Alan Hale Jr.


Actor
Alan Hale Jr.

About

Also Known As
Alan Hale, Alan Hale [Jr.]
Died
January 02, 1990
Cause of Death
Cancer Of The Thymus

Biography

A prolific character actor in film and on television for over four decades, Alan Hale, Jr. appeared in nearly every genre imaginable, but was largely remembered as the genial Skipper on "Gilligan's Island" (CBS, 1964-67). The son of actor Alan Hale, he was best used as imposing tough guys or folksy, easily amused sidekicks; both of these qualities were put to use as the Skipper, who coul...

Photos & Videos

The Killer is Loose - Lobby Card Set
Rogue Cop - Lobby Card Set
The Giant Spider Invasion - Movie Poster

Family & Companions

Naomi Hale
Wife
Second wife.

Biography

A prolific character actor in film and on television for over four decades, Alan Hale, Jr. appeared in nearly every genre imaginable, but was largely remembered as the genial Skipper on "Gilligan's Island" (CBS, 1964-67). The son of actor Alan Hale, he was best used as imposing tough guys or folksy, easily amused sidekicks; both of these qualities were put to use as the Skipper, who could be counted on as the castaways' strong man, while at the same time, fluster apoplectically over Gilligan's shenanigans. When the iconic series came to an end, Hale had no ill will towards those who typecast him as the Skipper, as the role had extended his career another two decades. He continued to play overgrown teddy bears of one stripe or another until his death in 1990, which was mourned by two generations of TV kids who had grown up on that tropical island with Hale.

Born Alan Hale Mackahan, Jr. on March 8, 1921 in Los Angeles, he was the lookalike son of Alan Hale, Sr., the prolific character actor who co-starred with the likes of Douglas Fairbanks and Errol Flynn, and silent film actress Gretchen Hartman. Reportedly, Hale Jr. began his acting career as an infant during the silent period, but his first recorded appearance was at the age of 10 in the Broadway play "Caught Wet," for which he was credited as "Allan Hale." Two years later, he landed his first screen role in a sound film with an uncredited turn in "Wild Boys of the Road" (1933). Blessed with the same powerful build as his father, but with a broad, childlike smile and boisterous laugh, Hale was well cast as physical men - soldiers, college football players, cowboys - whose easygoing nature offered a counterpoint to the stoicism of their leading men. He was largely a background player for most of his early roles, but by the late 1940s, he was a staple of military dramas and Westerns. He even netted a lead or two, most notably in "Sarge Goes to College" (1947), a lightweight school drama in which his WWII hero is sent to recuperate at a university and becomes involved in collegiate hijinks.

Hale segued smoothly into television at the dawn of the 1950s, and essayed a variety of sidekicks and henchmen for such cowboy shows as "Range Rider" (syndicated, 1951-52) and "The Gene Autry Show" (CBS, 1950-56), where he frequently played Gene's right hand man, Tiny. Now frequently billed as Alan Hale after the death of his father at the dawn of the decade, he began filling many of the roles the elder Hale had played or would play in features, including Alexandre Dumas' Musketeer Porthos in "At Sword's Point" (1952) and "Lady in the Iron Mask" (1952), and support to such major stars as Kirk Douglas in "The Big Trees" (1952), Gary Cooper in "Springfield Rifle" (1953) and Robert Taylor in "Rogue Cop" (1954). Hale also enjoyed the occasional lead, though mostly on television, where he was top-billed as "Biff Baker, U.S.A." (CBS, 1952-53), a two-fisted import businessman who found himself up to his neck each week in international intrigue. From 1957 to 1958, he played the legendary railroad engineer "Casey Jones" (CBS, 1958) before segueing to a variety of roles on the Desilu-produced Western "The Texan" (CBS, 1958-1960) with Rory Calhoun. Though Westerns were his stock and trade for most of the 1950s and early 1960s, Hale appeared in nearly every genre, from comedies like "The Andy Griffith Show" (CBS, 1960-68), where his lovelorn farmer, Jeff Pruitt, took a liking to Barney Fife's sweetheart, Thelma Lou, to dramas and action series like "Adventures in Paradise" (ABC, 1959-1962) and "Route 66" (CBS, 1960-64).

In 1964, producer Sherwood Schwartz was looking for an actor to play the skipper of a marooned pleasure cruise in a new sitcom he was creating for CBS. After auditioning and passing on several actors, including Carroll O'Connor, he spied Hale at a Hollywood restaurant and decided that he had found his Jonas Grumby, captain of the doomed S.S. Minnow and second lead on "Gilligan's Island." As the Skipper, Hale's role was to maintain a semblance of order and buoy the spirits of his fellow castaways while enlisting his bumbling first mate, Gilligan (Bob Denver), in rescue attempts. The relationship between Gilligan and the Skipper appeared at times antagonistic - big laughs were generated by the Skipper taking a swipe at Gilligan with his hat - but in reality, the pair were like father and son. Schwartz had envisioned them as a modern take on comedy legends Laurel and Hardy, and for his part, Hale gave an admirable turn as Hardy, right down to his signature slow burn. Offscreen, Denver and Hale were also close friends and mutual admirers.

