Classic Movie Hub (CMH)

Russell Johnson

Russell Johnson

Auditioned for the title role on the television series "Ben Casey" (1961), but lost out to actor Vince Edwards.

During the Second World War, enlisted to become an aviation cadet and rose to the officer's rank of First Lieutenant, under the service number 765 497. Flew as Bombadier in B-25 aircraft on a total of 44 combat missions over the Netherlands, East Indies, and the Phillipines. World War II decorations include the Bronze Star, Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with three service stars, Philippine Liberation Ribbon with one service star, and the World War II Victory Medal with Honorable Service Lapel Button. Earned his Purple Heart (for injuries during battle) when the B-24 Liberator bomber he was a crewman on was shot down during a bombing run against Japanese targets in the Philippine Islands in March of 1945.

Enlisted in the U.S. Army in November 1942. Was assigned the service number 13 154 406 and served for two years, before being discharged in January 1944 to accept a commission as an officer.

Immortalized by the obscure Canadian band Show Business Giants in their song, I Can't Get Russell Johnson Off My Mind, from their 1995 album Let's Have a Talk With the Dead.

Johnson and actress Dawn Wells are best known for their roles on the television series "Gilligan's Island" (1964), but they are also known for their ambiguous infamous reference "and the rest" in the show's original theme song. It was later to changed to "The professor and Mary Ann" after protests from the actors.

Johnson revealed on Surviving Gilligan's Island: The Incredibly True Story of the Longest Three Hour Tour in History (2001) (TV) that producers wanted him to take off his shirt during the screen test to determine his sex appeal, but he refused. The producers settled for a photo instead. [2001]

Known for narrating the long-running anime series, "Robotech" (1985).

Served for over twelve years as an officer of the Air Force, first as an active duty World War II bombadier (1944 - 1945) and then as an inactive member of the Officer Reserve Corps. Upon the creation of the U.S. Air Force, in the late 1940s, was augmented to the U.S. Air Force Reserve and briefly was a member of the 4th Air Reserve District in San Francisco. In 1953, became an inactive officer once again and recieved final discharge from the Air Force Reserve in August 1957.

Son David died of AIDS at age 39 on October 27, 1994. Before and especially since David's death, Johnson devotes a great deal his time to AIDS fund-raising.

Three children: two, David and Kim Johnson with his second wife, Kay Cousins Johnson; and one stepson, Courtney Dane, with his third wife, Constance Dane.

Was a member of the National Honor Society while in high school.

Was enrolled in a Hollywood drama school when he was spotted by Paul Henreid, who cast him in For Men Only (1952).

Was originally best known for playing character villains, but that changed dramatically after he played the Professor on "Gilligan's Island" (1964), which was the diametrically opposite type of character.

With the death of Bob Denver on September 2, 2005, he is the last surviving male cast member of "Gilligan's Island" (1964).

Writes with his left hand.