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Tribute: Two 60’s Television Icons, The Professor and Reuben

posted by Nell Minow

russell johnson gilligans island

This week we say a sad farewell to two of the best-loved television stars of 1960’s sitcoms, Russell Johnson, who played The Professor on “Gilligan’s Island,” and Dave Madden, who was the long-suffering manager Reuben on “The Partridge Family.”  The handsome Johnson played the only sensible, even-tempered member of the castaways.  He was a US Army Air Force veteran of WWII who flew 44 combat missions as a bombardier and was a friend of the most decorated soldier of the war, Audie Murphy. When they both became actors, they appeared together in three films.  He appeared in some low-budget westerns and sci-fi films including Ride Clear of Diablo, It Came from Outer Space, This Island Earth, Attack of the Crab Monsters, and The Space Children.

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But he is best remembered as The Professor on “Gilligan’s Island,” where he was always trying to come up some scientific way to get the castaways rescued.

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Dave Madden was a comedian and actor who did stand-up comedy on the Ed Sullivan show and starred in the television sitcom “Camp Runamuck.”

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As Reuben, he was the harried manager of a pop group made up of a mother and her high-spirited children.  He was often the object of the humor, especially in his interactions with the precocious Danny Bonaduce.

dave-madden-618x400 partridge familyThe legacy of both actors will continue to make new generations laugh as their shows continue in perpetual syndication.

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