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The Time Kurt Russell Appeared As A Teenage Boy On ‘Gilligan’s Island’

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Kurt Russell was only 13 when he played a young boy in the 19th episode of Gilligan’s Island season one in the mid-60s. The episode titled “Gilligan Meets Jungle Boy” shows Kurt as a mini Tarzan stranded on the Pacific Ocean who helps Gilligan and his crew find a natural gas mine on the Island.

Kurt began acting a year prior, after his debut on the Western series The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters which was followed by more roles in Now You See Him, Now You Don’t, The Strongest Man in the World, and Elvis in the late ‘70s, which earned him a Primetime Emmy nomination.

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Kurt Russell recalls juggling work and school while appearing on ‘Gilligan’s Island’

GILLIGAN’S ISLAND, Bob Denver, Kurt Russell, February 6, 1965.

Decades later, Kurt’s character in Gilligan’s Island is being displayed on the Today show in a 2017 episode, leading the 73-year-old actor to take a trip down memory lane. As he promoted his 2017 movie, The Fate of the Furious, Kurt said he remembered playing Jungle Boy just like yesterday. He could even still recall his lines well into his sixties, which were few anyway.

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Kurt also touched on his experience filming at the time, reminiscing on how he had to multitask and “handle yourself pretty quickly,” as he would get out of character and make for school right after. He added that Gilligan’s Island laid the foundation for some of his hilarious roles in the ensuing years.

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Kurt played characters similar to Jungle Boy in Disney comedies such as The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes and The Barefoot Executive as part of his decade-long contract with Walt Disney productions. Walt Disney himself saw potential in Kurt, who would eventually meet his long-term partner, Goldie Hawn, on the set of 1968’s The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band.

Kurt Russell, 1967

After multiple acting and directing credits in numerous Hollywood hits, Kurt received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2017, alongside his equally successful lover, Goldie. Per retirement, Kurt appears to be less taken to the spotlight, especially after Netflix’s Christmas Chronicles 2; he now enjoys family life with Goldie and their grandchildren in Los Angeles.

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