Fast Facts

  • Nickname was "Johnny" as a child.
  • Father passed away of pneumonia when he was 8; shortly after was sent to Girard College in Philadelphia, Pa., a school that provides education and board for orphaned and financially stressed families.
  • Enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet after graduating from boarding school; received a Purple Heart for his heroic service.
  • Made his acting debut in For Men Only (1952), a drama about fraternity hazing.
  • Was considered for the part of Ben Casey in the 1960s television drama Ben Casey; the role went to Vince Edwards.
  • Was asked to take off his shirt when auditioning for the Gilligan's Island character Professor Roy Hinkley; he refused, but still got the job.
  • In 1993, wrote the autobiography Here on Gilligan's Isle, spotlighting his time on the set of the iconic television series that ran for three seasons.
  • Outspoken advocate for HIV/AIDS fund-raising.


  • Edith Cahoon — Ex-wife
  • David Johnson — Son
  • Kim Johnson — Daughter
  • Constance Dane — Wife
  • Kay Cousins Johnson — Wife (deceased)
  • Russell Kennedy Johnson — Father
  • Marian Johnson — Mother


  • Birth Name: Russell David Johnson
  • Birth Place: Ashley, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Died: January 16, 2014
  • Profession: Actor

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