Russell Johnson, who played “the professor” in the 1960s TV show Gilligan’s Island, has died at 89.
Johnson, who was born in Pennsylvania and served in World War II, where he was shot down over the Philippines, was best known for his role as “the professor” on Gilligan’s Island.
One thing I did not know until now – the professor had a name! He was Professor Roy Hinkley. Get out of town. Wikipedia reports that Johnson was asked to take off his shirt while auditioning for the role – he refused.
Wikipedia also notes that Johnson lost a son to complications of HIV/AIDS in 1994, and up until that time was a full-time volunteer for AIDS research fundraising (another thing I never knew).
This is a quite interesting short about Russell as the professor, apparently he wasn’t originally cast for the show, and his character was different too.