Home Television TVLand Double Whammy Deaths: Gilligan Island’s Professor, Partridge Family’s Reuben Kincaid

Thursday brought a TV land double whammy of death. RIP Russell Johnson, 89, known as “The Professor” from “Gilligan’s Island.”

At the same time, sadly, Dave Madden, aka Reuben Kincaid from “The Partridge Family,” passed away at age 82.

Each actor portrayed a memorable iconic character from late 60s and early 70s TV, when there were only 11 or so channels and color was a new invention.

Russell Johnson was the only passenger on the Minnow who had a brain, was serious and somehow navigated the choppy waters from Gilligan’s Island. The Professor was all business, and never seemed to understand that Hollywood movie star Ginger– played by Tina Louise– had a crush on him. I’ve seen Tina a couple of times lately. She’s still a siren, much younger than Johnson.

Dave Madden was more of a comic actor. Reuben Kincaid was the smarmy manager of the singing Partridges. He spent most of his time trading barbs with 10 year old Danny Partridge (Danny Bonaduce). Madden had great comic timing, and made the most of his bristling, sarcastic dialogue.

Both actors will be missed, but they live on in reruns and DVDs and on YouTube.

Author
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. He wrote the Intelligencer column for NY Magazine in the mid 90s, reporting on the OJ Simpson trial, as well as for the real Parade magazine (when it was owned by Conde Nast), and has written for the New York Observer, Details, Vogue, Spin, the New York Times, NY Post, Washington Post, and NY Daily News among many publications. He is the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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