Russell Johnson, the actor who portrayed “The Professor” on the beloved 60s sitcom Gilligan’s Island, has passed away. He appeared in many westerns and science fiction films before he landed the role he is best remembered for.
A statement released by his agent, Michael Eisenstadt, gives us more detail about what happened.
"[Johnson] died at 5:21 am of natural causes at home in Washington state," agent Michael Eisenstadt said, adding that Johnson's wife and his daughter were at his side.
Gilligan's Island, which was created by producer Sherwood Schwartz, ran for three seasons on the CBS network, from 1964 to 1967, and attracted even more popularity in syndication.
"I worked with him for over 20 years. He was a gentleman, a great guy and a family man, an iconic figure," Eisenstadt said. "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."
According to Yahoo Entertainment News, actress Dawn Wells, who played the perky Mary Ann Summers in the show, posted a photograph on Facebook of herself along with Johnson and Bob Denver, who starred as the zany Gilligan and died in 2005.
"My 2 favorite people are now gone. The Professor past [sic] away this morning. My heart is broken," she wrote.
The show followed four men and three women stranded on a tropical island, after being shipwrecked on the SS Minnow. Johnson, a decorated World War II veteran, a bombardier on a B-24 Liberator shot down over the Philippines in 1945, played "Professor Roy Hinkley," simply called "The Professor."
Red Tea News sends out its condolences to the family and friends of Russell Johnson.