|Alan Hale, Jr.|
Alan Hale Jr. as the Skipper on the "Gilligan's Island" TV series.
|Born:||March 8, 1921|
|Birthplace:||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Died:||January 2, 1990(aged 68)|
|Also known for:||"Gilligan's Island"|
|Character played:||Jonas Grumby|
Alan Hale Jr. was the son of noted actor Alan Hale Sr., a renowned American actor from the Thirties and Forties who worked with such notary stars like Laurel and Hardy to John Wayne.
Alan was born March 8, 1921 with his acting career beginning in 1921 when he appeared in a Silent Movie as a baby. His career continued in 1931 at the age of 10 when he made his Broadway stage debut in "Caught Wet," which opened and ended in the same month. He made his screen debut two years later in "Wild Boys of the Road," but his part was deleted out of the film's final release though he still received screen credit for the role. He later appeared in roles through the Forties in "To the Shores of Tripoli," "Yanks Ahoy," "Sweetheart of Sigma Chi" and "When Willie Comes Marching Home." During the late 1940s and early 1950s, he started becoming known primarily for Westerns, frequently appearing in Gene Autry films and a recurring role on "The Gene Autry Show" from 1950 to 1952. In 1952, Hale landed the starring role in "Biff Baker, U.S.A.," but the series only lasted two years.
As an adult, Alan grew to greatly resemble his father to the point they almost looked like brothers. During World War II, he joined the United States Coast Guard, but after the death of his father in 1950, he dropped the "Junior" from his name. He continued his career with guest spots on "The Range Rider," "Annie Oakley," "The Fireside Theater," "The Gunfighter," "Silver Lode,' "The Sea Chase," "The Three Outlaws," "The True Story of Jesse James" and "Up Periscope." By 1957, Hale landed another starring role in the syndicated television series "Casey Jones," which aired thirty-two episodes before it was canceled in 1958. He continued starring in both Western movies and TV Shows, including "Cheyenne" with Clint Walker and a recurring role from 1958 to 1960 with pre-Gilligan guest star Rory Calhoun in "The Texan."
Between Westerns like "Gunsmoke," "Bonanza" and "Rawhide," Hale also began flexing his comedic roles in TV shows like "The Real McCoys," "Mister Ed" and "The The Andy Griffith Show," where he plays a farmer very much like the Skipper, even down to calling Don Knotts's character, "little buddy." He also took a dark role as a murderer in an episode of "Perry Mason."
In addition to numerous guest roles on television, Hale was noted for his supporting-character roles in such movies as the 1947 Christmas movie "It Happened on 5th Avenue," and as Porthos' son in "At Sword's Point," the 1952 "Three Musketeers" sequel with Cornell Wilde and Maureen O'Hara. He also did more Westerns, such as "Hang 'Em High" in 1968 starring Clint Eastwood.
In 1964, Hale won the role as the Skipper on the series which would make him a bigger star than his father ever was. While Sherwood Schwartz was developing "Gilligan's Island," he heard Hale laughing in a restaurant and realized he was perfect as the tough but lovable ship captain. Unfortunately, Hale was making the movie, "Bullet For a Bad Man" with Audie Murphy in St. George, Utah and he had to secretly hitchhike out of town to catch a flight to make the movie when the director wouldn't let him off set. The role proved to be the most prominent role for Hale, lasting from 1963 to 1967. The series greatly typecast him afterward for further Westerns, and although he received no substantial residual payments for the role, he did not mind being so closely identified with the Skipper. According to Sherwood Schwartz, he often visited children in hospital dressed as the Skipper. Hale was instead relegated to roles in substandard movies like Giant Spider Invasion and Angel's Revenge, both of which became episodes of the series, "Mystery Science Theater 3000." He also reprised the role of the Skipper in three Gilligan's Island television films and two spin-off cartoon series, The New Adventures of Gilligan from 1974 to 1977 and Gilligan's Planet from 1982 to 1983.
Over the course of his 55-year career, Hale appeared in more than 200 television and film roles, but he remained fond of the Skipper, appearing in character in two unrelated sitcoms, "The New Gidget" in 1987 and "ALF" in 1989. He also promoted Gilligan's Island reruns on TBS alongside Bob Denver. Unlike Tina Louise, and to some extent, Russell Johnson, Hale enjoyed his role as the Skipper. He and Bob Denver would show up in costume as the Skipper and Gilligan for various charity events and hospitals, remaining close friends with him and even Dawn Wells until his death.
Unfortunately, Hale died on January 2, 1990 of cancer of the thymus at St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was survived by two wives. His first marriage was on March 12, 1943 to Bettina Doerr Hale, with whom he had four children: Alan, Chris, Lana, and Dorian. The couple later divorced, and in 1964, Hale married former singer Naomi Ingram, to whom he would remain married until his death. He was cremated and his ashes were scattered at sea by the Neptune Society. Wells was in attendance representing the surviving members of the cast. Her memories of the incident were recreated in Surviving Gilligan's Island. For his contribution to the television industry, Alan Hale, Jr., has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 6653 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.