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HINKLEY,  Roy, Jr. Dr. (PH.D.)
(Gilligan's Island)
Uncharted Island
Somewhere in the South Pacific
[300 miles southeast of Hawaii]

Roy, a.k.a. "The Professor," is a high school science teacher. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, he is single, level-headed, a bookworm and in control of his emotions. Roy became a noted Boy Scout leader [the youngest Eagle Scout in Cleveland] and received six degrees (all by the age of 25) including a B.A. from USC, a B.S. from UCLA, an M.A. from SMU and a Ph.D from TCU .

Russell Johnson as Professor Roy Hinkley on GILLIGAN'S ISLAND
Professor Roy Hinkley

His areas of expertise are agriculture, astronomy, biology, botany, chemistry, chess, dentistry, geography, law, marine biology, physics, psychology and zoology. His favorite dessert is halibut and kumquat sauce.

In September 1964, Roy was shipwrecked after his three hour sightseeing tour on the S.S. Minnow got marooned on an uncharted tropic island. Roy’s castaway companions included the boat’s Captain Jonas “Skipper” Grumby, First Mate Gilligan; millionaire Thurston Howell, the Third; his wife, Lovey; Hollywood movie star Ginger Grant and country girl, Mary Ann Summers.

"I have an idea that may well be instrumental in securing for us deliverance from our enforced isolation."

Living on a uncharted desert island with no phone, no lights, no motor cars, not a single luxury, the Professor's keen scientific wit often assisted the castaways in creating devices that made their life on the island easier and enhanced their chances for survival. To regenerate electricity for their transistor radio, the Professor designed a coconut shell battery recharger.

Other gadgets created by the Professor included a bamboo lie detectors; a bamboo telescope, a geiger counter, a telegraph and a pedal-powered washing machine, water pump, and sewing-machine.

The cast of GILLIGAN'S ISLAND
The Professor (left) and the rest of the Castaways

Roy was just beginning to work on his next book "Fun With Ferns" when the S.S. Minnow shipwrecked. Putting that project aside, he began instead to keep a diary of his experiences. When Gilligan asked the Professor what he was doing he said "I'm making notes for a book. It's to be a chronicle of our adventures on the island...I think it's a book people will buy, don't you?" Gilligan enthusiastically replied "Sure, I'll buy one. I'm dying to find out what happens to us."

Other texts in the Professor's island library included "World of Facts; Integrated Calculus" by Zimmerman; "The History of Tree Surgery and notes for Rust-The Real Red Menace" (a book he hoped to write).

Strangely, with all of his know-how the Professor just couldn’t rebuild or effectively repair the SS. Minnow. He once created a glue out of tree sap to hold fast the boards that repaired the damage to the Minnow, but at the last minute the glue failed.

In the areas of sex, love and romance the Professor wasn't very effective. He'd rather fiddle with his experiments than become romantically involved with the two single women on the lsland, namely Ginger Grant, the gorgeous, full-figured Hollywood movie star (36-25-36) and Mary Ann Summers, a demure farm girl from Horners Corners, Kansas.

In general, the professor considered the girls as friends and treated them with only respect. No leers and sneers from this former Boy Scout. Of course, once in a dream, the Professor garbed as an unkempt, beggar promised that he would turn into a Prince if only the beautiful Mary Ann would kiss him. But when she kissed him and nothing happened, the Professor cackled "Well, don't believe everything your hear, Girlie!"

While the Professor's skills with the ladies needed some work, his ability to speak the local island languages (Marubi, Papuan, and Katubi) were quite impressive and always came in handy when negotiating with natives who happened upon the island or when interpreting native archeological artifacts.

In October 1978, the Professor and his fellow castaways got off their island but lashing their huts together and riding a tidal wave into the waiting hands of the Coast Guard who returned them to Hawaii.

Unfortunately, several months later, on the maiden voyage of the SS Minnow II, a storm once again shipwrecked the Professor and all the original castaways back on the same island from which they just escaped.

Luckily, a year later, the Professor discovered an old World War II airplane on the island and salvaged enough parts to build a workable aircraft that flew the castaways to freedom.

However, after living for such a long time as a close knit group, the Professor and the former castaways became homesick for the island life. But never fear. The ultra-wealthy Mr. Howell purchased the island and built a tropical resort called The Castaways where the Skipper, first mate Gilligan, Mr. Howell, his wife, Lovey, Ginger, the movie star; the Professor and Mary Ann lived happily ever after.

TRIVIA NOTE: Born November 10, 1924, in Ashley, Pennsylvania Russell David "Russ" Johnson joined the Army Air Corps in World War II, and earned the Purple Heart when his B-25 Mitchell twin-engine medium bomber was shot down in the Philippines during a bombing run in March, 1945. He returned stateside and pursued a career in acting where he appeared in a number of westerns and such classic science fiction films as It Came From Other Space (1953) and This Island Earth (1955).

The 5' 10'' actor also reprised his role as the Professor on the TV movies Rescue from Gilligan's Island (1978); The Castaways on Gilligan's Island (1979); The Harlem Globetrotter's on Gilligan's Island (1981) and provided the Professor's voice on the spin-off Saturday cartoon series THE NEW ADVENTURES OF GILLIGAN (1974-77) and GILLIGAN'S PLANET (1982-83) where the Professor and friends were stranded on a distant planet.

In a 1992 comic strip "The New Breed" by Chris Ramras, the Professor is seen writing in his secret diary. "This place is an island paradise! TWO gorgeous women...and I'm the local stud!...The others actually believe I can build a radio, generator, housing but not a boat! LOSERS!"

In 2001, Michael Wiseman played Russell Johnson in the bio pic  Surviving Gilligan's Island: The Incredibly True Story of the Longest Three Hour Tour in History. The 100 minute TV-Movie  used younger actors to recreate the filming of the original series. Archive footage of the original stars was also used. 

In 2004, a reality series called THE REAL GILLIGAN'S ISLAND selected participants to recreate the roles of castaways from the classic 60's TV series. Tiy-e Muhammad (Orange Team) and Andrew Schuler (Green Team) played the role of The Professor.

Currently, Russell Johnson, the original "Professor" lives on Bainbridge Island in Washington State. He maintains his own internet website at http://www.russell-johnson.com/

Side Note: TV Acres initially reported the wrong type of WWII plane in the above summary, but The Professor himself emailed our site on Friday, 20 Jun 2003 09:58:38 and kindly said "Jerome, many thanks for your TV Acres.....very nice....one correction.....my airplane in WW2 was a B25 Mitchell twin engine medium bomber.....NOT a B24 liberator....great job, Jerome......Russell Johnson" TV Fans, I want you to know that as of this moment, I can now die and go to heaven for the Professor has spoken to me...and it was good.


GILLIGAN'S ISLAND/CBS/1964-67

Bob Denver as Gilligan
Alan Hale Jr as Skipper Jonas Grumby
Jim Backus as Thurston Howell III
Natalie Schafer as  Mrs. 'Lovey' Howell
Tina Louise as  Ginger Grant
Russell Johnson as  Roy Hinkley Jr., PH.D.
Dawn Wells as  Mary Ann Summers


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