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Look at Lives of 'Gilligan's Island' Cast Almost 6 Decades after the Show First Aired

Christell Fatima M. Tudtud
Aug 01, 2022
02:50 P.M.
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In the 1960s, a show that chronicled the lives of seven men and women trying to survive on a previously uninhabited island captivated viewers. Here's what we know about the "Gilligan's Island" cast after the show ended.

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The show "Gilligan's Island" aired from 1964 till 1967 and was regarded as one of the most popular shows at the time. Throughout its 98-episode run, the sitcom drew millions of viewers.

It helped establish the careers of its stars, notably Bob Denver, Jim Backus, and Tina Louise, so fans are curious about the lives of the actors and actresses who appeared on the show.

A promotional portrait of the cast of "Gilligan's Island" in the 1960s. | Source: Getty Images

A promotional portrait of the cast of "Gilligan's Island" in the 1960s. | Source: Getty Images

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BOB DENVER AS GILLIGAN

Bob Denver played the show's titular character, Gilligan. Before making it big in the entertainment industry, he worked as a mailman and teacher. He made his breakthrough after being chosen for the role of Maynard G. Krebs.

After four years on "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis," Denver landed his most famous role as Gilligan. After leaving the island, he appeared in the comedy films "The Good Guys," "Love, American Style," and "Dusty's Trail."

He reprised his role as Gilligan in TV movies and the animated series "New Adventures of Gilligan" and "Gilligan's Planet," providing his voice for the character and the original cast.

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Bob Denver poses in costume as Gilligan in the television situation comedy " Gilligan's Island" in 1965. | Source: Getty Images

Bob Denver poses in costume as Gilligan in the television situation comedy " Gilligan's Island" in 1965. | Source: Getty Images

He eventually relocated to Princeton, West Virginia, where he worked as a radio presenter alongside his wife. Denver had four children from four marriages.

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Denver passed away in 2005, at the age of 70, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, while receiving cancer treatment at Wake Forest University Baptist Hospital.

Bob Denver attend the 2nd Annual TV Land Awards on March 7, 2004, at The Hollywood Palladium in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images

Bob Denver attend the 2nd Annual TV Land Awards on March 7, 2004, at The Hollywood Palladium in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images

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ALAN HALE, JR. AS JONAS 'THE SKIPPER' GRUMBY

Alan Hale, Jr. portrayed Jonas "The Skipper" Grumby. The son of famed actor Alan Hale, he was thrust into the limelight as a baby. Hale was just a newborn when he made his film debut.

Later in his career, he starred in such films as "Up Periscope" (1959), "The Lady Takes a Flyer" (1958), and "The West Point Story" (1950). He made several guest appearances on television before taking his character on "Gilligan's Island."

Alan Hale, Jr. with Candy the chimpanzee, while on the set of the episode "Voodoo Something to Me" for "Gilligan's Island" on July 9, 1964. | Source: Getty Images

Alan Hale, Jr. with Candy the chimpanzee, while on the set of the episode "Voodoo Something to Me" for "Gilligan's Island" on July 9, 1964. | Source: Getty Images

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Hale continued acting after the series ended. He collaborated with co-star Denver in the two-year CBS sitcom "The Good Guys" (1968). Hale appeared in several movies in the years that followed.

Besides acting, Hale stayed in Hollywood and opened a restaurant. He was married twice and had four children. Hale battled thymus cancer until he passed away in 1990. He was 68.

Alan Hale Jr. on December 8, 1979. | Source: Getty Images

Alan Hale Jr. on December 8, 1979. | Source: Getty Images

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JIM BACKUS AS THURSTON HOWELL III

Jim Backus played Thurston Howell III on "Gilligan's Island." Backus, born in Cleveland, Ohio, on February 25, 1913, was one of the rare celebrities with a wide range of success in radio, Broadway, films, television, and even cartoons.

Backus was renowned for playing aristocratic characters, but he stunned fans in the 1955 film "Rebel Without a Cause" by playing James Dean's father, Frank Stark.

Jim Backus as Thurston Howell III during the "Home Sweet Hut" episode of "Gilligan's Island" on March 3, 1964. | Source: Getty Images

Jim Backus as Thurston Howell III during the "Home Sweet Hut" episode of "Gilligan's Island" on March 3, 1964. | Source: Getty Images

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He also gained prominence as the voice of the cartoon character Mr. Magoo in the same-named cartoon series in 1960. After his appearance on "Gilligan's Island, he remained out of the public eye.

He passed away due to pneumonia in July 1989, at age 76, in Santa Monica, California. He was married twice: first to Betty Kean from 1930 to 1942 and then to Henny Backus from 1943 until his death.

Jim Backus and his wife Henny outside Chasen's Restaurant on November 11, 1983, in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

Jim Backus and his wife Henny outside Chasen's Restaurant on November 11, 1983, in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

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NATALIE SCHAFER AS EUNICE "LOVEY" WENTWORTH HOWELL

Natalie Schafer played the aristocratic Eunice "Lovey" Wentworth Howell on "Gilligan's Island." Her career began on Broadway. Even before "Gilligan's Island," she was typecast in roles as a socialite or a fashionista.

