his father, silent movie actor Alan Hale, Sr., but also followed closely in his footsteps by becoming an actor. He appeared on the big screen for the first time as a toddler, and continued acting his entire life.
Beginning in the '30s, Alan Hale, Jr. appeared in dozens of supporting roles on the silver screen, and added television work to his resume in the '50s. Hale was cast as the lead in the 1952-3 series Biff Baker, USA, an adventure show on which he starred as an importer who regularly got entangled in international espionage. Biff's global adventures only lasted one season, so Hale quickly switched gears and became the title character in the 1956 syndicated series, Casey Jones.
In 1964, Hale won the role of a lifetime, the Skipper on Gilligan's Island. Although he continued to act in feature films and guest star on TV shows, Alan Hale, Jr. became the Skipper, proudly wearing his captain's hat on screen and off. So proudly, in fact, that he was rarely seen without it. Hale was known as a warm and friendly person who always had time for his fans. He eventually opened a West Hollywood restaurant called Alan Hale's Lobster Barrel, where he often served as maitre d'. In the late '80s, Hale gave up the eatery and ran a travel agency.
On January 2, 1990, Hale passed away at the age of 71 from cancer of the thymus.
With a gruff exterior, Skipper Jonas Grumby is really a teddy bear at heart. The quite large and in charge captain of the Minnow is the bumbling leader and protector responsible for keeping the island safe from the elements, local savages and his inept first mate, Gilligan.
A local businessman, the Skipper ran a small charter business out of a port in Honolulu, Hawaii, giving day tours to vacationers until that fateful day. He met his anomalous first mate while serving in the navy. Gilligan became his "little buddy" for life when he apparently saved the Skipper from a charge that had broken loose on the deck of the destroyer where they were serving.
The Skipper does his best to take care of his stranded castaways while trying to teach Gilligan how to become a good leader -- and keep him from sabotaging every attempt to get off the island.