Alan Hale


Alan Hale Trivia


  • Trivia

    • After the cancellation of the TV sitcom Gilligan's Island, in which he starred, Alan continued to work steadily, but claimed he lost more roles than he won due to the typecasting his Gilligan's Island character, The Skipper, afforded him. In the last two decades of his life, Hale supplemented his acting income as part-owner of a successful West Hollywood restaurant, The Lobster Barrel. The popular eatery, which was in business for about 15 years during the 70s and 80s, was located on Hollywood's Restaurant Row (826 N. La Cienega Blvd. in Los Angeles, California). Alan often greeted customers wearing a skipper's cap like the one he wore as The Skipper during his Gilligan's Island stint. He would stroll through the restaurant greeting patrons, signing autograph cards, and even giving away several "Skipper" hats from time to time. After Hale's death in 1990, the restaurant became the location for The Shark Bar Restaurant, which proved to be an unsuccessful business venture.

    • At one time known professionally as Alan Hale Jr., Alan dropped the suffix "Jr." from his stage name after the death of his father, Alan Hale Sr., in 1950.

    • During an episode of Gilligan's Island, Alan accidentally ripped his pants straight down the seat–- into the camera. Co-star Bob Denver wanted the shot to be used, but Hale insisted not, since he wasn't wearing the Skipper's trademark boxer shorts with the hearts on them.

    • Out of all the cast members of the TV sitcom, Gilligan's Island, Alan was the most thrilled about the show's popularity. He loved his role as the Skipper so much that he wore his character's cap everywhere. He even called his wife "little buddy," just as the Skipper called Gilligan on the comedy series.

    • In the late 80s, Alan helped to promote and distribute Nulon, a Teflon-based engine lubricant from Australia.

    • Alan loved to tell long and involved stories with the corniest possible punch lines. He also told straight jokes. During his acting stint on the television comedy series, Gilligan's Island, he and co-star Jim Backus entertained a two-year joke telling contest that ended only when Hale's repertoire of jokes ran out.

    • Alan always wore an emerald and diamond pinky ring that belonged to his father. It can be seen in every episode of Gilligan's Island.

    • Everyone that knew Alan well called him Bud.

    • Alan contributed a family recipe ("Kansas Chicken and Dumplings") to fellow TV castaway Dawn Wells' 1993 cookbook, Mary Ann's Gilligan's Island Cookbook. Hale, whose Gilligan's Island character was the inspiration behind such included concoctions as, "Skipper's Coconut Pie," "Skipper's Navy Bean Soup," and "Skipper's Goodbye Ribeye,"can be seen depicted as Skipper Jonas Grumby in numerous photographs throughout the book.

    • Alan and his father, character actor Alan Hale, were scheduled to do an RKO movie together called Sword Point, but Alan's father suddenly died just before production began in 1950.

    • At one time, Alan Hale owned a travel agency.

    • Ironically, Alan played a character named Gilligan in an episode the 1960s television series, Batman.

    • Alan attended the infamous Hollywood High School in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles, California, whose graduates/attendees include such notables as Carole Lombard, Judy Garland, John Ritter, and Sarah Jessica Parker.

    • Alan was married to Naomi "Trinket" Hale from 1964 until his death in 1990. They had four children together: Brian, Chris, Lana, and Dorian.

    • Alan was a Coast Guardman in the U.S. Coast Guard in World War II.

    • Alan stood 6' 3" (190.5cm).

    • When Alan guest starred on the CBS action/adventure series, The Wild Wild West ("The Night of the Sabatini Death," Season 4, Episode 17,1969) his character Ned Brown's line declared he wanted to "relax on my own private desert island," an intentional reference to the CBS sitcom, Gilligan's Island, in which Hale starred as Jonas "The Skipper" Grumby from 1964 to 1967.

    • Alan's battle with thymus cancer in the late 80s resulted in a tremendous weight loss. When a young fan questioned him about his change in appearance, without any hesitation, Hale told the child he was playing the role of Gilligan in a new version of Gilligan's Island.

    • In 1962, Alan appeared in an installment of The Andy Griffith Show as Jeff Pruitt, a rough, backwoods bachelor who comes to Mayberry to find a wife. In the episode, he more than once refers to actor Don Knotts' character, Barney Fife, as "little buddy," a nickname Hale would later put to use while performing as his most popular and beloved character, The Skipper, on the CBS television sitcom Gilligan's Island (1964-1967). Not only did "little buddy" become the nickname for actor Bob Denver's Gilligan character, Alan also made it Denver's off set nickname as well.

    • Alan's sister, Karen Hale Wookey, was a script supervisor for such films as The Devil's Own, Romancing the Stone and The Witches of Eastwick.

    • The difficult search for someone who could combine gruff, forceful strength and gentleness and warmth to be cast in the role of the Skipper on Gilligan's Island ended for creator Sherwood Schwartz when he noticed Alan dressed in a Civil War calvary uniform in a restaurant just behind what use to be the back lot of Twentieth Century-Fox Studios, and offered him an audition.

    • Upon Alan's death, the U.S. Coast Guard offered a full military service at sea, but his wife declined. Honoring Hale's wishes, an intimate ceremony was held on a chartered boat, and with the assistance of the Neptune Society, his ashes were scattered on the Pacific Ocean. Dawn Wells, fellow Gilligan's Island cast member, who played homespun Mary Ann Summers, attended the services on behalf of the show.

    • Unlike Alan's fellow (male) cast members on the television sitcom, Gilligan's Island, Hale liked the way the show's Wardrobe Master dressed him, in particular, the skipper's cap he wore on and off the set, and later donated to charity.

  • Quotes

    • Alan: (addressing the creator of 'Gilligan's Island') Thank you, Sherwood Schwartz, for our great fun in doing the show, and for giving me the best friend I ever had, the Skipper.

    • Alan: (regarding 'Gilligan's Island,' the comedy series he appeared on from 1964 to 1967) Maybe it was broad comedy. Maybe it was farce. Maybe it was even slapstick. But all seven of us [cast members Bob Denver, Jim Backus, Natalie Shafer, Dawn Wells, Tina Louise, Russell Johnson and himself] were dead serious about the nonsense we portrayed.

    • Alan: (regarding 'Gilligan's Island) As for being cast as the Skipper, I'm a Pisces. That's a water sign. It's fate!

    • Alan: (about the classic comedy series 'Gilligan's Island' in which he starred from 1964 to 1967) I don't think there was a message at all. I think it was just a misnomer, "deserted island." We were there; it wasn't deserted. And who deserted it? Nobody was there... The big thing about it was nonsense. Everybody has to have nonsense in their lives.

    • Alan: (about his character on 'Gilligan's Island' and the relationship he shared with fellow cast member Bob Denver's character) The Skipper lent himself to certainly being a nice fellow, a bumbling fellow, of course. He had a perfect foil in Gilligan, but dearly loved Gilligan. They were really good friends. Between the two of them, nothing ever seemed to dovetail. The only thing that did dovetail was their lasting friendship. They really were fond of each other.

    • Alan: Reality is determined not by what scientists or anyone else says or believes, but by what the evidence reveals to us.