Alan Hale, Jr.

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Alan Hale, Jr.
Alan Hale Jr. Gilligans Island 1966.JPG
Alan Hale, Jr., as Skipper in Gilligan's Island
Born Alan Hale MacKahan
(1921-03-08)March 8, 1921[1][2]
Los Angeles,[2] California, U.S.
Died January 2, 1990(1990-01-02) (aged 68)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death Thymus cancer
Resting place Cremation
Occupation Actor
Years active 1933–1988
Known for Gilligan's Island
Spouse(s) Bettina Doerr Hale[2] (1943-?)
Naomi Ingram (m. 1964–90) (his death)
Children 4
Parent(s) Alan Hale, Sr.[2]
Gretchen Hartman Hale[2]

Alan Hale, Jr. (March 8, 1921[2] – January 2, 1990) was an American film, stage, and television actor. The son of character actor Alan Hale, Sr.,[2] he is best known for his co-starring role as the Skipper on the sitcom Gilligan's Island, which aired on CBS from 1964 to 1967. After its cancellation, the series would remain a popular staple in syndication. Hale reprised the role of the Skipper in three Gilligan's Island television films and two spin-off cartoon series. Over the course of his 55-year career, Hale appeared in more than 200 television and film roles.

Early life

Hale was born Alan Hale MacKahan[2] in Los Angeles, California[2] on March 8, 1921.[2] His father was character actor Rufus Edward McKahan,[2] who used the stage name of Alan Hale (1892–1950), and his mother was silent film actress Gretchen Hartman[2] (1897-1979). Appearing in over 235 films, his father had a successful screen career both as a leading man in silent films and as a supporting actor in sound movies.[3]

During World War II, Hale, Jr., enlisted in the United States Coast Guard.[2] After the death of his father in 1950, Hale dropped the "Junior" from his name.[4]


Hale and Celeste Holm in Follow the Sun (1961)

In 1931, Hale made his Broadway stage debut in Caught Wet. The play opened on November 4 and closed later that month. He made his screen debut two years later in Wild Boys of the Road. However, his part was deleted out of the film's final release but he still received screen credit for the role.[5] He later appeared in roles in To the Shores of Tripoli (1942), Yanks Ahoy (1943), Sweetheart of Sigma Chi (1946), and When Willie Comes Marching Home (1950). During the late 1940s and early 1950s, he frequently appeared in Gene Autry films and also had a recurring role from 1950 to 1952 on The Gene Autry Show. In 1952, Hale landed the starring role in CBS's Biff Baker, U.S.A., but the series was canceled in 1954.

Hale continued his career with guest spots on The Range Rider (five times), Annie Oakley, Fireside Theater, Frontier, Matinee Theater, Fury, Northwest Passage, and The Man from Blackhawk (as Miles Mackenzie in the 1960 episode "The $100,000 Policy"). He also had roles in The Gunfighter (1950), Silver Lode (1954), The Sea Chase (1955), The Three Outlaws (1956), The True Story of Jesse James (1957), and Up Periscope (1959).

In 1957, Hale landed another starring role in the syndicated television series Casey Jones, which aired thirty-two episodes before it was canceled in 1958.

In 1957, he played folksy rancher Les Bridgeman in the episode "Hired Gun" of the ABC/Warner Brothers western series Cheyenne, with Clint Walker in the title role. Whitney Blake plays Bridgeman's wife Lilli, who hires a professional assassin to kill her husband so that she can marry a rival rancher, Kiley Rand (Don Megowan). Cheyenne Bodie goes undercover to unravel the mystery.[6]

From 1958 to 1960, Hale had a recurring role on Rory Calhoun's CBS western series The Texan.

Throughout the early 1960s, Hale continued in guest-starring roles on episodes of Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Rawhide, The Real McCoys, Mister Ed, Assignment: Underwater, Hawaiian Eye, Adventures in Paradise, Lock Up, The Andy Griffith Show, Lassie, Tales of Wells Fargo, Route 66, and Hazel. He was featured in two episodes of Perry Mason, first as murderer Lon Snyder in the 1961 episode, "The Case of the Unwelcome Bride," then in 1963 he played Nelson Barclift in "The Case of the Bouncing Boomerang". Actress Diana Millay also appeared in both episodes.

