Alan Hale Jr. was constantly mistaken for his father in the '60s

Everyone thought Alan Hale Jr. was Alan Hale Sr. throughout his acting career. A real like father, like son moment.

Image credit: The Everett Collection

The entertainment industry is an industry where connections run deep. Sometimes, it really is all about who you know as a young actor. For Alan Hale Jr., who played the Skipper on Gilligan's Island, that connection is someone very familiar to him. 

His father, Alan Hale Sr., had a successful career in entertainment before his death in 1950. He was known for roles that include: The Adventures of Robin Hood, Adventures of Don Juan, The Sea Hawk and more.

In a 1964 interview with The State, Hale Jr. said many viewers who were fans of his dad, thought he was his reincarnation.

"The older I become the more the confusion," he said. "It's almost as if I'm two people, not one. Even old friends get confused. When the old Errol Flynn movie, Robin Hood, played on television for the first time, one of them said to me 'Saw you on TV last night. Great.' I had to tell him 'That wasn't me. That was my father. That film was made in 1937.'"

The father-son duo shared many striking resemblances with eachother. In voice and with a hearty laugh, he and his father were carbon copies of eachother. Physically, it seems the only difference between the two was his father had curly hair and Hale Jr.'s was straight. 

"It's also almost like my dad isn't gone," he said. "Because of TV, we're all still talking about him constantly. At least once a week my children chorus 'Daddy, look - Grandpa is on television!'"

Hale's career had never suffered due to the constant mix up between him and his father, instead it was his way of connecting with his father, even after his death.

In a 1964 interview with Arizona Republic, Hale Jr. said when he joined the cast of Gilligan's Island in 1964 the producer didn't want him to lose weight for the role. 

"My going weight is usually 250, but the producer... doesn't want me to lose a pound," he said. "He says my weight adds weight to my role. I carry it pretty well, and I can eat as much of anything as I want to. I love to eat, as did my father."

Gilligan's Island was just another chapter in which he and his father's memory connected. According to Hale Jr., he never complained about his success. He was happy enough with the legacy left by both him and his father.

"With me, it's a way of life, but I couldn't care less whether or not I become an actor's actor," he said. "My father was a working actor, not in the least star conscious. I'll settle for that. As long as there's a job to look forward to, I'm content. But if the day ever comes when producer's won't hire me, then you'll hear me complain, but loud!"

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Magorilla 13 months ago
I loved Alan Hale Sr. In the movie It Happened One Night.
CoreyC 16 months ago
Alan Sr was a great character actor from Robin Hood to The Fighting 69.
Laffy 16 months ago
Yes, I like Gilligans Island.

Yes, the thought if the skipper as Gilligan's dad comes with the portrayal of Gilligan and the purity of intention given in the episode/scene.
To me this is complimentary to Mr. Alan Hale, Jr. And of course the fans who may not have known about his Dad.
Runeshaper 16 months ago
It's nice to hear that Alan had such a positive connection to his father. I know I love my dad!
BuckeyeBeth 16 months ago
There’s a trend that comes around every 15 years or so that tries to shame the acting children of Hollywood stars for having jobs. This most recent go around of star nepotism is called “Nepo Babies”. If they’re going to include classic Hollywood then they’re going to have a pretty long list. As Jamie Lee Curtis said about the most recent stink, it may have open doors but if you didn’t have talent you weren’t going to last. If Alan Hale Jr had never gone into acting we never would have had the skipper as we know and love him.
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Zip 16 months ago
The only picture I have ever seen of Allan Hale Sr., to me he looked like Capt. Kangaroo Bob Keeshan. I think it was in either Sherwood Schwartz's or Russell Johnson's Gilligan's Island book.
LoveMETV22 Zip 16 months ago
Your right. There is a slight resemblance between Hale Sr. and Keeshan.
MrsPhilHarris 16 months ago
Normally I have no trouble telling them apart but I saw one of them in a movie or something recently and I thought it was the other for a brief moment.
LoveMETV22 16 months ago
Yes, can see the resemblance. Carbon Copy ? However it was nice the affinity they both shared for acting.
LoveMETV22 16 months ago
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Mike LoveMETV22 16 months ago
Quick 'n' Easy Way, as shown in the photo:
Alan Hale Senior always had a mustache.
Alan Hale Junior was always clean-shaven.
It's that simple.
LoveMETV22 Mike 16 months ago
LOL Mike. I don't think most people had difficulty distinguishing the two, (OK maybe an individual or two for the sake of argument). However mustache or not, they weren't identical.
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