Actor Russell Johnson, best known for playing The Professor on Gilligan’s Island, has died. He was 89. His longtime agent Mike Eisenstadt told Deadline that Johnson died this morning of natural causes at his home in Washington state. The Pennsylvania native had dozens of TV and film credits during his decades-long career, but it was as Professor Roy Hinkley in 1960s sitcom Gilligan’s Island for which he is best remembered. Johnson appeared on the show all three seasons it aired on CBS (1964-67). He reprised the role in The Castaways On Gilligan’s Island TV movie in 1979. Deadline recently reported that Warner Bros was planning a feature film based on the series.
Russell’s Hollywood career began in the early 1950s, with early roles mainly in westerns including 1953’s The Stand At Apache River and Tumbleweed and sci-fi pics such as It Came from Outer Space (1953), This Island Earth (1955), Attack Of The Crab Monsters (1956), and The Space Children (1958). His other TV credits include The Adventures Of Superman, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Twilight Zone, The Jeffersons, MacGyver, Fame and an episode of Newhart in which he was shown watching Gilligan’s Island. Johnson’s other film credits include MacArthur, The Great Skycopter Rescue, The Greatest Story Ever Told and Off The Wall.