'The Professor' From 'Gilligan's Island' Dies

January 16, 2014

Russell Johnson -- the actor who gained fame playing The Professor on the popular 60's comedy series Gilligan's Island -- has died at age 89.

The star's agent, Mike Eisenstadt, says Johnson died Thursday morning at his home in Washington State of natural causes. 

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Dawn Wells -- who played Mary Ann on the show -- reacted to the death of Johnson, whom she said had been in a hospice for a short period of time. "Russell was 100 percent a gentleman. A genuine, dear, wonderful man," Wells told ET. 

Johnson was a busy but little-known character actor when he was cast in Gilligan's Island, which followed seven people marooned on an uncharted Pacific island, during its run on CBS from 1964-1967. His character, high school science teacher Roy Hinkley, built generators and other gadgets out of scraps of junk found on the island.

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