Russell Johnson, Professor on 'Gilligan's Island' dead at 89 - FOX Carolina 21

Russell Johnson, Professor on 'Gilligan's Island' dead at 89

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Russell Johnson, known for playing the "Professor" on Gilligan's Island, has died at age 89. (Source: Wikimedia) Russell Johnson, known for playing the "Professor" on Gilligan's Island, has died at age 89. (Source: Wikimedia)

(RNN) - Russell Johnson, the actor well known for playing Professor Roy Hinkley in Gilligan's Island has died at 89.

Johnson's wife, Constance, confirmed to ABC News that the TV star died early Thursday morning of kidney failure.

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

Dawn Wells, who played Mary Ann on the sitcom, said on Facebook, "Russell was a true gentleman, a good father, a great friend, and ‘the rest.' I love him and shall miss him. My heart goes out to Connie and his daughter Kim. I love you."

Mary Ann and Ginger, played by Tina Louise, are the only surviving members of the cast.

Bob Denver who played Gilligan died in 2005, Alan Hale known as the Skipper died in 1990, Jim Backus who played Mr. Howell died in 1989. Natalie Schafer, Mrs. Howell, died in 1991.

Along with other TV shows, Johnson appeared in several films, including sci-fi movies It Came from Outer Space and This Island Earth.

Before pursuing acting, Johnson joined the Air Force and served in World War II.

Johnson leaves behind his wife and a daughter, Kim.

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