Strange Brouhaha

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

R.I.P. Maynard G. Krebs

It's strange. I watched Gilligan's Island all the time, and Dobie Gillis almost never, but for some reason when I heard the news that Bob Denver died, my first thought was of Maynard's goatee.

For anyone who has played one iconic character, let alone two, life must be an interesting combination of elation and disappointment; you know you'll never work again in any meaningful way, but you also know that you'll live forever in reruns.


  • My guess is that life was a constant frustration for Bob Denver. Actors like to go out and work and act and get into it -- the good ones, anyway. Not being able to work, grow and do what you love is horrible. Did he ever work seriously after Gilligan's Island? Tina Louise refused to do any of the Gilligan movies in the early '80 (is that when it was?) because she wanted to move on and not be known only as Ginger, which is quite reasonable and understandable -- she wanted to continue acting and do something else and not just be a prop for everybody else's nostalgia.

    Sitting back and raking in the adulation because you're in re-runs is nothing but self-centered, and no real working actor wants this. That's left for those bent on the trappings of celebrity -- I don't see Bob Denver being terribly interested in that.

    So, if I had to guess, I'd say, bad for him, but good for us. We should all thank him.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:10 AM  

  • I didn't mean anything like "raking in the adulation," but I wonder if it offers some small measure of comfort to an actor to have a success like that--to know that they created a role that would last. I agree that not being able to work, grow etc. is horrible, but how many actors ever get the chance to create icons? It's the double-edged blade of success.

    I know that actors resent being typecast; look at pretty much any "Star Trek" actor for proof of what can happen. Lightning rarely strikes twice the way it did for Bob Denver. According to this obit from The Hollywood Reporter, he did a Woody Allen play (another actor's dream, at least according to every actor who's ever worked for Woody) and some movies and other TV shows.

    By Blogger Robert, at 9:38 AM  

  • (Josh) Far Out Space Nuts was fairly awesome as well. Basically Gilligan in space.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:23 PM  

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