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Gilligan's Island

Bob Denver

Gilligan

When Bob Denver enrolled in Loyola Marymount College, he never dreamed of graduating as a thespian. Forced to audition by his speech teacher, Denver wound up winning the role of a nervous young sailor in the school production of The Caine Mutiny Court Martial. While Denver's was not a memorable performance, it certainly foreshadowed things to come. After graduating in the late '50s, Denver was doing odd jobs when he chanced upon an audition for a new TV series. With no professional experience, Bob Denver beat out 99 other young men for the role of Maynard G. Krebs, resident beatnik on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.

After four seasons, Dobie wrapped, and Denver made appearances in films such as For Those Who Think Young and TV shows including The Andy Griffith Show, Dr. Kildare and The Farmer's Daughter. Denver would achieve television immortality in his next role, as the Skipper's little buddy Gilligan on Gilligan's Island.

Being Gilligan became a double-sided coconut for Denver, who will forever be associated with the character. Once he left the island, Denver turned up in a number of comic roles, most of which had a resemblance to the slapstick antics of dimwitted Gilligan. His 1968 series The Good Guys attempted to put Denver in a Skipper/Gilligan relationship, as did the 1973 offering Dusty's Trail (a carbon copy of Gilligan's Island set in the Old West) and the 1975 Saturday morning show Far Out Space Nuts. Aside from guest appearances on I Dream of Jeannie, Love, American Style and Fantasy Island and a number of early '80s live theater roles, Denver's resume is largely comprised of Gilligan's Island and Dobie Gillis reunion shows. Like most of his surviving castaway castmates, Bob Denver has learned to live with his alter ego Gilligan, and embraces his fans by participating in revivals and appearing at public functions and autograph signings across the country.

Character Bio

While fiercely loyal, the wiry first mate to Skipper Jonas Grumby is the quintessential screwup. Gilligan means well, but is forever breaking radios, tripping over phone cables, making plates out of explosive material and passing out radioactive seeds without reading the package. If there is a way foil a plan, he will find it. More often than not, it involves falling into the lagoon.

Born in Pennsylvania, Gilligan worked at a gas station before joining the navy, where he saved the life of the captain and became his "little buddy." In gratitude, when the Skipper started his own charter business he hired Gilligan to be his first mate (despite his incompetence). Gilligan's childlike nature makes him the perfect errand boy to perform many of the menial tasks on the island, such as riding the Professor's generator bike, acting as manservant to Mr. Howell or collecting coconuts for the girls. It should be noted, some fans claim that Gilligan's first name is "Willy," though no one has been able to prove it.

Gilligan's Island TV Schedule

Tuesday
July 7
5:48pm
The Sweepstakes
Gilligan finds a winning South American lottery ticket worth $1 million, tax-free.
TV-G
6:24pm
Quick Before It Sinks
The Professor measures the ocean's high water mark, and concludes that the island is rapidly sinking.
TV-G
7:00pm
Castaway Pictures Presents
Gilligan discovers the hull of an old ship near the island.
TV-G
7:36pm
Agonized Labor
Gilligan and the Skipper hear a radio broadcast detailing the collapse of the Howell financial empire.
TV-G
Wednesday
July 8
10:48am
Sound Of Quacking
A bird cuts off the castaways' food supply.
TV-G
11:24am
Goodbye Island
The castaways hope to escape the island by repairing the S.S. Minnow.
TV-G
12:00pm
The Big Gold Strike
Mr. Howell discovers a gold mine on the island, but refuses to share it with the others.
TV-G
5:48pm
Nyet, Nyet -- Not Yet
Two Russian cosmonauts, Ivan and Igor, land on Gilligan's Island.
TV-G
6:24pm
Hi-Fi Gilligan
The Skipper accidentally hits Gilligan in the face with a crate.
TV-G
7:00pm
The Chain Of Command
The Skipper, fearing something dreadful will happen to him, eyes a possible leader for his succession.
TV-G
7:36pm
Don't Bug The Mosquitoes
Gilligan's favorite American singing group The Mosquitoes lands on the island.
TV-G
Thursday
July 9
10:48am
Waiting For Watubi
The Skipper unearths a carved Tiki god.
TV-G
11:24am
Angel On The Island
Thanks to the shipwreck, Ginger misses her Broadway debut.
TV-G
12:00pm
Birds Gotta Fly, Fish Gotta Talk
All Gilligan wants for Christmas is to be rescued from the island.
TV-G
5:48pm
Gilligan Gets Bugged
Gilligan is bitten by a large green and yellow bug.
TV-G
6:24pm
Mine Hero
Gilligan fishes a World War II-era mine out of the lagoon.
TV-G
7:00pm
Erika Tiffany-Smith To The Rescue
Erika Tiffany-Smith arrives on the island via yacht. Guest Stars: Zsa Zsa Gabor
TV-G
7:36pm
Not Guilty
A shipping crate containing old newspapers floats ashore.
TV-G