Though many on "Gilligan" found themselves unhappy with the quality of the scripts, and unhappier still when the series was abruptly cancelled in 1967, Hale did not appear to be phased by the turn of events. He simply returned to his steady work as a supporting player on television. And while several of his castmates, most notably Bob Denver, struggled to distance themselves from their "Gilligan" image, Hale embraced the typecasting, making frequent personal appearances as the Skipper, and even co-starring with Denver in his first post-"Gilligan" series, "The Good Guys" (CBS, 1968-1970). Part of the reason for Hale's lack of concern was that due to the length and breadth of his career - aside from Jim Backus - he had the longest career of any performer on "Gilligan," and his effortless talent made it easy for him to slip back into the character roles he had been playing prior to the Schwartz series.

Hale's career showed no signs of slowing as he entered his third decade of performing in the 1970s. He signed up to reprise the Skipper in all of the spin-off animated series, like "The New Adventures of Gilligan" (ABC, 1974), as well as the exceptionally popular live-action reunion films, starting with "Rescue from Gilligan's Island" (NBC, 1978). But he maintained an acting career well outside the "Gilligan" franchise, which included 1979's "The Fifth Musketeer," for which he again reprised Porthos opposite his "At Sword's Point" co-star, Cornel Wilde. Hale also owned and operated several businesses in Los Angeles, most notably the Lobster Barrel, a seafood restaurant where he would frequently serve as host while dressed as the Skipper. Hale was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in the late 1980s, but continued to make appearances in film and on television series. He showed no reticence in playing the Skipper for any occasion, and while receiving treatment for his illness, frequently visited children who were receiving care in the same hospital while wearing his Skipper's cap. On Jan. 2, 1990, Hale passed away at the age of 68.

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Back To The Beach (1987)
Hambone and Hillie (1984)
Johnny Dangerously (1984)
The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island (1981)
Angels Brigade (1980)
The Fifth Musketeer (1979)
Castaways On Gilligan's Island (1979)
The North Avenue Irregulars (1979)
Rescue from Gilligan's Island (1978)
The Giant Spider Invasion (1975)
There Was a Crooked Man ... (1970)
Tobaccy
Tiger by the Tail (1970)
Billy Jack Whitehorn
Hang 'Em High (1968)
Stone
Advance to the Rear (1964)
Sgt. Beauregard Davis
Bullet for a Badman (1964)
Leach
The Crawling Hand (1963)
Sheriff
The Swingin' Maiden (1963)
Paul Fisher
The Long Rope (1961)
Sheriff John Millard
Thunder in Carolina (1960)
Buddy Schaeffer
Up Periscope (1959)
Ensign Pat Malone
The Lady Takes a Flyer (1958)
Frank Henshaw
All Mine to Give (1958)
Tom Cullen
The True Story of Jesse James (1957)
Cole Younger
Affair in Reno (1957)
Deke
Battle Hymn (1957)
Mess sergeant
The Killer Is Loose (1956)
Sgt. "Denny" Denning
The Cruel Tower (1956)
Rocky Milliken
Canyon River (1956)
Lynch
The Three Outlaws (1956)
The Sundance Kid, also known as Enrique Towers
Many Rivers to Cross (1955)
Luke Radford
Destry (1955)
Jack Larsen
The Indian Fighter (1955)
Will Crabtree
The Sea Chase (1955)
Wentz
A Man Alone (1955)
Jim Anderson
The Law vs. Billy the Kid (1954)
Bob Ollinger
Rogue Cop (1954)
Johnny Stark
Silver Lode (1954)
Kirk
The Iron Glove (1954)
Patrick Gaydon
Captain Kidd and the Slave Girl (1954)
Jerry Simpson
Young at Heart (1954)
Robert Neary
Captain John Smith and Pocahontas (1953)
Fleming
The Man Behind the Gun (1953)
Olaf Swenson
Trail Blazers (1953)
Roger Stone
The Big Trees (1952)
Tiny
Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nellie (1952)
George Oliphant
Mr. Walkie Talkie (1952)
Tiny
At Sword's Point (1952)
Porthos
Springfield Rifle (1952)
Mizzell
Lady in the Iron Mask (1952)
Porthos
Arctic Flight (1952)
John W. Wetherby
And Now Tomorrow (1952)
Honeychile (1951)
Joe Boyd
Home Town Story (1951)
Slim Haskins
The Underworld Story (1950)
Schaeffer
The Gunfighter (1950)
Brother
The Blazing Sun (1950)
Ben Luber
The West Point Story (1950)
Bull Gilbert
Kill the Umpire (1950)
Harry Shay
Sierra Passage (1950)
Yance Carter
Short Grass (1950)
Chris Christofferson
When Willie Comes Marching Home (1950)
Sergeant
Rim of the Canyon (1949)
Matt Kimbrough
It Happens Every Spring (1949)
Schmidt
One Sunday Afternoon (1949)
Marty
Riders in the Sky (1949)
Marshal Riggs
Homecoming (1948)
M.P.
Music Man (1948)
Joe
It Happened on 5th Avenue (1947)
Whitey
Sarge Goes to College (1947)
Sarge
The Spirit of West Point (1947)
Oklahoma Cutler
Sweetheart of Sigma Chi (1946)
Mike Mitchell
Monsieur Beaucaire (1946)
Courier
Watch on the Rhine (1943)
Boy
No Time for Love (1943)
Union checker
Wake Island (1942)
Sight setter
Rubber Racketeers (1942)
Red
To the Shores of Tripoli (1942)
Tom Hall
Eagle Squadron (1942)
Olesen
The McGuerins from Brooklyn (1942)
2d attendant
Top Sergeant (1942)
Cruxton
All-American Co-Ed (1941)
Tiny
Sweetheart of the Campus (1941)
Football player
Time Out for Rhythm (1941)
College boy
I Wanted Wings (1941)
Cadet
Dive Bomber (1941)
Pilot

