Here’s What Happened to Alan Hale, Jr. Before, During and After Playing the Skipper on ‘Gilligan’s Island’

Pre-conceived notions are something that many actors have had to deal with over the course of their careers, casting people and producers having a pretty clear perception of who they are and how the audience will or will not accept them. In some ways, Alan Hale Jr. had it tougher than most. And not just because he was so closely identified with the character of the Skipper on Classic TV sitcom Gilligan’s Island (currently airing on the MeTV network), but also to do with the fact that he was the spitting image of his father, character actor Alan Hale, who he was so frequently compared to for so many years of his life.

“I can’t help it,” he proclaimed in frustration to the Daily News-Post and Monrovia News-Post in 1950. “I just act the way I know best. It’s not my fault if it comes out like Dad. You can’t live with a man for 21 years and not pick up some of the things he does. Actually, both of us act like my grandfather.” Alan added to The San Bernardino County Sun, “For a long time I was just a curiosity around Hollywood. Producers kept asking me if I was as good as my old man and I’d stand there looking dumb. Finally, I got mad. The next time a producer asked me the question, I said, ‘Of course I’m not as good as my father, you stupid goof!’ I haven’t had any trouble since then.”

In Closer Weekly’s exclusive look at the cast of Gilligan’s Island (which, of course, includes Bob Denver, Tina Louise, Dawn Wells and Jim Backus), producer Lloyd Schwartz comments, “He was always Alan Hale Jr. In fact, if you look at some photos, he and his father look very similar, but he didn’t have the notoriety that Alan Hale Sr. did until he got Gilligan’s Island. He adored the character of the Skipper, and not just because he was a very loving guy. It gave him an identity and he never took that hat off once he became the Skipper.”

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