Russell Johnson Movies and Career Information

Russell Johnson profile image
Nov 10, 1924

Russell David Johnson (born November 10, 1924, Ashley, Pennsylvania) is an American television and film actor best known as "The Professor" on the CBS television sitcom Gilligan's Island. He is a graduate of Girard College, a private boarding school in Philadelphia. After high school, in the midst of World War II, Johnson joined the United States Army Air Forces as an aviation cadet; upon commissioning as a Second Lieutenant, Johnson was assigned the service number 0 765 497. He flew 44 combat missions as a bombardier in B-25 Mitchell bombers. His plane was shot down in the Philippines in March 1945, during a bombing run against Japanese targets. The plane had to crash land at the port of Zamboanga. In this mission, he broke both his ankles and earned his Purple Heart. He was also awarded the Air Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with three service stars, the Philippine Liberation Ribbon with one service star, and the World War II Victory Medal. He was honorably discharged with the rank of first Lieutenant on November 22, 1945. He then joined the Army Reserve and used the GI Bill to fund his acting studies. He became a close friend of Audie Murphy

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