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How Each Gilligan’s Island Cast Member Died

Gilligan’s Island is one of the most classic sitcoms to ever grace American television. It was produced and created by Sherwood Schwartz, an accomplished television producer who was also behind The Brady Bunch. However, Gilligan’s Island is probably considered the crowning jewel of his work. The show first aired on September 26th, 1964, and ran for three seasons until it was cancelled on April 17th, 1967. Despite the show’s charm and wit that had endeared American audiences from the moment it first aired, it was quietly cancelled due to declining ratings and moving time slots on CBS.

The show followed seven characters sailing on a boat called the SS Minnow. Five passengers boarded the SS Minnow to take a three hour tour from the island of Honolulu, courtesy of the ship’s two man crew. However, they were caught up in a typhoon, which caused the ship to become stranded on a desert island.

Each episode of Gilligan’s Island follows the desperate castaways as they attempt to find a way off the wretched island. The zany cast of characters are so different from one another that they get involved in all sorts of crazy arguments and other shenanigans. As all of the castaways band together in an attempt to flee the island and return to civilization, they are always unsuccessful due to Gilligan’s careless nature.

The show was very popular during the time it ran, but after it was cancelled, audiences grew even more in love with the show as it ran in syndication. Today, longtime fans of the show can still watch Gilligan’s Island on television for a burst of nostalgia and a lot of laughs.

The show became so popular that it even inspired two different board games: The Gilligan’s Island Game and The New Adventures of Gilligan. In 1965, a company called Topps also released a set of trading cards based on the show, and a Gilligan’s Island themed pinball machine was also released in 1991. The show remained popular for so long that a video game called The Adventures of Gilligan’s Island was even released in 1990.

The lovable ensemble cast of Gilligan’s Island is what made the show so memorable. All of them have gone down in history for the part they played in such a beloved show. Sadly, today, all but one of the original cast members have died from one cause or another. In today’s video, we’re going to take a look at the death of each Gilligan’s Island cast member, as well as the legacy they left behind. Make sure you stick around, because we’re also going to reveal the tragic reason why the main actor of the show died.

Gilligan’s Island is a dearly beloved show, but because it aired so long ago, nearly the entire cast has died from old age, illness, and other complications. Were you more surprised to learn that Dawn Wells died from COVID-19, or that Tina Louise is still alive and healthy, even at age 86? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to subscribe to Facts Verse for more!

Dawn Wells

For a long time, actress Dawn Wells was among the two final surviving cast members of Gilligan’s Island. Dawn Wells is famous for playing the role of Mary Ann, a sweet but hard working farm girl who certainly pulled her weight on the island. Dawn Wells first majored in chemistry, but later found a passion for theatre. While attending college in 1959, she won the title of Miss Nevada, and represented the state during the Miss America beauty pageant. After that, she went on to guest star in a large number of television shows, including Love Boat, The Wild Wild West, and Fantasy Island. Still, Dawn Wells is best known for her role in Gilligan’s Island.

Tragically, however, Dawn Wells contracted COVID-19 at age 82, and she died from the terrible virus on December 30th, 2020. The nation was shocked and saddened to learn about her death, but she will always be remembered for the amazing talent she brought to the beloved sitcom Gilligan’s Island.

Bob Denver

Bob Denver was an amazing actor who was known for playing rather unique characters. While he is certainly best known for playing the titular character in Gilligan’s Island, he was also revered for portraying the beatnik character Maynard G. Krebs in the sitcom The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. Originally, Bob Denver did not intend to become an actor. After graduating, he actually became a teacher at Corpus Christi School, a Roman Catholic elementary school. There, he taught math and physical education. In 1957, he made his television debut on an episode of The Silent Service. From there, he continued to act in television until he finally landed a role in The Many Lives of Dobie Gillies. After that, he won the lead role in Gilligan’s Island.

Sadly, many years after the beloved sitcom ended, Bob Denver’s long life of smoking caught up with him. He contracted throat cancer and died of complications from the illness on September 2nd, 2005, when he was 70 years old.

Alan Hale Jr.

Alan Hale Jr. is known as both an actor and restaurateur. The role of Skipper in Gilligan’s Island is his most iconic role. While he did attempt to pursue other acting roles, he was so typecast as Skipper that it made it difficult for him to be cast in anything else. Still, he was content with his fame, and retired in 1988. Just two years later, however, he tragically died of thymus cancer on January 2nd, 1990, when he was 68 years old. The rest of the cast members mourned his death greatly.

While Alan Hale Jr. sadly died, there is still one cast member from Gilligan’s Island who is still alive! Make sure you stick around until the very end, because we’re going to reveal how the actor who played the popular character of Ginger is doing, even at age 86! And if you’re enjoying this video so far, please take a moment to like this video, and don’t forget to subscribe to Facts Verse for more!

Russell Johnson

Russell Johnson played the role of Professor Roy Hinkley. The intelligent Professor always found new ways for he and his fellow castaways to live comfortably on the deserted island until they were able to finally flee it. While Professor Roy Hinkley is probably Russell Johnson’s most iconic character, he is also well known for playing the role of Marshal Gib Scott in the Western television series Black Saddle. He also acted in two episodes of The Twilight Zone, and appeared in the show Outer Limits. After his success on Gilligan’s Island, he had moderate success as an actor in various films and television shows. He finally retired in 1997, and lived comfortably for over a decade. On January 16th, 2014, however, Russell Johnson died of kidney failure at age 89.

Jim Backus

Jim Backus was likely the most successful actor out of all the cast members of Gilligan’s Island. While many of the other actors were well suited to their roles in Gilligan’s Island, they had difficulty continuing their career after the show ended. Jim Backus, however, had a long and prolific acting career. He was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960, and was well known for playing roles in films and television shows such as Rebel Without a Cause, Mr. Magoo, and The Alan Young Show. He was even granted his own television show, The Jim Backus Show, although it only lasted for one season. Among his acting accomplishments, he was also a writer and co-author of several books.

Near the end of his life, Jim Backus suffered from Parkinson’s disease for many years. In 1989, he contracted pneumonia, which eventually took his life on July 3rd, when he was 76 years old.

Natalie Schafer

Natalie Schafer began her long career as an actress at a young age when she acted in numerous Broadway productions. After a time, she moved to Los Angeles in 1941, where she appeared in a large number of films. In 1964, she landed the role of Lovey Howell on Gilligan’s Island, a rich socialite married to Jim Backus’ character, Thurston Howell III. After Gilligan’s Island, she had no difficulty finding more success in the world of acting. She was active until 1990, when she retired due to a cancer diagnosis.

She died at age 90 on April 10th, 1991, due to liver cancer.

Tina Louise

Tina Louise is well known for playing the iconic role of Ginger, a spoiled but good looking Hollywood starlet. Sadly, she is the last surviving member of the entire Gilligan’s Island cast, but even at age 86, she is still continuing her career. Tina Louise hasn’t just worked as an actress, either. She has also performed as a singer and an author of a memoir, as well as two adorable children’s books. She ended her television career in 1999, but she still continues to act in films, with her most recent movie being the 2019 film Tapestry. While she’s certainly not as young as she once was, Tina Louise has made it clear that she intends to continue acting for a long time yet!

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