If He Could Build a Nuclear Reactor Out of a Coconut…

…Why couldn’t he build a boat and get them off the island?

GilliagnAnother piece of my childhood has slipped away with the passing of Russell Johnson, who will always be The Professor to anyone who ever saw Gilligan’s Island. I didn’t know him (and no, we’re not related), but I did have the opportunity to interview him once, along with Bob Denver and Dawn Wells (Gilligan and Mary Ann, to the uninitiated). He was nice, funny, and everything else you would hope him to be.He did a lot more than Gilligan’s Island–including roles in This Island Earth and Twilight Zone–but he knew he would always be remembered for Gilligan and, unlike others, was perfectly happy with that.

Oh, and he did supply me with an answer to that question: “If I’d gotten them off the island, the show would have been over.”

Rest in peace, Russell Johnson.

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