Classic TV’s Favorite Little Buddy: Everything You’d Want to Know About ‘Gilligan’s Island’ Star Bob Denver

Fourteen years to the day after his passing on September 2, 2005, it’s important to remember that there was so much more to Bob Denver than the bumbling Gilligan (of Gilligan’s Island). At the same time, from the point of view of pop culture history, it almost doesn’t matter, because it’s still rarer than you might think for an actor to inhabit a role so completely that he really captures the public’s imagination, and lives on far beyond the run of whatever that show might be.

Think about it: Gilligan’s Island, that bit of Classic TV, ran for only three seasons back in 1964-67. Three years worth of episodes. That’s it. Yet here we are over half a century after it finished its original run, and all of us know Gilligan, the Skipper, too; the Millionaire and his wife; the movie star, and the rest (uh, sorry….the professor and Mary Ann) — and that theme song that is no doubt now playing out in your head —as though the show just went off the air last season.

But even with all of that in mind, Bob Denver is deserving of us taking a moment to look back at some of his other achievements beyond Gilligan. From 1959 to 1975, he starred in a total of five TV series, and — as you’re about to see — had a career that stretched beyond the small screen, though we imagine it was still the place he liked to call home.

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