Sad news Russell Johnson, the veteran TV actor best known for playing "The Professor" on Gilligan's Island,' passed away from natural causes on Thursday. He was 89.

The man could turn coconuts into walkie-talkies, but couldn't build a raft! I just loved the character of the Professor on Gilligan's Island, second only to Mary Ann!


Although 'Gilligan's Island' ended up being his definitive role (and one that he embraced whole-heartedly), he continued to work, appearing on shows like 'The Twilight Zone,' 'Dallas,' 'Gunsmoke,' 'Wonder Woman,' 'The Jeffersons,' 'MagGuyver,' 'Newheart,' 'Dynasty' and 'Alf.' He stepped away from acting in 1997.

Johnson leaves behind a wife and countless friends and fans, including 'Gilligan's Island' co-star Dawn Wells (Mary Ann), who paid tribute to him on Facebook:

My two favorite people are now gone. The professor passed away this morning. My heart is broken. Russell was a true gentleman, a good father, a great friend, and 'the rest.'