HINKLEY, Roy, Jr. Dr.
Somewhere in the South Pacific
[300 miles southeast of Hawaii]
Roy, a.k.a. "The Professor," is a high
school science teacher. Born in Cleveland,
Ohio, he is single, level-headed, a bookworm
and in control of his emotions. Roy became a
noted Boy Scout leader [the youngest Eagle
Scout in Cleveland] and received six degrees
(all by the age of 25) including a B.A. from
USC, a B.S. from UCLA, an M.A. from SMU and
a Ph.D from TCU .
Professor Roy Hinkley
His areas of expertise are agriculture,
astronomy, biology, botany, chemistry, chess,
dentistry, geography, law, marine biology,
physics, psychology and zoology. His favorite
dessert is halibut and kumquat sauce.
In September 1964, Roy was shipwrecked after his
three hour sightseeing tour on the S.S. Minnow
got marooned on an uncharted tropic island.
Roy’s castaway companions included the boat’s
Captain Jonas “Skipper” Grumby, First Mate
Gilligan; millionaire Thurston Howell, the
Third; his wife, Lovey; Hollywood movie star
Ginger Grant and country girl, Mary Ann Summers.
"I have an idea that may well be instrumental
in securing for us deliverance from our enforced
Living on a uncharted desert island with no
phone, no lights, no motor cars, not a single
luxury, the Professor's keen scientific wit
often assisted the castaways in creating devices
that made their life on the island easier and
enhanced their chances for survival. To
regenerate electricity for their transistor
radio, the Professor designed a coconut shell
Other gadgets created by the
Professor included a bamboo lie detectors; a
bamboo telescope, a geiger counter, a telegraph
and a pedal-powered washing machine, water pump,
Professor (left) and the rest of the Castaways
Roy was just beginning to work on his next book
"Fun With Ferns" when the S.S. Minnow shipwrecked.
Putting that project aside, he began instead to
keep a diary of his experiences. When Gilligan
asked the Professor what he was doing he said
"I'm making notes for a book. It's to be a
chronicle of our adventures on the island...I
think it's a book people will buy, don't you?"
Gilligan enthusiastically replied "Sure, I'll
buy one. I'm dying to find out what happens to
Other texts in the Professor's island library
included "World of Facts; Integrated Calculus" by
Zimmerman; "The History of Tree Surgery and notes
for Rust-The Real Red Menace" (a book he hoped to
Strangely, with all of his know-how the
Professor just couldn’t rebuild or effectively
repair the SS. Minnow. He once created a glue
out of tree sap to hold fast the boards that
repaired the damage to the Minnow, but at the
last minute the glue failed.
In the areas of sex, love and romance the
Professor wasn't very effective. He'd rather
fiddle with his experiments than become
romantically involved with the two single women
on the lsland, namely Ginger Grant, the
gorgeous, full-figured Hollywood movie star
(36-25-36) and Mary Ann Summers, a demure farm
girl from Horners Corners, Kansas.
the professor considered the girls as friends
and treated them with only respect. No leers and
sneers from this former Boy Scout. Of course,
once in a dream, the Professor garbed as an
unkempt, beggar promised that he would turn into
a Prince if only the beautiful Mary Ann would
kiss him. But when she kissed him and nothing
happened, the Professor cackled "Well, don't
believe everything your hear, Girlie!"
While the Professor's skills with the ladies
needed some work, his ability to speak the local
island languages (Marubi, Papuan, and Katubi)
were quite impressive and always came in handy
when negotiating with natives who happened upon
the island or when interpreting native
In October 1978, the Professor and his fellow
castaways got off their island but lashing their
huts together and riding a tidal wave into the
waiting hands of the Coast Guard who returned
them to Hawaii.
Unfortunately, several months
later, on the maiden voyage of the SS Minnow II,
a storm once again shipwrecked the Professor and
all the original castaways back on the same
island from which they just escaped.
year later, the Professor discovered an old
World War II airplane on the island and salvaged
enough parts to build a workable aircraft that
flew the castaways to freedom.
However, after living for such a long time as a
close knit group, the Professor and the former
castaways became homesick for the island life.
But never fear. The ultra-wealthy Mr. Howell
purchased the island and built a tropical resort
called The Castaways where the Skipper, first
mate Gilligan, Mr. Howell, his wife, Lovey,
Ginger, the movie star; the Professor and Mary
Ann lived happily ever after.
TRIVIA NOTE: Born November 10, 1924, in Ashley,
Pennsylvania Russell David "Russ" Johnson joined
the Army Air Corps in World War II, and earned
the Purple Heart when his B-25 Mitchell
twin-engine medium bomber was shot down in the
Philippines during a bombing run in March, 1945.
He returned stateside and pursued a career in
acting where he appeared in a number of westerns
and such classic science fiction films as It
Came From Other Space (1953) and This Island
The 5' 10'' actor also reprised
his role as the Professor on the TV movies
Rescue from Gilligan's Island (1978); The
Castaways on Gilligan's Island (1979); The
Harlem Globetrotter's on Gilligan's Island
(1981) and provided the Professor's voice on the
spin-off Saturday cartoon series THE NEW
ADVENTURES OF GILLIGAN (1974-77) and
GILLIGAN'S PLANET (1982-83) where the Professor and
friends were stranded on a distant planet.
1992 comic strip "The New Breed" by Chris Ramras,
the Professor is seen writing in his secret
diary. "This place is an island paradise! TWO
gorgeous women...and I'm the local stud!...The
others actually believe I can build a radio,
generator, housing but not a boat! LOSERS!"
In 2001, Michael Wiseman played Russell Johnson
in the bio pic Surviving Gilligan's
Island: The Incredibly True Story of the Longest
Three Hour Tour in History. The 100
minute TV-Movie used younger actors to
recreate the filming of the original series.
Archive footage of the original stars was also
In 2004, a reality series called THE REAL
GILLIGAN'S ISLAND selected participants to
recreate the roles of castaways from the
classic 60's TV series. Tiy-e Muhammad (Orange
Team) and Andrew Schuler (Green Team) played the
role of The Professor.
Currently, Russell Johnson, the original
"Professor" lives on Bainbridge
Island in Washington State. He maintains his own
internet website at
Side Note: TV Acres initially reported the wrong
type of WWII plane in the above summary, but The
Professor himself emailed our site on Friday, 20
Jun 2003 09:58:38 and kindly said "Jerome, many
thanks for your TV Acres.....very nice....one
correction.....my airplane in WW2 was a B25
Mitchell twin engine medium bomber.....NOT a B24
liberator....great job, Jerome......Russell
Johnson" TV Fans, I want you to know that as of
this moment, I can now die and go to heaven for
the Professor has spoken to me...and it was
Thurston Howell III
|| Mrs. 'Lovey'
Hinkley Jr., PH.D.
Back to Top