Russell Johnson, beloved by many as Professor Roy Hinkley on Gilligan’s Island, passed away January 16th at the age of 89. While he’s best remembered as the Professor, he was a well known character actor long before he landed his iconic role. He could be seen in westerns and sci-fi tv shows and movies, most notably This Island Earth (1955), It Came From Outer Space (1953), and The Twilight Zone.
Before he became an actor, Johnson enlisted in the Army Air Corps and served as a bombardier in 44 missions. During his service in WWII, he earned several medals, including a Bronze Star, Good Conduct Medal, and Purple Heart. He continued to serve in the newly formed Air Force after the war in the Reserves until 1957.
Russell Johnson once said, “Old actors never die, they don’t even fade away. They’re always available.” His words are very true. We will continue to enjoy Russell’s performances over and over again. New generations will discover his work. His legacy will live as long as humans seek entertainment and a good story.