In addition to numerous guest roles on television, Hale was noted for his supporting-character roles in such movies as the character of Whitey in the 1947 Christmas movie "It Happened on 5th Avenue", as Porthos' son in the 1952 "Three Musketeers" sequel "At Swords Point" opposite Cornell Wilde and Maureen O'Hara, in the stock car racing film Thunder in Carolina (1960) starring Rory Calhoun, The Long Rope (1961) with Hugh Marlowe, Bullet for a Badman (1964) with Audie Murphy, Advance to the Rear (1964) starring Glenn Ford, and "hanging party" blacksmith Matt Stone in Hang 'Em High (1968) starring Clint Eastwood.

Gilligan's Island

In 1964, Hale won the co-starring role as the Skipper on the CBS sitcom Gilligan's Island. The series aired for a total of 98 episodes from 1964 to 1967. The role proved to be the most prominent role for Hale, as the show continued to be popular for later generations of viewers due to syndicated reruns. The popularity of the show typecast its actors, making it difficult for them to successfully pursue diversified acting opportunities. They received no substantial residual payments for their roles, and the difficulty in finding roles often created financial hardship and resentment. However, Hale did not mind being so closely identified with the Skipper.[7] According to Sherwood Schwartz, he often visited children in hospital dressed as the Skipper.

Hale reprised the role of the Skipper in three television films, Rescue from Gilligan's Island in 1978, The Castaways on Gilligan's Island in 1979, and The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island in 1981. He also voiced the Skipper in two cartoon versions of the series, The New Adventures of Gilligan from 1974 to 1977 and Gilligan's Planet from 1982 to 1983. Hale also appeared as the Skipper in two unrelated sitcoms, The New Gidget in 1987 and ALF in 1989. He also promoted Gilligan's Island reruns on TBS, alongside Bob Denver. Denver and Hale also appeared as their characters at various promotional events.[8]

Dawn Wells said in a 2014 interview on with Larry and Nancy Manetti, when asked if Alan Hale Jr. was the consummate professional of the Gilligan's Island series, "Well, that is so interesting, because Alan Jr. and his father looked so much alike, you don't know, who was who. His father did all the Errol Flynn ... I used to say to Alan, 'How was it growing up in a household, with all those moviestars?' Alan was absolutely, the consummate professional, wonderful gentleman, jovial, never complained ... he was the exact same size of my dad. Everytime he picked me up and hugged me, I thought he was my father, he was my dad." Then, Wells also responded if she ever went to her acting mentor's restaurant, he once owned in Los Angeles, "It was a lobster house on La Cienega Blvd., and he would greet you with his sea hat on, as you can.... but that was after the show; and he had his friend, Anthony, there, with some good food, too." The last question that has ever been asked by Dawn, was if Gilligan's Island, was nearly his show, "No, no... as a matter of fact, it was interesting when you go back and find the people that they should thought say the other characters, and I understand Alan was doing a movie in Utah and they wanted to bring him to audition and he couldn't get a flight out, so ... he hitchhiked, hitchhiked on the highway and then, he came in to audition."[9]

Later years

After the end of Gilligan's Island, Hale continued his career in television. He guest-starred on several series, including The Wild Wild West, Here Come the Brides, Land of the Giants, The Virginian, Here's Lucy, Marcus Welby, M.D., The Paul Lynde Show, The Love Boat, and Crazy Like a Fox.

Hale also appeared in film roles from the 1960s to the 1980s. During the 1970s, he starred in The Giant Spider Invasion (1975) and Angels Revenge (1978), both of which were later featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000 (as was his 1963 film The Crawling Hand). In 1983, Hale costarred in comedy-drama film Hambone and Hillie, starring Lillian Gish. The following year, he had a role in the comedy Johnny Dangerously and became a spokesman for a car dealership in Victoria, British Columbia. In 1987, Hale starred in the horror film Terror Night. Later that same year, he made his final film appearance in a cameo role with Bob Denver in Back to the Beach.

