Actor, Bob Denver, TV's “Gilligan,” died this past weekend at the age of 70. I'm not sure what the cause of death was, but I'd wager it was a hilarious self-inflicted accident and/or involved high-cholesterol from eating all those banana crème pies. Regardless, it is a loss to the world of physical comedy. Bob, you will be missed.
UPDATE: Bob Denver's cause of death.
It now appears that Mr. Denver had been a heavy smoker over the years, got lung cancer, and was undergoing treatment in North Carolina when he died. Earlier in the year, Bob Denver had had quadruple heart bypass surgery, too.
“Bob Denver, the leading comedic castaway on TV's Gilligan's Island, died at age 70 of complications from treatment he was receiving for cancer, says his agent. Denver passed away on Friday at Wake Forest University Baptist Hospital in North Carolina. Earlier this year, he had quadruple heart bypass surgery.”—People Magazine
Gilligan's Island has been on TV forever.
The TV series Gilligan's Island ran from 1964 to 1967 on CBS, the network for old people. Incredibly, it has been in reruns for about 38 years because of its many relatable themes. Themes such as getting shipwrecked with six other strangers on a deserted Pacific Island—and NONE OF THEM have sex. I mean, we've all been there, right?
Despite the show producing ad revenue for several decades, Bob Denver and his cast mates didn't really benefit from its insane success. They got paid up to $750 an episode (about $4,725,in 2005's dollars), but they got stiffed on royalties. Rumor had it that Dawn Wells (Mary Ann) made some bank off the show, but she later denied it.
Bob Denver was in all the Gilligan's Island movies, too.
The series was hugely popular, spawning three made-for-TV movies, including Rescue From Gilligan's Island, The Castaways on Gilligan's Island, The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island, Surviving Gilligan's Island, and a reality TV show called The Real Gilligan's Island which failed miserably.
What's worse, the producers replaced Ginger in all of them because, as a “talented actress,” Tina Louise felt the show was beneath her. I will admit that her twin “acting talents” were the main reason I ever watched this show. In the famous Mary Ann v. Ginger debate, there was never even a contest for me. Ginger was the star of the show, and everybody else was just there killing time. (Sorry, Bob.)
Bob Denver was in other TV shows that no one remembers.
Do you remember The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis? Of course, you don't. Nobody does. Plus, he was on a lot of other old TV shows, too. I mean, the guy got work. But none of it took off like Gilligan's Island, so that's all anyone remembers. Which is good. Because I watched The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis once, and it was baaaaaaad.