Gilligan’s Island was one of those classic sitcoms everyone seemed to love. It was set around five passengers, a patron, and a first assistant who set out to do a “three-hour tour.” Unfortunately, the boat wrecked and they got stuck on an island.
The show starred Bob Denver (Gilligan), Alan Hale Jr. (The Skipper), Jim Backus (Thurston Howell III), Natalie Schafer (Lovey Howell), Russell Johnson (The Professor), Tina Louise (Ginger), and Dawn Wells (Mary Ann). Learn more about their careers after the show ended.
Bob Denver (Gilligan)
He played the lovable and often gullible Gilligan. Bob Denver got his big break in Hollywood with a starring role in The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis In which he played the very first beatnik of American television, the legendary Maynard G. Krebs. The show was revolutionary at the time because no other program had teenagers as its leads. It also provided a hurdle for Bob however, Legendary Gilligan creator Sherwood Schwartz wanted a stumbling innocent type which Maynard wasn’t. Thankfully when the two met, Bob was able to prove his lovability.
He was also well-known for The Good Guys and Dusty’s Trail. Bob also played Gilligan or himself as a guest star in many series over the years. Later, he found his footing as a radio personality. Through it all, Denver and his wife Dreama tried to give back through their Denver Foundation, which gave funds to families with special needs. What an admirable legacy. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2005 at the age of 70 from pneumonia.
Alan Hale Jr. (The Skipper)
He played Captain Jonas Grumby, mainly called The Skipper. He was the owner and captain of the boat and was very tough, but had a soft side. After the popularity of the show, he opened up a restaurant in Los Angeles called The Lobster Barrel.
He was also a guest star on many shows like ALF and Simon & Simon, frequently as the Skipper character. He sadly died in 1990 after battling cancer. He was 68.
Jim Backus (Thurston Howell III)
One problem that even money can’t solve, getting stranded on an island. Thurston Howel III found that out the hard way. He played a rich man that realized that he couldn’t use his money to get off the island. He is also known for voicing the character Mr. Magoo. Throughout the ‘30s and ‘40s, you’d be more likely to hear Backus on the radio, thats where he developed his popularity. But His voice became even more famous in 1949 thanks to his role as Mr. Magoo. He couldn’t know this at the time, but there were a few similarities between Magoo and Thurston Howell III. Both were painfully rich but STILL got into mischief their money couldn’t fix. For Thurston, it was usually Gilligan’s fault. For Magoo, it was from being the most nearsighted human in history. Change your prescription, Mr. Magoo!
Jim also appeared in Rebel Without a Cause, playing James Dean‘s character’s father. He also starred in Don’t Bother to Knock with Marilyn Monroe. Off the set and onto the green, Backus was an excellent golfer. Later in life, Backus became an author – he even wrote an autobiography with his wife, Forgive Us Our Digressions. He also died of pneumonia in 1989 at the age of 76.
Read onto the NEXT page for more about the cast of Gilligan’s Island!