Other ventures

In addition to acting, Hale also co-owned Alan Hale's Lobster Barrel, a restaurant that was opened in the mid-1970s. The Lobster Barrel was located on La Cienega Boulevard on Los Angeles' Restaurant Row. According to Hale's agent, Hale was "phased out" of the business in 1982. He later opened Alan Hale's Quality and Leisure Travel office.[8]

Personal life

Hale was married twice; his first marriage was on March 12, 1943[2] in Hollywood[2] to Bettina Doerr Hale[2] with whom he had four children: Alan Brian, Chris, Lana, and Dorian. The couple later divorced.[4][10] In 1964, Hale married former singer Naomi Ingram, to whom he would remain married until his death.[11][12]


Hale died on January 2, 1990, of thymus cancer at St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles at age 68. His ashes were sprinkled into the Pacific Ocean.[3][13] Gilligan's Island co-star, Dawn Wells, was in attendance representing the surviving members of the cast.

For his contribution to the television industry, Alan Hale, Jr., has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 6653 Hollywood Blvd.[14]

Stage career

Date Production Role
1931 Caught Wet Brewster
1934–1935 Small Miracle George Nelson
1935 Ceiling Zero Tay Lawson
1937 Red Harvest Private Breen
1940 The Scene of the Crime Bob Hanley
1952 Hook n' Ladder Mr. Gilkens

