September 21, 2005 by

Bob Denver


Categories: Actors

bdenver.jpgRobert Denver, the star of the classic TV show “Gilligan’s Island,” died on Sept. 2 of complications related to cancer treatment. He was 70.
A native of New Rochelle, N.Y., Denver studied law and political science at Loyola University. He taught private school in Pacific Palisades, Calif., and worked as a mailman for the U.S. Postal Service, but dreamed of becoming an actor.
Denver trained with the Del Ray Players in Los Angeles and made his first theatrical appearance in the play “The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial.” He acted in the Jimmy Stewart/Sandra Dee vehicle, “A Private’s Affair,” then landed the role of Maynard G. Krebs, the bearded beatnik best friend of the lead character in the TV show, “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.”
Denver attained celebrity status in 1964 when he was tapped to lead an ensemble cast in “Gilligan’s Island,” a situational comedy about seven people shipwrecked on an uncharted tropical island. As the bumbling first mate of the S.S. Minnow, Denver served as the straight man to Alan Hale Jr., who played the ship’s skipper, Jonas Grumby. The pair’s slapstick interactions frequently drew comparisons to Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble, and Laurel and Hardy.
Although “Gilligan’s Island” was critically panned and canceled by CBS after its third season, the show’s 98 episodes have been broadcast in nearly continuous reruns for the past 40 years. “Gilligan’s Island” also spawned two animated series, with Denver providing his character’s voice, and three made-for-TV movies.
Denver also appeared in the TV shows “The Good Guys,” “Dusty’s Trail” and “Far Out Space Nuts,” but never quite managed to separate himself from his Gilligan persona. In later years, he starred in the Broadway production of “Play It Again, Sam,” published an autobiography and co-hosted a syndicated radio show with his third wife, Dreama Perry. Denver’s first two marriages ended in divorce. He also fathered four children.
“Bob was my greatest teacher, my everything. The tapestry of the life we created together will fill my heart forever. Everything good in my life is a result of living with this intelligent, gentle man. I am so proud to have been his wife,” Dreama said, in a statement published on the Web.
Listen to a Tribute From NPR

4 Responses to Bob Denver

  1. david

    Those 98 episodes are TV treasure, and Bob Denver is the primary reason. His projection of an innocent, helfpful, happy-go-lucky castaway made the show rise above the meager trappings.

  2. Robert

    I grew up watching the Gilligans Island TV show on TBS along with several other shows like the Brady Bunch, Silver spoons, Different strokes, Happy days to name a few. They were all good shows but the Gilligans Island show series was great. I can’t recall seeing them all but the one’s viewed were funny and full of mystery and drama as well as excitment. It’s a real shame that all good things come to an end. Bob denver will forever live on due to this series in my book. He was a great and funny man and made the show period.

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