Comedic Actor Bob Denver Dies
RENEE MONTAGNE, host:
Today we say farewell to the much-loved first mate of the SS Minnow.
(Soundbite of "The Ballad of Gilligan's Isle")
Unidentified Group: (Singing) Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip...
MONTAGNE: For four seasons, Bob Denver starred in the classic TV comedy "Gilligan's Island." He died last Friday in North Carolina; he had cancer. "Gilligan's Island" told the wacky adventures of seven people who went on a three-hour boat tour and ended up stranded on an island in the South Pacific. The comedy was mostly physical, slapstick, with some fast one-liners thrown in.
(Soundbite of "Gilligan's Island")
Mr. ALAN HALE Jr.: (As the Skipper) Gilligan, why don't you stop that? You don't know anything at all about space.
Mr. BOB DENVER: (As Gilligan) I know one thing about it. You take up more of it than I do.
MONTAGNE: That was Bob Denver as Gilligan, with the long-suffering Skipper, played by Alan Hale Jr. The Skipper usually responded to Gilligan's jibes by smacking him with his hat.
"Gilligan's Island" ceased production in 1967, but it's never been off the air. Generations of kids have grown up watching reruns of the show. In a 1993 interview, Bob Denver said he always appreciated that.
(Soundbite of 1993 interview)
Mr. DENVER: Everybody that comes up to me is always happy. They're always thanking me for, you know, having good childhood memories. They're always smiling. They always say nice things. I mean, how can you be bitter?
MONTAGNE: Bob Denver, Gilligan in "Gilligan's Island," died last Friday. He was 70 years old.
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