Her role as Eunice "Lovey" Wentworth Howell wife of multi-millionaire Thurston Howell III, made her a sought-after actress. Following "Gilligan's Island," she appeared as a guest on other famous TV shows, such as "The Brady Bunch," "Mayberry RFD," and "Phyllis."

Natalie Schafer as Mrs. Lovey Howell on the set of the episode: "Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow" for the TV series "Gilligan's Island" pictured on May 15, 1966.  | Source: Getty Images

Natalie Schafer as Mrs. Lovey Howell on the set of the episode: "Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow" for the TV series "Gilligan's Island" pictured on May 15, 1966. | Source: Getty Images

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She also appeared on the CBS show "Search for Tomorrow." He married actor Louis Calhern in 1933, but the couple divorced two years later, in 1942. After a fight with cancer, Schafer died in Los Angeles in 1991 at the age of 90.

The "Gilligan's Island," was Dawn Wells' first-ever show in which she played Mary Ann Summers.

Natalie Schafer attends the opening of "Rumors" on July 12, 1990, at the Doolittle Theater in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images

Natalie Schafer attends the opening of "Rumors" on July 12, 1990, at the Doolittle Theater in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images

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RUSSELL JOHNSON AS PROFESSOR ROY HINKLEY

Russel Johnson played Professor Roy Hinkley. Before joining the cast, he was already an established actor, having been in many Westerns and sci-fi classics, such as "It Came from Outer Space" (1953) and "This Island Earth" (1955).

Johnson starred in several movies and TV shows after 'Gilligan's Island." He appeared in the TV movie "Vanished" and two episodes of "Dynasty" on ABC Network.

Russell Johnson as Professor Roy Hinkley in an episode of "My Hero" in "Gilligan's Island" TV series photographed on August 17, 1965.  | Source: Getty Images

Russell Johnson as Professor Roy Hinkley in an episode of "My Hero" in "Gilligan's Island" TV series photographed on August 17, 1965. | Source: Getty Images

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The veteran actor was also married three times: Edith Cahoon from 1943 to 1948; Kay Cousins Johnson from 1949 until she died in 1980; and Constance Dane from 1982 until Johnson died in 2014. Johnson passed away from kidney failure at age 89.

He had no children from Edith and Constance, but he shared two kids with Kay. Interestingly, he was an aviation cadet and first lieutenant during World War II before he embarked on his acting career.

Russell Johnson attends Dawn Wells's autograph signing of her new book "Mary Ann's Gilligan's Island Cookbook" on December 4, 1993, in West Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images

Russell Johnson attends Dawn Wells's autograph signing of her new book "Mary Ann's Gilligan's Island Cookbook" on December 4, 1993, in West Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images

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TINA LOUISE AS GINGER GRANT

Tina Louise became a household name as Ginger Grant on "Gilligan's Island." Louise was in her teens when she made a big splash on Broadway in the highly lauded box-office triumph "Li'l Abner," based on the famous comic strip character created by Al Capp.

The show was a big hit with critics and audiences alike, and Hollywood took notice of Louise, who went on to sign up for her first feature film, "God's Little Acre" (1958). Later she appeared in many more films, including "The Happy Ending" (1969) and "Dog Day" (1984).

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Instead of joining her co-stars in reprising their roles in spin-offs and sequels of "Gilligan's Island," Louise took a different career route, opting to play more serious roles.

Now 88, Louise is regarded as a television icon. She earned the coveted TVLand Pop Culture Icon Award in Los Angeles in 2004. She was previously married to Les Crane from 1966 until they split up in 1970. They have one child together.

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DAWN WELLS AS MARY ANN SUMMERS

The "Gilligan's Island" was Dawn Wells' first-ever show in which she played Mary Ann Summers. Although the series launched her career, Dawns said she never wanted to be famous.

Because she couldn't stand being unemployed, Wells decided to pursue a career in theater, and she went on to perform in over 66 plays after the series ended.

Dawn Wells as Mary Ann Summers for the episode "Two on a Raft" on the "Gilligan's Island" TV series on July 21, 1964. | Source: Getty Images

Dawn Wells as Mary Ann Summers for the episode "Two on a Raft" on the "Gilligan's Island" TV series on July 21, 1964. | Source: Getty Images

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In addition to her acting credits, Wells did voice-overs, advertising, and talk shows. She was also a producer on various television series. In 1998, Wells founded her acting school, Dawn Wells' Film Actors Boot Camp, located at Driggs, Idaho.

Aside from her work in the entertainment industry, Wells successfully created Wishing Wells Collection, a clothing line for persons with disabilities.

Dawn Wells visits Hallmark Channel's "Home & Family" at Universal Studios Hollywood on September 30, 2019, in Universal City, California. | Source: Getty Images

Dawn Wells visits Hallmark Channel's "Home & Family" at Universal Studios Hollywood on September 30, 2019, in Universal City, California. | Source: Getty Images

Unfortunately, she died in December 2020 as a result of COVID-19 complications. She was 82 years old. Her death devastated many followers since she had done many nice things for those dear to her heart.

The veteran actress was only married to Larry Rosen from October 1962 until 1967. She and her former husband never had children together.

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