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Gilligan's Island

Russell Johnson

Professor Roy Hinkley

After an honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force, World War II bombardier-navigator Russell Johnson took his Purple Heart (and several other awards) and moved to Hollywood, California to join the Actors Lab. It wasn't long before he began a career as a thespian.

The handsome war hero had no trouble finding work as an actor. He appeared on TV shows such as Superman, Gunsmoke, Circus Boy, and The Twilight Zone and in feature films including This Island Earth and It Came From Outer Space, and eventually became a staple in science-fiction films of the day.

An actor with a healthy career, Russell Johnson took the same approach to the role of the Professor as he did every role he'd been offered to date: as a job. Little did he know that three-hour tour would forever change the course of his career. Although Johnson has continued to work in film (Three Days of the Condor) and TV (Santa Barbara, Newhart), like many of his former castmates, he never fully made it off the island. Johnson happily returned to co-star in several Gilligan's Island reunions and revivals, and appeared at autograph shows and lectures on the college circuit. And why not? He was the Professor, after all! Johnson passed away in January 2014 at the age of 89.

Character Bio

Long before MacGyver started making explosives out of chewing gum, Professor Roy Hinkley was creating fabulous inventions out of the coconuts and straw. Perhaps this is because he holds six college degrees, all earned by the age of 25. Of course, all that studying has made the Professor a level-headed man — and also a somewhat dull one. Marooned on a deserted island with a beautiful movie star and lovely farm girl, the Professor never so much as raises an eyebrow to either. He'd rather sing the praises of salicylic acid or study the water levels in the lagoon.

Well versed in the languages of the local savages, the Professor is a useful man to get stranded with. He can also make glue out of tree sap, create an antidote for pretty much any jungle poison and regenerate transistor-radio batteries after they've been swallowed by a fish.

Gilligan's Island TV Schedule

October 12
Beauty Is As Beauty Does
The castaways argue over which of the island's three women is the most beautiful.
The Little Dictator
The quiet island gets another visitor: the exiled President Rodriguez. Guest Star: Nehemiah Persof
Smile, You're On Mars Camera
A rocket lands on the lsland and is believed by scientists to have landed on Mars.
The Sweepstakes
Gilligan finds a winning South American lottery ticket worth $1 million, tax-free.
October 13
Quick Before It Sinks
The Professor measures the ocean's high water mark, and concludes that the island is rapidly sinking.
Castaway Pictures Presents
Gilligan discovers the hull of an old ship near the island.
Agonized Labor
Gilligan and the Skipper hear a radio broadcast detailing the collapse of the Howell financial empire.
Nyet, Nyet -- Not Yet
Two Russian cosmonauts, Ivan and Igor, land on Gilligan's Island.
October 14
Hi-Fi Gilligan
The Skipper accidentally hits Gilligan in the face with a crate.
The Chain Of Command
The Skipper, fearing something dreadful will happen to him, eyes a possible leader for his succession.
Don't Bug The Mosquitoes
Gilligan's favorite American singing group The Mosquitoes lands on the island.
Gilligan Gets Bugged
Gilligan is bitten by a large green and yellow bug.
Mine Hero
Gilligan fishes a World War II-era mine out of the lagoon.