This Gilligan's Island visitor was the voice and model for Captain Hook
"Wrongway Feldman" has a place in Disney history.
Image: The Everett Collection
All manner of strange visitors was up on Gilligan's Island, from rock bands to Russian Cosmonauts. Magicians trunks, radioactive vegetables and Mars landers crash on the tropical speck in the ocean. There are mad scientists, meteors and ape-men. Have we ever considered that the castaways were stranded in Never Land?
There is indeed a connection between Gilligan's Island and Peter Pan. A particular pirate played one of the sitcom's most memorable guest stars.
Twice in season one, a famed aviator appeared on the island. In episode five, "Wrongway Feldman," we learn that the titular pilot was lost in the South Pacific in 1934. The gang helps Feldman, who still wears his leather helmet and scarf, to fix his plane, the Spirit of the Bronx. Five months later, Feldman returned, convinced that life in the remote tropics was preferable to civilization.
Veteran actor Hans Conried portrayed Wrongway Feldman. He had been working for decades, making memorable turns on radio, television and film. On I Love Lucy, he was Percy Livermore, the snooty tutor in "Lucy Hires an English Tutor." The Danny Thomas Show gave him a regular role as Uncle Tonoose. He worked with Orson Welles in theater and on film. But he is his more famous for his voice.
Conried was the voice behind Snidely Whiplash on The Bullwinkle Show. He was both the Grinch and the narrator in the holiday special Halloween Is Grinch Night. And, yes, he was indeed Captain Hook in Walt Disney's 1953 classic Peter Pan.
Well, he was not only the voice, he was also the model for the character. You can see a photo of him dressed in costume here. The animators must have loved his look. Conried also happened to be the reference model for King Stefan in Sleeping Beauty (1959).
Wrongway Feldman's mustache was a nice touch, a visual reference to his twirling toon facial hair seen on both Hook and Snidely Whiplash.
Peter Pan performers can be found elsewhere in Sixties television, you know. Even Tinkerbell ended up behind bar in Mayberry.