Bob Denver said money was ''hard come, easy go''

The Gilligan star had a spacious West Coast hideaway.

If there's one thing more fun than watching stars on TV, it's finding out exactly how they spent their paycheck. It's a type of fantasy wish fulfillment: Lots of us will never live like the mega-wealthy, but it sure is nice to pretend. So, we live vicariously through the exploits of Hollywood stars, just as we live through their characters' lives on TV. We'll probably never be stuck on an island, so it's fun to imagine what that would be like as well!

Bob Denver's was a very specific kind of success. He was famous as Maynard G. Krebs, and then very famous as Gilligan, and then... not much else. He didn't use his television stardom to pursue a movie career. He didn't pivot into politics. He didn't decide to direct. He would occasionally re-appear in media as Gilligan, but that was about it. But when he spoke with The Gastonia Gazette in 1966, he was riding high as everybody's favorite red-shirted castaway.

Denver specifically spoke about a weekend trip to Hawaii. No, not the entire weekend. He woke up Saturday morning, took his wife to Hawaii, and then came back on Sunday. The stars... They're just like us. 

He'd just finished buying a new house overlooking Topanga Canyon, not far from Malibu. While no house in Los Angeles is cheap, the house's price was nothing compared to the cost of re-doing the whole thing.

"We should have waited," said the man that was Gilligan. "But we didn't want to. So we didn't."

The house sat on a two-acre oak grove and was just a 35-minute drive away from the Studio City lot where Gilligan's Island was shot. Denver could make his commute in a little over an hour, roundtrip. However, despite its proximity to the hustle and bustle of LA productions, the house was remote enough to serve as a sanctuary.

"I can walk up above my house," said Denver, "and look down into Santa Ynez Canyon and there's nothing and nobody — just a bunch of hawks flying around."

That level of isolation comes at a steep price in Southern California, though, even for one of television's brightest stars.

"With me," said Denver, "[money] isn't easy come, easy go. It's hard come, easy go. My business manager has given up on me. He knows I'm hopeless."

Watch Gilligan's Island on MeTV!

Sundays 3 & 3:30 PM

*available in most MeTV markets
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18 Comments

timothys71 7 months ago
I believe MeTV has rerun "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (where Bob Denver played Maynard G. Krebs) in the past. I wonder if Weigel still has broadcast rights to that show? I think it would be cool if we could see Dobie and Gilligan back-to-back on Sunday afternoons.
Wiseguy70005 timothys71 7 months ago
Decades used to show it. Not sure if Catchy shows it because our local station removed it!
sagafrat69 7 months ago
Bob Denver looked like an old man when he did the t.v. movie "Rescue From Gilligan's Island" in 1978 on NBC. He looked pretty pathetic in that Gilligan's costume. This was only 11 years after the show had its three year run on CBS! He didn't take care of himself or his money. Not exactly how you would want to be remembered. On the bright side Gilligan will always be Gilligan!
JHP 7 months ago
Gilligan was so much more likeable than BARN

But back then I think weed was a lot more $$$:)
Cougar90 7 months ago
"Wonder Woman is playing 24 hours a day somewhere in different parts of the world as it's been doing since 1981, and I still haven't seen any royalty money."----Lynda Carter.
Yort Cougar90 7 months ago
From what I understand, the creators and producers make most of the royalties but the actors do not. For example Seinfeld has been on for over 30 years and has made Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David rich, however the actors do not make any royalties.
Bapa1 Cougar90 7 months ago
She needs a better accountant.
kmarsh12 Yort 7 months ago
Once a show is successful today, a lot of the stars renegotiate for a piece of the ownership. I think that is why in later seasons of hits we see so many actors with producer credits.
Runeshaper 7 months ago
Sounds like he bought a pretty sweet house lol
Yort 7 months ago
I remember seeing an interview with Bob Denver a long time ago. He said that Gilligan's Island had been on for over 30 years and he never saw a penny in royalties.
Bapa1 Yort 7 months ago
I read Russ Johnson's book (The Professor). He spent almost a whole chapter lamenting and explaining why they got no residuals. That was the common practice back then, almost nobody got residuals. They got paid for making the episode, got a little bit of money when it was repeated later on in the season, and that was it. Starting in the 70's, TV actors had it in their contracts to receive residuals from future airings.
CoreyC Bapa1 7 months ago
Actors of the 70's like Carroll O'Connor and Alan Alda had muscle and realized they had power and began using it. The only ones who had the foresight was Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz and Audrey Meadows.
kmarsh12 Bapa1 7 months ago
Original Star trek cast got paid residuals for the first five airings. All those years in syndication paid nothing. They didn't even get paid for their likenesses as "action figures".
Andybandit 7 months ago
I liked Gilligan, he was cute.
harlow1313 7 months ago
They failed to mention his West Virginia home, quite near to where many of my relatives lived. Everyone wondered why, and then concluded the seclusion drew him.
Dario 7 months ago
Methinks that Gilligan wasn't very good with money! 💵💸😅
MrsPhilHarris Dario 7 months ago
Sounds that way.
JHP Dario 7 months ago
"smoke....every day" - a lyric in a tune
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