Alan Hale, Jr. called the Skipper his favorite role

It's not hard to see why!

Warner Brothers

Not everybody knows the name "Captain Jonas Grumby". But everyone recognizes The Skipper. He's probably one of the most resilient characters on television. Anybody else would probably murder Gilligan a few weeks into that three-hour tour. But not The Skipper! He seemingly does a hard reset after every one of Gilligan's mishaps. He really loves his Little Buddy, and for that, we salute him. 

Fans aren't the only ones fond of The Skipper. It turns out ol' Jonas Grumby was also the favorite of actor Alan Hale, Jr, who counted the role as his best. In a 1965 interview with The Indianapolis News, Hale revealed why he'd pick The Skipper as his favorite character he's played.

"My favorite has been that of The Skipper on Gilligan's Island," said Hale. "People need a laugh when they come home after a day's work. That's what I want to do — give them a laugh."

While Gilligan's Island is without a doubt Hale's best-remembered work, he wasn't exactly strapped for choices. The actor had an entire career to choose from at that point, including characters in earlier series like Biff Baker, USA, and Casey Jones.

Before Gilligan's Island, Hale was a perennial favorite as a guest star on many of TV's best shows. Look closely, and you'll see him appearing in all sorts of unexpected places, from Westerns to sitcoms. He guested on Bonanza, Gunsmoke, Perry Mason, and The Lucy Show. His growing résumé made him a perfect fit for any role, serious or comedic. He even presaged a Gilligan's Island team-up years earlier, guest starring on The Jim Backus Show in 1960 with the future Thurston Howel, III. 

Hale, Jr. also had an incredibly wide-reaching filmography, starring in everything from Hang 'Em High to The Giant Spider Invasion. In this way, Hale, Jr. followed in the famous footsteps of his father, film legend Alan Hale, Sr. 

Alan Hale, Jr. had an entire lifetime of experience before The Skipper was marooned on that deserted island. Even still, it's undeniable that Gilligan's Island was some of his best — and funniest — work.

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9 Comments

ww245 14 days ago
Everyone mentions Mr. Hale Jr, The Skipper, but it's too bad we do not hear about Mr. Hale Sr. as well. Loved his Father and him. Both had that special talent to give folks a laugh. I really got a kick out of discovering why Mr. Hale Sr. looked so familiar in the movies and another kick was when the Skipper made an appearance on The Wild Wild West and dang if there wasn't a slip in of Gilligan's Island in that episode. It was soooooo kewel!
ArchieB 14 days ago
Surprised no mention of him on "The Andy Griffith Show." Other than "Gilligan's Island," I haven't seen him in anything else to speak of.
CoreyC ArchieB 14 days ago
Both Alan Hale Jr. and Bob Denver both had cameos in the 1986 movie Back to the Beach.
CoreyC ArchieB 14 days ago
Also on the show ALF.
Avie 15 days ago
"[Hale] even presaged a Gilligan's Island team-up years earlier, guest starring on The Jim Backus Show in 1960 with the future Thurston Howel III."

Thurston Howell, III.
tootsieg 16 days ago
Alan Hale Jr loved playing the Skipper and it shows.
CoreyC 16 days ago
Alan Hale Jr was a gentle giant who embraced his Skipper role and loved his fans.
pony CoreyC 15 days ago
I’ve read that he often wore his Skipper cap in real life and loved interacting with fans who recognized him! That’s my idea of what a true STAR would do.
Runeshaper 17 days ago
The Skipper was GREAT and Alan Hale, Jr. made him that way.
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