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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Farewell to TV's Iconic Characters, The Professor and Reuben Kincaid

Russell Johnson, who was featured in such Universal Pictures sci-fi classics as It Came from Outer Space (1953) and This Island Earth ('55) and is best known for his role as The Professor Roy Hinkley on the classic tv series, Gilligan's Island ('64 - '67), passed away on January 16 at the age of 89.

Discovered by actor Paul Henreid (Now Voyager, Casablanca), Johnson was a handsome and stalwart-looking character actor who, on Gilligan's Island, was constantly inventing ways for the castaways to get off the island, only to be foiled by the hapless Gilligan (Bob Denver). Another victim of his own success on tv, Johnson's career, as CNN puts it: "seemed stranded on its own island because of the popular sitcom role" he remained typecast as The Professor.

Dawn Wells (Mary Anne) and Tina Louise (Ginger) are now the show's last two surviving cast members.

Russell Johnson is survived by his third wife and their daughter. His son, a noted AIDS activist, died of AIDS in 1994. 

"He was 'just a positive and nice guy' who always treated people with respect, his agent said," CNN added. His death was sudden and a shock to his family and friends. He resided in Washington.

Dave Madden, who passed away in Florida the same day, is best remembered for his role on tv's The Partridge Family, portraying the Partridge's band manager, Reuben Kincaid. He also had a recurring role on CBS' Alice and also was a regular on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In. Madden was 82 and reportedly passed away due to congestive heart and kidney failure.

We wish a fond adieu to these two classic television icons. R.I.P.

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