Bob Denver is synonymous with a single name: Gilligan.
Bob Denver, who plays the title role in the "Gilligan's Island" television comedy, clowns for the photographer during a break from filming outside the CBS Studio Center in Los Angeles in the Nov. 1964 file photo. Denver died Friday, Sept. 2, 2005, at Wake Forest University Baptist Hospital in North Carolina of complications from treatment he was receiving for cancer, his agent said. He was 70. (AP Photo)
Denver played the bumbling "Little Buddy" for just three seasons, but his character became iconic and Gilligan's Island became a TV classic.
TV fans loved Gilligan – and his friends on the island – so much that the roles were reprised many times. Gilligan and friends starred in several TV movies after the original series… like The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island.
Gilligan and the Skipper even made appearances on other shows, like ALF.
Of course, Bob Denver's career extended beyond playing Gilligan. For four seasons on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Denver embodied beatnik Maynard G. Krebs.
Among Denver's other starring roles was the title character of 1973 sitcom flop Dusty's Trail. Critics blasted the show for being too derivative of Gilligan's Island, but as for Denver, he loved playing goofy Dusty: "It was my best year in front of a camera."
Bob Denver died seven years ago today… but in the hearts of classic TV fans, he's still our "Little Buddy" and always will be.
Written by Linnea Crowther