Bob Denver as Gilligan, the bumbling, dimwitted, accident-prone crewman of the S.S. Minnow. Denver was not the first choice to play Gilligan; actor Jerry Van Dyke was offered the role, but he turned it down, believing that the show would never be successful. He chose instead to play the lead in the notoriously unsuccessful My Mother the Car, which premiered the following year and was cancelled after one season. The producers then looked to Bob Denver, the actor who had played lovable beatnik Maynard G. Krebs in The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. None of the show's episodes ever specified Gilligan's full name, nor clearly indicated whether "Gilligan" was the character's first name or his last. In the DVD collection, Sherwood Schwartz states that he preferred the full name of "Willie Gilligan" for the character. Denver himself, on various television/radio interviews (The Pat Sajak Show; KDKA radio), said that "Gil Egan" was his choice. The actor reasoned that because everyone yelled at the first mate, it ran together as "Gilligan." In the (unaired) pilot episode, it has been debated whether Lovey Howell refers to Gilligan as "Stewart," or steward. On Rescue from Gilligan's Island, the writers artfully dodge the recitation of Gilligan's full name, when the other names are announced.
|Season 3 / Episode 28: - The Pigeon|
Professor Roy Hinkley: It's working, he's afraid of himself.
Gilligan: That makes it unanimous!
|Season 3 / Episode 10: - Topsy-Turvy|
Skipper Jonas Grumby: For a little guy, you sure get in a lot of trouble!
Gilligan: That's because I try harder.
Skipper Jonas Grumby: The things I do for you...
Gilligan: Sorry, Skipper, but this is the only way I can talk to you without falling down. Or up. Or sideways.
Professor Roy Hinkley: [Walks out of hut with a potion for Gilligan] Skipper, you are standing upside-down, aren't you?
Skipper Jonas Grumby: Well of course I'm standing upside-down, Professor!
Professor Roy Hinkley: Oh. Good; for a minute I thought I was working too hard.
|Next: Mary Ann Summers|
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