Not every actor appreciates the role that made them famous as the years tick by. Many actors become typecast and can’t get away from certain characters they play. Although that may have been the case for Gilligan’s Island actor Bob Denver, the Gilligan actor once said he’s never been “bitter” about it.
Denver starred as the lovable and goofy title character of Gilligan’s Island in the 1960s. The CBS sitcom aired for only three seasons but has continuously been in syndication ever since. It’s one of the rare shows that had decent ratings while on-air, but continued to gain in popularity as the years passed by.
By the 1980s, Gilligan’s Island was a full-on cult classic. Additionally, Denver’s character had become a television icon. Generations of kids have grown up watching the sitcom. During a 1993 NPR interview, the Gilligan actor addressed that and voiced his appreciation for so many kind greetings from fans throughout the years.
“Everybody that comes up to me is always happy. They’re always thanking me for, you know, having good childhood memories. They’re always smiling. They always say nice things. I mean, how can you be bitter?” Bob Denver said on NPR.
‘Gilligan’s Island’ Star Bob Denver Shares How Fans’ Reactions Changed Towards Him
For a television star like Bob Denver, he shared countless interactions with adoring fans while out and about during his lifetime. Although he mentioned that fans were always happy to see him, their attitudes toward him somewhat changed over time.
In a 1994 L.A. Times interview, Denver shared how fan interactions shifted through the years. Early on in his acting career, fans would gawk at him. However, after decades of Gilligan’s Island being in syndication, their demeanors changed.
“Yeah, since ’59. Can you believe it? It kind of fascinates me,” Denver said to the L.A. Times. “The last couple of years, instead of people doing big takes (when they see me) and saying, ‘Oh my God.’ They just look up with no take at all and say, ‘Hi, Bob.’ I’m the neighbor they know. This face has been so long in their houses.”
During the same interview, the actor shared a strange story of how Gilligan’s Island saved a young girl’s life – in a way. The girl’s mother told Denver that her 9-year-old was left in a coma after a bad car accident. The mother played Gilligan’s Island all the time for her since it was her favorite show. In fact, the mom played episodes every afternoon in the hospital for her daughter. One day, her daughter woke up to watch her favorite episode.
“She was in a coma for a long time,” Denver said. “She said one time, ‘Here is your favorite episode.’ And the little girl opened her eyes, sat up, and said, ‘OK, Mom.’ She came out of the coma just to watch the show. I said, ‘You are certainly welcome.’”