Russell Johnson reported dead

Russell Johnson reported dead

There is no question that Russell Johnson is known to most people as “the Professor” on Gilligan’s Island.

It’s also fair to say that the Professor was a geek hero. It never seemed strange to us that someone would go on a three-hour tour…and take a stack of scientific books.

We certainly recognized the situations where the Professor knew the answer, but no one else seemed to understand it or engage with it.

Certainly, I can empathize with being able to whip up something highly technical out of coconuts and bamboo, but not being able to do something practical like fixing a boat. I’m sure there is more than one research lab doing cutting edge science that simply stopped using a door when it broke, because nobody was able to fix it.

However, geeks were well familiar with Russell Johnson before that iconic series. We knew him from It Came from Outer Space and This Island Earth. Even that only scratches the geeky surface.

Other geek-friendly credits include:

  • Adventures of Superman: Russell Johnson played “Chopper”, one of the bad guys, in Runaway Robot…which features another character named Professor Hinckle, close to Professor (Roy) Hinkley, Johnson’s Gilligan’s Island character
  • Attack of the Crab Monsters which, like many other Roger Corman movies, is stranger than the title would suggest
  • The Space Children, which also featured Jackie “Uncle Fester” Coogan
  • The Twilight Zone, in two episodes involving time travel. In one, he is a scientist who accidentally brings a murderer forward; in another, he travels back to the time of the Lincoln assassination
  • Thriller, in a house with haunted mirrors, based on a Robert Bloch story
  • The Outer Limits (killer plants are accidentally brought back from space)
  • The Invaders
  • The Horror at 37,000 Feet
  • Hitch Hike to Hell
  • The Ghost of Flight 401 (based on a book by John G. Fuller)
  • Wonder Woman
  • Beyond Westworld
  • MacGyver
  • ALF (one of the many times he basically reprises the Professor)
  • Robotech II: The Sentinels
  • Mathnet
  • Monsters (the TV series)
  • Hellbender (videogame from 1996)
  • Meego

Good-bye, Russell Johnson…we will always think of you as one of our own.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

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