Russell Johnson only lost his temper once, says Bob Denver

The only person that irked Russell Johnson was Mr. Warmth himself.

Warner Brothers

An air of unflappability is hard to cultivate. We all live in a pressure cooker, and some handle it better than others. Nobody can keep their cool forever, so we admire the folks who stay calm through the storm. When those cooler-headed people meet their limit, though, it's always interesting to see what stoked their ire and sent them over the line.

While some stars use their memoirs to bury castmates under heaps of bad press, Gilligan's Island star Bob Denver instead mostly praised his fellow castaways in his book, Gilligan, Maynard & Me. Especially when it came to the series' Professor, Russell Johnson, Denver had plenty of kind words. Specifically, Denver mentioned how levelheaded his fellow actor was on set. While the Gilligan's Island production could often get stressful, Denver noted that Johnson's cool demeanor held the cast together.

However, nobody is perfect, and we're all bound to lose it now and again.

"The only time I saw Russ lose his temper," wrote Denver, "was when Don Rickles guest-starred."

Rickles, of course, unnerved people professionally. It's why he was famous.

"Don could make anybody lose it."

Apparently, though, Johnson's sense of humor put him at odds with the legendary roast comic.

"Russ had a dry sense of humor, which was great because the rest of the cast went for the big joke. Russ, Dawn, and I do about two or three personal appearances a year. I always look forward to sitting with Russ and talking about the memories."

But Bob Denver knew not to bring up Don Rickles in front of his friend, as that was one memory they weren't looking to relive.

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3 Comments

Runeshaper 25 days ago
Would have been helpful to know what happened 🤷‍♂️
sagafrat69 27 days ago
I agree. Was it a particular scene they were doing? Something Rickles said or did and what was it. Geez... ya gotta give us some details! This is one of these stories that says a whole lot of nothing. Russell Johnson looked like a guy who could lose his temper so that's the only thing not surprising.
McGillahooala 28 days ago
What kind of story is this? What did Don do to get under his skin? What was Russell Johnson’s reaction? How do we know he was upset? These MeTV stories are like telling a joke and leaving out the punchline.
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