HomeEntertainment‘Gilligan’s Island’: ‘Skipper’ Actor Alan Hale Jr. Used to Dress Up as Character for His Seafood Restaurant

‘Gilligan’s Island’: ‘Skipper’ Actor Alan Hale Jr. Used to Dress Up as Character for His Seafood Restaurant

by Jennifer Shea
CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

As reruns of “Gilligan’s Island” took off, Skipper actor Alan Hale Jr. decided to capitalize on his popularity and name recognition and open a seafood restaurant in Los Angeles.

But Hale was not an absentee owner. When he had time, the actor would welcome visitors to his restaurant wearing his captain’s hat, according to MeTV.

Further, he had a tendency to refer to his customers as “little buddy,” which was his nickname for Gilligan on the show. And the restaurant was sprinkled with postcards bearing Hale’s picture as the Skipper, which Hale would stop by the tables to sign.

“You had to admire his spirit,” observed Mark Evanier of the website Old Los Angeles Restaurants. “The place had been open for some time before our visit and he didn’t seem tired of all the jokes about Ginger and Mary Ann washing dishes, and was the Professor in the kitchen making the clam chowder and did you have to be Thurston Howell III to afford the full steak-‘n’-lobster combo?”

Unfortunately, the restaurant shuttered in the 1980s as Hale’s popularity wore off. His next venture? A travel agency at which he helped travelers plan sightseeing tours. Which, given the plot of “Gilligan’s Island,” was more than a little ironic. Hale died in 1990 at age 68 of thymus cancer.

Where Did Other ‘Gilligan’s Island’ Actors Go After the Show?

After “Gilligan’s Island” ended, Gilligan actor Bob Denver headed east to Princeton, West Virginia. He also became a radio host before dying in 2005 at age 70.

“Well, my wife was from here,” Denver told with Montreal radio station CJAD in 1994. “We came back out, I guess three or four years ago. I looked around and said it was really a gorgeous state and would you mind moving back home and she said, ‘No.’”

“Our preference would be to live in Hawaii,” Denver added. “But when we go there, we don’t do anything. We just kind of quit. So I know I wanted to keep working and fooling around. And this is really easy for me to get in and out of… well sometimes it is.”

As for The Professor actor Russell Johnson, he would go on to act in “The Twilight Zone” and “Outer Limits” and to appear alongside future President Ronald Reagan in the Western “Law and Order.” He died in 2014 at age 89 of kidney failure.

Most “Gilligan’s Island” cast members stayed in show business, per USA Today. Ginger actress Tina Louise continued to work in film, later trying out more serious roles. And Mary Ann actress Dawn Wells enjoyed a successful theater career. Hale was apparently the only one to branch out into other industries besides media and entertainment.