Russell Johnson, Professor on 'Gilligan's Island,' Dead at 89 - 8 News NOW

Russell Johnson, Professor on 'Gilligan's Island,' Dead at 89

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Russell Johnson Russell Johnson

Russell Johnson, the actor who played Professor Roy Hinkley on "Gilligan's Island," has died, according to TMZ.com.

He died of natural causes at his home in Washington state, the website reported.

He was 89.

Johnson played the iconic role of Hinkley, whose scientific schemes to get the castaways rescued were always foiled by Gilligan's bumbling.

He died at his home in Washington, where he lived with his wife, Connie. She and their daughter, Kimberly, were at his side, said agent Mike Eisenstadt. Johnson is also survived by a stepson, Court, and a grandson, he said.

Johnson worked up until his death, signing autographs at public appearances over the holidays, said Eisenstadt. He called his death "unexpected."

He was "just a positive and nice guy," who always treated people with respect, his agent said.

His acting career began in the early 1950s with many jobs as a character actor on television. He played Marshal Gib Scott in two seasons of "Black Saddle," a western that ran in 1959 and 1960.

Johnson acted in dozens of television shows after the four seasons on "Gilligan's Island," but his career seemed stranded on its own island because of the iconic role of Professor Roy Hinkley.

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