Bob Denver, TV's Gilligan, Dead at 70 29 minutes ago
LOS ANGELES - Bob Denver, whose portrayal of goofy first mate Gilligan on the 1960s television show "Gilligan's Island," made him an iconic figure to generations of TV viewers, has died, his agent confirmed Tuesday. He was 70.
Denver died Friday at Wake Forest University Baptist Hospital in North Carolina of complications from treatment he was receiving for cancer, his agent, Mike Eisenstadt, told The Associated Press. Denver's death was first reported by "Entertainment Tonight."
Denver had also undergone quadruple heart bypass surgery earlier this year.
Denver's wife, Dreama, and his children Patrick, Megan, Emily and Colin were with him when he died.
"He was my everything and I will love him forever," Dreama Denver said in a statement.
Denver's signature role was Gilligan. But he was already known to TV audiences for another iconic character, that of Maynard G. Krebs, the bearded beatnik friend of Dwayne Hickman's Dobie in the "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis," which aired from 1959 to 1963.
"Gilligan's Island" lasted on CBS from 1964 to 1967, and it was revived in later seasons with three high-rated TV movies. It was a Robinson Crusoe story about seven disparate travelers who are marooned on a deserted Pacific Island after their small boat was wrecked in a storm.
The cast: Alan Hale Jr., as Skipper Jonas Grumby; Bob Denver, as his klutzy assistant Gilligan; Jim Backus and Natalie Schafer, as rich snobs Thurston and Lovey Howell; Tina Louise, as bosomy movie star Ginger Grant; Russell Johnson, as egghead science professor Roy Hinkley Jr.; and Dawn Wells, as sweet-natured farm girl Mary Ann Summers.
TV critics hooted at "Gilligan's Island" as gag-ridden corn. Audiences adored its far-out comedy. Writer-creator Sherwood Schwartz insisted that the show had social meaning along with the laughs: "I knew that by assembling seven different people and forcing them to live together, the show would have great philosophical implications."