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Russell Johnson, ‘Gilligan’ Professor, Has Died

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MARINA DEL REY, CA - FEBRUARY 3: (U.S. TABS AND HOLLYWOOD REPORTER OUT) Actor Bob Denver, Creator of 'Gilligan's Island' Sherwood Schwartz and Actor Russell Johnson are seen talking during the 'Gilligan's Island: The Complete First Season' DVD launch party on February 3, 2004 in Marina Del Rey, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images).

MARINA DEL REY, CA – FEBRUARY 3: (U.S. TABS AND HOLLYWOOD REPORTER OUT) Actor Bob Denver, Creator of ‘Gilligan’s Island’ Sherwood Schwartz and Actor Russell Johnson are seen talking during the ‘Gilligan’s Island: The Complete First Season’ DVD launch party on February 3, 2004 in Marina Del Rey, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images).

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NEW YORK (AP) — The actor who played “The Professor” on “Gilligan’s Island,” Russell Johnson, has died.

His agent, Mike Eisenstadt, says Johnson died Thursday morning at his home in Washington State of natural causes. He was 89.

Johnson was a busy but little-known character actor when he was cast in the slapstick 1960s comedy about seven people marooned on an uncharted Pacific island.

His character, high school science teacher Roy Hinkley, built generators and other gadgets out of scraps of junk found on the island. Johnson later joked that the one thing The Professor never figured out how to do was to fix the leaky boat so the group could get back to civilization.

During its three-season run on CBS, critics lambasted the show. But after its 1967 cancellation, it found generations of new fans in reruns and reunion movies.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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