First Mate Gilligan and The Skipper, along with five passengers of the S.S. Minnow are shipwrecked on an island. Each comedic episode finds the crew and passengers trying to get off of the island and it never works. Gilligan’s Island ran from 1964 to 1967 with 99 episodes.
Gilligan: Bob Denver (b. January 9, 1935-d. September 2, 2005) Passed away at 70 years old.
Gilligan was a goofy, loveable character that was accident prone and a klutz. His first name on the show, although it was hardly ever heard, was Willy. Bob Denver played the part of Gilligan and after the show ended he acted in several television shows and movies. He performed in “The Good Guys”, “Love American Style”, “Dusty’s Trail”, “Far Out Space Nuts” and “The Wackiest Wagon Train in the West”. Denver and his wife Dreama, ran an oldies radio station and he frequently made public appearances. Denver underwent quadruple bypass surgery in May of 2005. Soon after, he was diagnosed with throat cancer. He died in September of that same year from the cancer and pneumonia and his body was cremated.
The Skipper: Alan Hale, Jr. (b. March 8, 1921-d. January 2, 1990) Passed away at 69 years old.
The skipper actually had a name on the show. His name was Jonas Grumby. The Skipper would always get angry at Gilligan on the show, but by the end of the episode, Gilligan was always his “little buddy” again. After playing the role of the skipper, Alan Hale, Jr. continued his acting career and played many guest roles on television. He appeared on the CBS comedy, “The Good Guys” for two years. Hale owned a restaurant and a travel agency. He wore a skipper’s cap most of the time and then he would donate them to charities. Hale died in 1990 from thyroid cancer and his ashes were scattered at sea.
Thurston Howell III: Jim Backus (Feb 25,1913-July 3,1989) Passed away at 76 years old.
Thurston Howell III was the stuffy millionaire shipwrecked on the island with his wife. After Gilligan’s Island ended, Jim Backus appeared in many television shows and movies. He was also the famous voice of Mr. Magoo. Backus co-wrote humorous books with his wife Henny, co-wrote the 1971 film, “Mooch Goes To Hollywood” and wrote his autobiography in 1984, called Backus Strikes back. He starred in television commercials for General Electric and La-Z-Boy furniture. In the 1980s, he and Natalie Schafer, his wife on Gilligan’s Island, starred in an Orville Redenbacher Popcorn commercial together. Backus was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and lived with this disease for several years. He died in 1989 due to complications from pneumonia. He is buried at Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles, California.
Mrs. Lovey Howell: Natalie Schafer (November 5,1900-April 10,1991) Passed away at 91 years old.
Eunice “Lovey’ Wentworth Howell was the prissy and ditzy wife of Thurston Howell III. Natalie Schafer had starred in many films before Gilligan’s Island and her roles were those of an elegant society woman. After her Gilligan days, Natalie made guest appearances on several television shows including “Mayberry RFD”, “The Brady Bunch” and “Phyllis”. She starred in the soap opera “Search for Tomorrow” in 1971 and 1972. In 1990, she starred in her last film, “I’m Dangerous Tonight”. Natalie died in 1991 from cancer and her ashes were scattered over the Pacific Ocean.
Ginger Grant: Tina Louise (b. Feb 11, 1934) 79 years old
Ginger, the movie star, sashayed around the island wearing her long gown, heels, perfectly applied makeup and coiffed hair. After Gilligan’s Island, Tina Louise continued working on Broadway, in television and in films. She appeared on the first season of Dallas and in many ABC and NBC movies. She co-starred with Brad Pitt in the 1991 movie, “Johnny Suede”. Tina received the TVLand Pop Culture Icon Award in 2004 and did voice over work in 2005. She volunteered as a teacher at a non-profit organization for school children in New York City. Tina has written many books, including a children’s book. She recorded an album and has exhibited her paintings at several art galleries. Tina has one daughter and lives in New York.
The Professor: Russell Johnson (b. November 10, 1924-January 16, 2014) at 89 years old
The Professor had a name too; it was Roy Hinkley. The Professor spent most of his time trying to fix the radio. After Gilligan’s Island, Russell Johnson appeared in many television shows including “Gunsmoke”, “Ironside”. “Lassie” and “The Invaders”. He starred in the “Vanished” miniseries and on the “Santa Barbara” soap opera. For many years, Johnson has volunteered his time raising funds for AIDS research. His son David died from AIDS in 1994 at 39 years of age. Johnson is semi-retired and lives on Bainbridge Island in Washington State.
Mary Ann Summers: Dawn Wells (b. October 18, 1938) 75 years old
Everybody loved cute Mary Ann in her gingham blouse, shorts and pigtails. Dawn Wells hasn’t slowed down since her Gilligan Island days. She has performed in numerous theatrical productions, done voice overs, and starred in commercials for Western Union, Coca-Cola and Long John Silver’s. Later films include “Super Sucker”, “Forever for Now” and “Cyber Meltdown”. She founded an educational organization called the Idaho Film and Television Institute. Wells has her own clothing line for limited mobility people called Wishing Wells Collections and her own skin care line called Classic Beauty. She makes her home in Palm Springs, California.
JOKE OF THE DAY: I went for a run but came back after two minutes because I forgot something. I forgot I’m out of shape and can’t run more than two minutes.
HAPPY SEPTEMBER 3 BIRTHDAY TO: Charlie Sheen 48, Shaun White 27, Garrett Hedlund 29, Valerie Perrine 70, Chris Fountain 26, Steve Schirripa 56, Ashley Jones 37, Al Jardine 71, and Eileen Brennan (1932-2013).
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