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Russell Johnson

Russell JohnsonAKA Russell David Johnson

Born: 10-Nov-1924
Birthplace: Ashley, PA
Died: 16-Jan-2014
Location of death: Bainbridge Island, WA
Cause of death: Natural Causes

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Actor

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: The Professor on Gilligan's Island

Military service: US Army Air Corps (WWII, 1942-45); US Air Force Reserve (1945-57, 1st Lt.)

Russell Johnson received poor grades in his youth, and was held back a year in school, but by adolescence he became motivated, began to study and take his education seriously, and by high school he was a member of the National Honor Society.

Johnson fought with the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II. He flew 44 combat missions as a crewman in B-24 Liberator bombers, and won seven decorations, including a Purple Heart for injuries sustained when his plane was shot down over the Philippines. When the war was over he joined the reserves, and used the GI Bill to fund his acting studies. By the 1960s, he was a well-established character actor whose credits include the science fiction classics This Island Earth and It Came From Outer Space.

He is best known as "The Professor" on Gilligan's Island. The sit-com ran only three seasons, but left its cast so closely identified with their roles it was hard for Russell to find work after the series ended. He wrote his memoirs of the show, a book titled Here on Gilligan's Isle. His son David ran the AIDS program for Los Angeles until his death of AIDS in 1994. Johnson was a full-time volunteer for AIDS research fundraising after his son was diagnosed, and until his death in 2014.

Wife: Kay Cousins Johnson (actress, writer, d. 20-Jan-1980)
Son: David (AIDS program coordinator for the city of Los Angeles, d. 1994 AIDS)
Daughter: Kimberly Johnson (actress)
Son: Courtney (stepson, from Dane's first marriage)
Wife: Constance Dane (actress, until his death)

    High School: Girard College, Philadelphia, PA

    Purple Heart B-24 Liberator downed in the Philippines

    Santa Barbara Roger Wainwright (1991)
    Gilligan's Island The Professor (1964-67)
    Black Saddle Marshal Gib Scott (1959-60)

    Off the Wall (Jul-1983)
    The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island (15-May-1981)
    The Castaways on Gilligan's Island (3-May-1979)
    Rescue from Gilligan's Island (14-Oct-1978)
    The Bastard (22-May-1978)
    The Ghost of Flight 401 (18-Feb-1978)
    MacArthur (30-Jun-1977) · Adm. King
    Horror at 37,000 Feet (13-Feb-1973)
    Vanished (8-Mar-1971)
    The Greatest Story Ever Told (15-Feb-1965) · Scribe
    A Distant Trumpet (27-May-1964)
    Badman's Country (2-Aug-1958) · Sundance
    The Space Children (Jun-1958)
    The Saga of Hemp Brown (1958) · Hook
    Rock All Night (Apr-1957)
    Attack of the Crab Monsters (10-Feb-1957)
    This Island Earth (1-Jun-1955) · Steve Carlson
    Strange Lady in Town (12-Apr-1955) · Shadduck
    Ma and Pa Kettle at Waikiki (Apr-1955)
    Many Rivers to Cross (23-Feb-1955) · Banks
    Black Tuesday (31-Dec-1954)
    Johnny Dark (22-Jun-1954)
    Ride Clear of Diablo (1954) · Jed Ringer
    Tumbleweed (Dec-1953) · Lam
    It Came from Outer Space (25-May-1953) · George
    Column South (20-May-1953) · Cpl. Biddle
    Law and Order (May-1953)
    Seminole (Mar-1953) · Lt. Hamilton
    Loan Shark (23-May-1952)
    The Tall Lie (11-Jan-1952)

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