Skipper Jonas Grumby

played by

Alan Hale


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Alan Hale
A Brief History about actor Alan Hale

Who was the Skipper?


Alan Hale (Jr) was born on March 8, 1921 in Los Angeles and was the son of great character actor and Errol Flynn sidekick Alan Hale Sr. His mother was silent film actress, Gretchen Hartman, so he was born into a movie family. After his father passed away in 1950, he dropped the junior from his name and became professionally knows as 'Alan Hale'.

He took a "time out" from his career in acting and enlisted in the United States Coast Guard during World War II.

His debut occurred in 1931 on the Broadway stage with Caught Wet but it wasn't open very long. He had other roles in film but in the 1950's Gene Autry's attention was caught and Alan Hale showed in quite a few of his films and had a recurring role on The Gene Autry Show. He had a starring role in the television series Casey Jones which aired a total of thirty-two times before being cancelled. His most prominent role played ever was the Skipper on Gilligan's Island. Ironically, he never tried out for the part. Sherwood Schultz was having difficulties casting the actor for the part of Skipper and saw Hale having dinner in a Hollywood restaurant wearing a Civil War uniform. They met and started planning following that encounter.

He played the skipper in three television films that revived the series. Rescue from Gilligan's Island in 1978, The New Adventures of Gilligan in 1979 and The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island in 1981. He was also the voice for the Skipper in the animated series The New Adventures of Gilligan and Gilligan's Planet.

Unlike other cast mates, Alan Hale enjoyed his image as Captain from the show and often wore his Captain's hat. He used to donate his used hats to charity.

Besides being an actor, he co-owned the restaurant, Alan Hale's Lobster Barrel that was opened in the 1970's. However, around 1982, he no longer participated in ownership. Later he opened a travel office called Alan Hale's Quality and Leisure Travel.

He died on January 2, 1990, of thymus cancer. He was cremated and the Neptune Society scattered his ashes over the sea.

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Jonas Grumby was fondly called Skipper on the island. Because he was the owner and operator of the S. S. Minnow, the boat that went on that fateful three-hour tour, he often acted as the group's leader using suggestion and democracy to get things done. The only one he ever really ordered around was Gilligan.

Gilligan often frustrated the normally lovable Skipper with his clumsiness and ineptitude often resulting in the Skipper removing his hat and whacking Gilligan with it. Regardless, Skipper and Gilligan remained very good friends.

Skipper had a lot of respect for the intelligence of the Professor and often deferred to his intellect when conflicts arose. There were difficulties between these two characters though because the Skipper was the most superstitious of the group often blaming mishaps on voodoo while the Professor tried to find logical, scientific reasons. The juxtaposition between these characters was one of the ongoing themes throughout the series.

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