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Alan Hale Jr.

by David Lauterbach
2008 November 5

The man under the cap and behind the big blue shirt.

Alan Hale Jr“A Skipper brave and sure” is the best way to describe Alan Hale Jr. who played the lovable but stern Skipper on Gilligan’s Island which has been on TV since the Minnow was tossed aground in 1964.

One can only imagine what the island would have been like under the Skipper’s command had there only been more wild boar and less coconut creme pies… barbecue’s every night no doubt, if we can take a hint from the actor’s personal life.

Where's the Jr?Hale was also the well known owner of a restaurant in the 70′s and 80′s called “The Lobster Barrel” where he would often greet guests dressed as the Skipper. Located on Hollywood’s Restaurant Row on La Cienega Blvd. in Los Angeles, CA., surf and turf was likely the captain’s special.

Protect us from Gilligan!
“Skipper, protect us from Gilligan!”

The 6’2″, 280 pound Skipper (a.k.a. Jonas Grumby) summed up his character in a 1965 episode (you remember, it’s the one where the castaways almost get off the island but Gilligan screws it up) when he remarked “The first thing I’ll do when I get back is sink my teeth into a nice juicy steak.”

Steppin' OutIn his day, Alan Hale Jr. was a well-known second-generation Hollywood actor whose enjoyment of life spilled out as naturally as a fat man’s stomach over his belt buckle. He appeared in over 50 movies including several classics like Up Periscope, The Lady Takes a Flyer, and The West Point Story. He was an avid golfer, and unlike other cast members of Gilligan’s Island, he enjoyed the image that his role on the show gave him. This included usually wearing a skipper’s cap at most times and donating his used ones for charity purposes.

The Skipper is no longer with us. He passed on in 1990 at the age of 71. His ashes were scattered at sea from the deck of a boat that looked hauntingly like the Minnow.

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