Selected filmography

Year Title Role Notes
1933 Wild Boys of the Road One of the Boys Uncredited
1941 I Wanted Wings Cadet Uncredited
1941 Dive Bomber Pilot Trainee Uncredited
1941 All-American Co-Ed Tiny
1942 To the Shores of Tripoli Tom Hall
1942 Eagle Squadron Olsen
1942 Rubber Racketeers Red
1943 No Time for Love Union Checker Uncredited
1943 Watch on the Rhine Boy Uncredited
1946 Monsieur Beaucaire Courtier Uncredited
1946 Sweetheart of Sigma Chi Mike Mitchell
1947 It Happened on Fifth Avenue Whitey Temple
1947 The Spirit of West Point Oklahoma Cutter
1948 Homecoming Military Policeman Uncredited
1948 One Sunday Afternoon Marty
1949 It Happens Every Spring Schmidt
1949 Rim of the Canyon Matt Kimbrough
1950 The Gunfighter Brother
1950 Kill the Umpire Harry Shea Uncredited
1950 The Underworld Story Shaeffer, Durham Warehouse Thug
1950 The West Point Story Bull Gilbert
1951 Home Town Story Slim Haskins
1951 Honeychile Joe Boyd
1952 The Big Trees Tiny
1952 Springfield Rifle Mizzell
1952 At Sword's Point Porthos Jr.
1952 Wait till the Sun Shines, Nellie George Oliphant
1953 The Man Behind the Gun Cpl. Olaf Swenson
1953 Captain John Smith and Pocahontas Fleming
1954 Captain Kidd and the Slave Girl Jay Simpson
1954 Rogue Cop Johnny Stark
1954 Destry Jack Larson
1954 Young at Heart Robert Neary
1955 The Sea Chase Wentz
1955 A Man Alone Acting Sheriff Jim Anderson
1956 The Indian Fighter Will Crabtree
1956 The Killer Is Loose Denny
1957 Battle Hymn Mess Sergeant
1957 The True Story of Jesse James Cole Younger
1957 All Mine to Give Tom Cullen
1958 The Lady Takes a Flyer Frank Henshaw
1959 Up Periscope Lt. Pat Malone
1960 Thunder in Carolina Buddy Schaeffer
1962 The Iron Maiden Paul Fisher
1963 The Crawling Hand Sheriff Townsend
1964 Advance to the Rear Sgt. Beauregard Davis
1964 Bullet for a Badman Leach Alternative title: Renegade Posse
1968 Hang 'Em High Matt Stone, Cooper Hanging Party
1970 There Was a Crooked Man... Tobaccy
1975 The Giant Spider Invasion Sheriff
1979 The North Avenue Irregulars Harry, the Hat
1979 Angels Brigade Manny Alternative titles: Angels Revenge
Seven from Heaven
1979 The Fifth Musketeer Porthos
1983 Hambone and Hillie McVickers
1984 The Red Fury [15] Doc Kaminsky
1984 Johnny Dangerously Desk Sergeant
1987 Terror Night Jake Nelson Alternative title: Bloody Movie
1987 Back to the Beach Bartender's Buddy
Year Title Role Notes
1950–1952 The Gene Autry Show Tiny – Sidekick 9 episodes
1953 Man Against Crime Lt. Olmstead Episode: "Hide and Seek"
1952–1954 Biff Baker, U.S.A. Biff Baker 26 episodes
1955 The Public Defender Sparky Albright Segment: "The Hitchhiker"
1955 Stage 7 Herb 'Bad News' Loftus Episode: "The Traveling Salesman"
1955 Navy Log Beartracks Episode: "The Pollywog of Yosu"
1956 The Red Skelton Show Muldoon Episode: "Cookie Returns"
1956 Screen Directors Playhouse Bowen Episode: "A Ticket for Thaddeus"
1957 The Millionaire Bill "Buffalo" Walker Episode: "The Professor Amberson Adams Story"
1957 The Alcoa Hour Red Regan Episode: "The Animal Kingdom"
1957 Cheyenne Les Bridgeman Episode: "Hired Gun"
1957–1958 Casey Jones Casey Jones 32 episodes
1958 Northwest Passage Sam Beal Episode: "The Red Coat"
1958 Wanted: Dead or Alive Dan Poe Episode: "Passing of Shawnee Bill"
1958–1960 The Texan Sculley 6 episodes
1959 Bat Masterson Bailey Harper Episode: "A Personal Matter"
1959 Bonanza Swede Lundberg Episode: "The Saga of Annie O'Toole"
1959 The Untouchables Big Bill Phillips Episode: "Tri-State Gang"
1960 The Alaskans Hap Johnson Episode: "Partners"
1960 Shotgun Slade Sheriff Sloan Episode: "Lost Gold"
1960 Maverick Captain Jim (US Marshal) Episode: "Arizona Black Maria"
1961 The Jack Benny Program McGuire Episode: "Jack Goes to Gym"
1961 Hawaiian Eye Big Mac McConnel Episode: "Dragon Road"
1961 Adventures in Paradise Captain Arthur Butcher 2 episodes, "Captain Butcher" and "The Serpent in the Garden"
1961 Gunsmoke Jake Higgins Episode: "Minnie"
1961 Perry Mason Lon Snyder Episode: "The Case of the Unwelcome Bride"
1962 The Andy Griffith Show Jeff Pruitt Episode: "The Farmer Takes a Wife"
1962 Wagon Train Kirby Episode: "The Lonnie Fallon Story"
1962 Follow the Sun Charlie Episode: "The Irresistible Miss Bullfinch"
1963 77 Sunset Strip Baxter Episode: "Tarnished Idol"
1963 Empire Fletcher Episode: "The Convention"
1963 The Lucy Show Fire Academy instructor Episode: " Lucy Puts Out a Fire at the Bank"
1963 Perry Mason Nelson Barclift Episode: "The Case of the Bouncing Boomerang"
1964 The New Phil Silvers Show Charlie Episode: "Pay the Two Dollars"
1964 My Favorite Martian Omar M. Keck Episode: "The Disastro-Nauts"
1964–1967 Gilligan's Island Jonas Grumby (The Skipper) 98 episodes
1966 Gunsmoke Bull Bannock Episode: "Champion of the World"
1967 Batman Gilligan Episode: "The Ogg and I"
1967 Hondo Ben Cobb Episode: "Hondo and the Death Drive"
1968 The Wild Wild West Ned Brown Episode: "The Night of The Sabatini Death"
1968 Daktari Big Joe Wonder Episode: "African Showdown"
1969 Green Acres Sheriff Episode: "A Prize in Every Package"
1969 The Flying Nun Uncle Reggie Overton Perkins 2 episodes
1969 The Good Guys Big Tom 3 episodes
1970 The Andersonville Trial The Board of Military Judges Television movie
1970 Here's Lucy (TV series) Moose Manley Episode: "Lucy and Wally Cox"
1970 Ironside Laurence Drescher Episode: "The People Against Judge McIntire"
1971 Alias Smith and Jones Andrew J. Greer Episode: "The Girl in Boxcar #3"
1971 The Doris Day Show Charlie Dinser Episode: "Have I Got a Fellow for You!"
1971 O'Hara, U.S. Treasury Episode: "Operation: Moonshine"
1973 McMillan & Wife Port Captain Episode: "The Fine Art of Staying Alive"
1974–1975 The New Adventures of Gilligan The Skipper (Voice) 24 episodes
1975 The Wonderful World of Disney Cholly 2 episodes
1978 Rescue from Gilligan's Island The Skipper Television movie
1979 The Castaways on Gilligan's Island The Skipper Television movie
1979 ABC Weekend Special Mayor Episode: "The Revenge of Red Chief"
1979 The Littlest Hobo Harry Episode: "Stand-in"
1979 The Love Boat Jack Tigue Episode: "The Harder They Fall"
1980 Fantasy Island Judge Winston Episode: "Rogues to Riches/Stark Terror"
1981 The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island The Skipper Television movie
1982 The Love Boat Gus Dolan Episode: "Meet the Author"
1982–1983 Gilligan's Planet The Skipper (Voice) 13 episodes
1983 Matt Houston Rawson Harmon IV Episode: "The Yacht Club Murders"
1986 Murder, She Wrote Fenton Harris Episode: "Trial by Error"
1986 Magnum, P.I. Russell Tate Episode: "All Thieves on Deck"
1987 Simon & Simon Silk McNabb Episode: "For Old Crime's Sake"
1987 ALF Skipper Jonas Grumby Episode: "Somewhere Over the Rerun"
1987 Growing Pains The Cabbie Episode: "This Is Your Life"
1988 The Law & Harry McGraw Episode: "Gilhooey's Is History"


