Russell Johnson





Ashley, Pennsylvania, USA



Birth Name

Russell David Johnson




Russell David Johnson, born on November 10 1924, was born and grew up in Ashley, Pennsylvania. But when his father died, he and his brothers were all sent to a boarding school in Philadelphia. School life was sometimes a little tough for Russell. Not being the smartest student, he was held back. But, he quickly discovered his academic potential and made the National Honor Society at the end of high school. Russell joined the Air Force and set off for World War II. According to many sources, he did rather well in the war. When he returned home, he enlisted in the Army Corps. Russell had no intention of acting until Paul Henreid 'spotted' him and cast him in For Men's Only, a 1952 movie. He used the G.I. Bill to pay for his acting studies. And from then he had many great roles. He received a lot of movie and TV roles, but what he didn't know was when he went into audition for Gilligan's Island, his life would change forever. Russ went in and read lines for Roy "the Professor" Hinkley in the planned CBS sitcom Gilligan's Island. The audition went perfectly, despite the fact he refused to take off his shirt in the audition. After a while, he was informed he had gotten the role. The show lasted for three seasons and 96 episodes. But, in every show, there are arguments. In the first season, Russell and Dawn Well's characters weren't said with everyone else's in the theme song. They were characterized as "and the rest". This caused controversy. When Bob Denver, the shows main actor, stepped in and sided with Russell and Dawn, it became successful. As of season 2, "and the rest" was scrapped and "the Professor and Mary-Ann" was put in place of it. After Gilligan's Island, Russell went on to do many guest spots. He also received two more regular roles. Although, these were only animated spin-offs of Gilligan's Island. He also kept on the movie scene, still enthusiastically appearing in whatever people were willing to throw at him. Russell is currently married to Constance Dane, and is a step-father to her son, Courtney. His first wife, Kay Cousins Johnson, died in 1980. He has two children with her. They are Kim, an actress, and David Johnson, who died from AIDS in 1994.