• Alan Hale Jr. began his career as a child actor
• He rose to stardom in the CBS comedy series “Gilligan’s Island”
• He was also a successful restauranteur
• His father, Alan Hale Sr., was a prolific actor and director
• He was worth an estimated $6 million at the time of his death in 1990
The late American actor, Alan Hale Jr., began his career as a child actor, and later rose to stardom through his role in the CBS comedy series “Gilligan’s Island.” He was also a successful restauranteur.
Alan Hale Jr. (1921–1990) is a TV icon as the Skipper, but he also played more than 200 other roles in a 50-year career!See him on HONDO — 11:15a ET What do you remember him from?
Age, Early Life, and Education Background
Alan Hale MacKahan hailed from Los Angeles, California, and was born under the Pisces zodiac sign on 8 March 1921. He was the son of the late prolific actor and director, Alan Hale Sr., and his wife, the late silent film actress Gretchen Hartman. Alan’s father appeared in more than 235 films before his death on 22 January 1950. Alan was raised alongside his two siblings, Jeanne Kohler Hale and Karen Hale Wookey, who was an actress famous for her role in the 1984 romantic adventure film “Romancing the Stone”, and the 1997 thriller “The Devil’s Own.”
Alan matriculated from Hollywood High School in 1938 and was classmates with the late American actor, Mickey Rooney, and actress Alexis Smith. He served in the US Coast Guard (USCG) during World War II. It’s reported that he dropped the ‘Jr.’ from his name in 1950 following the death of his father. In 1952, Hale revealed to The Times of San Mateo in California that he dreamt of becoming a fireman but his parents made him follow in their footsteps.
Career Beginnings: 1930s – 1950s
Alan Jr. launched his stage career with an appearance as Brewster in the play “Caught Wet” in 1931, then in 1933 made his screen debut in the William Wellman-directed drama film “Wild Boys of the Road”. He appeared in several films in the ‘40s, such as “To the Shores of Tripoli” in 1942 and “Sweetheart of Sigma Chi” in 1946. Subsequently, Hale appeared in the movie “When Willie Comes Marching Home” in 1950 before he began working in television in the early ‘50s.
He was cast for the starring role in the adventure TV program, “Biff Baker, U.S.A.,” which was canceled in 1954. 1957 was a very busy year for Alan; he appeared in the Steve McQueen-starred western series “Wanted Dead or Alive,” the Warner Bros. and ABC series “Cheyenne,” and the western TV show “Casey Jones,” in which he starred in 32 episodes.
1960s – 1980s
In the early ‘60s, Alan appeared in single episodes of many series, such as the Western “Maverick,” “The Real McCoys,” “Gunsmoke,” and “Perry Mason,” among others. He was later cast to star as Jonas Grumby aka The Skipper in the acclaimed Sherwood Schwartz sitcom “Gilligan’s Island”, and appeared in all its 98 episodes from 1964 through 1967. After that, Alan appeared in several other series, such as “The Wild Wild West,” The Paul Lynde Show,” and “Crazy Like a Fox” among others.
Hale was later seen in several other movies, such as “The Giant Spider Invasion” in 1975 and “Angels Revenge” in 1978. He reprised his role of The Skipper in three films including “Rescue from Gilligan’s Island” in 1979, and “The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan’s Island” in 1981. Thereafter, Alan appeared in the crime comedy movie “Johnny Dangerously” in 1984, the series “Murder, She Wrote” in 1986, the NBC sitcom, “ALF” in 1987, and the slasher movie “Terror Night” in the same year.
He made his last film appearance in “Back to the Bench” in 1987, and his last TV appearance was in the mystery drama “The Law & Harry McGraw” in 1988.
In addition to his acting career, Alan work as an orange grower, salesman, second-hand car lot investor, and ran an ice cream parlor. He also served as a salesman for a vacuum cleaner firm, as the San Francisco Examiner revealed in 1951.
Alan opened up the restaurant, Alan Hale’s Lobster Barrel in Los Angeles, used his fame in “Gilligan’s Island” to popularize his establishment, and would wear a Grumby Skipper hat whenever he served his customers, which increased sales significantly. He later left the hospitality industry, and launched a yacht cruise travel agency, inevitably called Gilligan’s Island. Moreover, he was the founder of Alan Hale’s Quality and Leisure Travel Office.
Gilligan's Island The SS Minnow Ala Wai Boat Harbor 1651 Ala Moana Blvd. Honolulu, Hawaii. By Joe Schellinger pic.twitter.com/jkm4qvFzz8
— Delta Bravo Team (@deltabravourbex) January 28, 2016
For his significant contribution to the film industry, Alan has a star on the historic landmark, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which is situated at 6653 Hollywood Boulevard.
Alan was married twice – his first wife was Bettina Doerr Hale, and the duo walked the aisle in Hollywood on 12 March 1943, after dating for one year. The couple welcomed four children, Dorian, Lana, Chris and Alan Brian, and spent two decades together before they called it quits in 1963.
Soon afterwards, the “Gilligan’s Island” star exchanged vows with Naomi Grace Ingram in 1964, and stayed together until he died in 1990. Naomi passed away on 5 April 2008, aged 85 in Los Angeles, California, and was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles. She was a New York native, and an actress known best for her appearance in the TV series “E! True Hollywood Story.”
Hale Jr.’s Death
Hale was diagnosed with thymus cancer in the late ‘80s, and was hospitalized at the Los Angeles-based St. Vincent Medical Center for treatment, as his family’s spokeswoman, Bonnie Churchill, revealed. Sadly, he succumbed to the disease at the age of 68 on 2 January 1990. His body was incinerated and his remains were sprinkled in the Pacific Ocean in attendance of his family and several friends, including the late American actress, Dawn Wells, with whom he co-starred in “Gilligan’s Island.” The surviving members of the CBS sitcom had selected Dawn to attend on their behalf.
Height, Weight, and Physical Appearance
Alan was of Caucasian ethnicity and had a set of brown eyes and gray hair. He stood at the height of 6ft 2ins (1.88m), and weighed approximately 165lbs (75kgs).
Hale Jr. had a successful career in Hollywood, which had made him rich and famous. He was worth approximately $6 million at the time of his passing – his father, Alan Sr. had accumulated a net worth of around $5 million.
Who was Alan Hale Jr.’s Father?
Alan Hale Sr. was born Rufus Edward MacKahan on 10 February 1892, in Washington, D.C. His acting career lasted for over four decades, after his film debut in the silent Western movie “The Cowboy and the Lady” in 1911. He went on to appear in many other films, such as “Robin Hood” in 1922, “The Adventures of Robin Hood,” alongside Basil Rathbone and Errol Flynn in 1938, and in the 1950 Technicolor adventure movie “Rogues of Sherwood Forest,” among others. Hale Sr. collaborated with the late legendary Australian-American actor Errol Flynn in over 13 projects.
He was also a creative inventor whose innovations included a sliding theater chair, greaseless potato chips, and a hand fire extinguisher. He died of a viral infection and liver disease in 1950 at the age of 57.