  1. "U.S. Census 1940".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 "Alan Hale (Jr.) MacKahan & Bettina Reed Doerr Marriage Certificate".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 Flint, Peter B. (4 January 1990). "Alan Hale Jr., Who Was Skipper On 'Gilligan's Island,' Dies at 71". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 September 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Alan Hale's Resemblance To His Father Confusing". The Washington Reporter. June 8, 1965. p. 8. Retrieved 14 December 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Aaker, Everett (2006). Encyclopedia Of Early Television Crime Fighters: All Regular Cast Members In American Crime and Mystery Series, 1948–1959. McFarland. p. 246. ISBN 0-7864-2476-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  8. 8.0 8.1 Lee, John H. (January 4, 1990). "Alan Hale Jr., 68; Skipper on TV's 'Gilligan's Island'". Retrieved December 15, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Thomas, Nick (2011). Raised by the Stars: Interviews with 29 Children of Hollywood Actors. Mcfarland. p. 61. ISBN 0-7864-6403-8.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  12. "Alan Hale Jr., Gillian's big buddy, dies". Ocala Star-Banner. January 4, 1990. p. 2A.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Actor Alan Hale Jr., Gilligan's Skipper". The Vindicator. 1990-01-03. p. 34. Retrieved 14 December 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Lee, John H. (January 4, 1990). "Hollywood Star Walk: 6653 Hollywood Blvd". Retrieved 14 December 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "The Red Fury (1984)". New York Times. Retrieved December 13, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links