'Gilligan's Island' Star Russell Johnson Dies at 89
Actor Russell Johnson who played Professor on 1960s sitcom "Gilligan's Island" has passed away. According to his agent Michael Eisenstadt, Johnson died on Thursday, January 16 surrounded by his wife and daughter. "He died at 5:21 A.M. of natural causes at home in Washington state," Eisenstadt said, as quoted by Reuters. He was 89.
"I worked with him for over 20 years. He was a gentleman, a great guy and a family man, an iconic figure. In the history of television 'Gilligan's Island' was one of the most re-run shows. He'll be missed. He was old-time Hollywood," Eisenstadt continued.
Actress Dawn Wells who played girl-next-door Mary Ann Summers alongside the late actor on the popular show also took to Facebook to announce the sad news. "My 2 favorite people are now gone. The Professor [passed] away this morning. My heart is broken," she wrote on Thursday afternoon. Wells attached a photo of her posing together with Johnson and Bob Denver who passed away in 2005. "Russell was a true gentleman, a good father, a great friend, and 'the rest.' I love him and shall miss him. My heart goes out to Connie and his daughter Kim. I love you," she added.
Johnson was born on November 10, 1924, near Wilkes-Barre, Pa. as the oldest of six. He made debut in big screen in 1952 with "For Men Only". His other movie credits included 1953's "Law and Order", Ray Bradbury's 1953 flick "It Came From Outer Space" and 1955's "This Island Earth". Later in his career, he made appearances on TV series such as "Black Saddle", "Mannix", "Cannon", "Lou Grant" and "The Twilight Zone".
Johnson is survived by his third wife Constance Dane, his daughter Kim and a stepson. His son David passed away of AIDS at the age of 39 in 1994.
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