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Old January 18 2014, 12:08 AM   #28
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Re: R.I.P. - Russell Johnson, the "Professor" from Gilligan's Island

Dark Gilligan wrote: View Post
Interesting history: in the original unaired pilot, the Professor was not an educator at all. He was a writer of travel books. "Professor" was simply a nickname he'd been given because he was well-read and had researched a great many subjects.

The Howell's were a well-to-do couple, but hardly the multi-millionaires they were later portrayed to be. Ginger was a secretary, and Mary Ann a store clerk. Gilligan himself was a Navy cook who was hired on the spot because the Skipper's real first mate was sick and couldn't make the trip. All of that changed, of course, when the pilot was scrapped and new actors were hired, retooling the characters into the ones we know today.
You've apparently been misinformed about a few things. According to the pilot's rather dreadful theme song, the two younger women were both secretaries (Ginger and Bunny, played by Kit Smythe and Nancy McCarthy) and the Professor (John Gabriel) was a high-school teacher. As far as I know or can find out, Gilligan was never meant to be anything but the character we know. He, the Skipper, and the Howells were the same in the pilot as they were in the series. We know this because the majority of the pilot's footage was incorporated into "Two on a Raft" (the first aired episode) and "Birds Gotta Fly, Fish Gotta Talk" (the Christmas episode that flashed back to the first day on the island). And note that the theme song clearly refers to the Howells as millionaires.
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