TV star deaths: Gilligan's Island's Russell Johnson, Partridge Family's Dave Madden

Actor Russell Johnson, best known for portraying the Professor on the TV series Gilligan's Island, has died at age 89.

He died of kidney failure in his home in Washington state on Thursday (January 16).

Johnson starred in science fiction and western films before landing his trademark role on Gilligan's Island.

The Professor, who was one of seven castaways stranded on an island in the Pacific Ocean, was known for being able to transform materials found on the island (particularly coconuts and bamboo) into imitations of technological devices. In spite of this ability, he was unable, for some reason, to create means that would help them leave the island.

The handsome but asexual and unflappable character remained aloof to the advances from the Marilyn Monroe-esque Ginger (Tina Louise) and oblivious to the charms of the sweet Mary Anne (former Miss Nevada Dawn Wells).

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the show. Louise and Wells remain the only surviving cast members.

TMZ is also reporting that another TV star, Dave Madden, who portrayed band manager Reuben Kincaid on the 1970s show The Partridge Family, has died at age 82 of congestive heart and kidney failure in Florida on Thursday (January 16). 

Madden, who was born in Sarnia, Ontario, also had a recurring role on the 1970s and '80s sitcom Alice.

Comments (8) Add New Comment
James
Im pray for him
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Pat Crowe
The Professor was an Aspie.
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Jack Meoff
The Professor was a geek. He must have been from the Maritimes.
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Eugene
I still think of them from time to time, I think I always will.Goodbye.
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Gary
That was the first TV show I saw in Colour on a classmates Colour TV back in 1968 B.C. ( Before Cable) .
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Abe Stinkin
According to the feminist character in the movie "Dazed And Confused", Gilligan's Island is actually a male pornographic fantasy!
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John Roberts
Enjoyed watching him in Gillagan's - Pity he did not get many roles after that.
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D. Purdy
My grandfather flew bombers in WWII along with Russell.
He was a very nice man & will be missed greatly.
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