Gilligan's Island Professor dies | War hero Russell Johnson was 89

Gilligan's Island Professor dies

War hero Russell Johnson was 89

Russell Johnson, who played The Professor in the classic American sitcom Gilligan’s Island has died at age of 89.

Johnson – who was a World War Two flying ace before turning to acting – died of kidney failure at his home in Washington, his agent confirmed.

His wife Constance told ABC News: '[He was] a very brave guy who knew what he wanted, and he wanted to be at home'

Dawn Wells, who played Mary Ann in the show, wrote on her Facebook page: 'My heart is broken. Russell was a true gentleman, a good father and a great friend.'

e was the last surviving male star from the classic sitcom, which charted the adventures of seven castaways on a deserted island for 98 episodes between 1964 and 1967.

His character, a high school science teacher Roy Hinkley, built gadgets such as a coconut radio out of junk found on the island – although Johnson later joked that the one thing he never figured out was how was to fix the leaky boat so the group could escape.

Johnson was a real-life castaway in the Philippines in 1945 when his B-25 bomber was shot down. He broke both ankles during the mission and was awarded the Purple Heart.

Here is Johnson discussing his role in the show.

Published: 16 Jan 2014

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