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'Gilligan's Island' star Russell Johnson dies

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Russell Johnson, an actor who was known for playing Professor Roy Hinkley on the classic comedy series Gilligan’s Island, died Thursday at age 89.

CNN reported that the actor died at his home in Bainbridge Island, Washington. The cause of death, according to USA Today, was kidney failure.

"He died at home, peaceful, in his sleep at 5:21 am today," his wife, Connie, said. "(He was) a very brave guy who knew what he wanted, and he wanted to be at home."

Before Gilligan, Johnson served in World War II in the U.S. Army Air Forces.

By the start of the 1950s, he became an actor by paying for acting school with his G.I. Bill benefits. His career began in films such as the classics It Came From Outer Space (1953) and This Island Earth (1955) and television such as the western series Black Saddle, as well as appearances on such series as The Twilight Zone and Thriller.

Gilligan ran on CBS from 1964-1967. Johnson played the most intellectual of the seven castaways. His attempts to create gadgets to help the group get off the island were usually foiled by Gilligan’s bumbling.

He is also survived by his daughter Kimberly and his stepson Court.

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