Cast (Special)

When the West Was Fun: A Western Reunion (1979)
Rex Harrison Presents Short Stories of Love (1974)
Johnny Risk (1958)

Cast (Short)

VICTORY QUIZ (1942)

Life Events

Photo Collections

The Killer is Loose - Lobby Card Set
The Killer is Loose - Lobby Card Set
Rogue Cop - Lobby Card Set
Here is a set of Lobby Cards from MGM's Rogue Cop (1954), starring Robert Taylor, Janet Leigh, George Raft, and Anne Francis. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
The Giant Spider Invasion - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for The Giant Spider Invasion (1975). One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.

Videos

Movie Clip

All Mine To Give (1957) - I'm Scottish! Immigrant frontiersman Eunson (Cameron Mitchell) awakened (by Hope Emerson) at the birth of his first child, mother Marnie (Glynis Johns) glowing, the grown boy (Rex Thompson narrating) then describing the first meeting with Cullen (Alan Hale Jr.), in RKO's All Mine To Give, 1957.
Advance To The Rear (1964) - The Whole Purpose Of This War Union Captain Heath (Glenn Ford) is upbraided by his superior, by-the-book career officer and General Brackenby (Melvyn Douglas), for rocking the boat by taking prisoners, when fighting ensues, and he has a further chat with his goofy Sergeant Davis (Alan Hale Jr.), early in the MGM Civil War comedy Advance To The Rear, 1964.
North Avenue Irregulars, The (1979) - He's Not Taking Threats Rev. Hill (Edward Herrmann), baffled by rampant gambling at his church, takes to the air with an ad-libbed crusade, alarming his secretary (Susan Clark), also Patsy Kelly and Douglas Fowley, bookie Harry (Alan Hale Jr.), gangster Roca (Frank Campanella) and parishoners Barbara Harris and Cloris Leachman, in the Walt Disney crime-comedy The North Avenue Irregulars, 1979.
Springfield Rifle (1952) - I'm Used To Being Obeyed Gary Cooper is Kearney, a former Union Major court-martialed for surrendering horses to Confederate-backed raiders, now in with that same crowd, Fess Parker as friendly Randolph, David Brian as the boss McCool, Jack Woody as cowhand Sims, in the war-espionage Western Springfield Rifle, 1952.
Hang 'Em High - I'm An Ex-Lawman! From the long opening scene, Cooper (Clint Eastwood) is in-effect tried by Wilson (Ed Begley) and henchmen (Alan Hale Jr., Bruce Dern, et al) in his first Hollywood Western starring role, in Hang 'Em High, 1968.
Young At Heart (1954) - Ready, Willing And Able The Tuttles at the Connecticut beach, before the romantic turmoil, Amy (Elisabeth Fraser) humoring plumber Ernie (Lonny Chapman), then Laurie (Doris Day) with a tune by Floyd Huddleston, Al Rinker and Dick Gleason, for dad (Robert Keith) and boyfriend Alex (Gig Young) in Young At Heart, 1954.
All-American Co-ed (1941) - Open, Chap With A Chip Opening credits and song by Walter G. Samuels and Charles Newman, men in drag, led by Johnny Downs as "Bob," a.k.a. "Bobbie," in the 49-minute Hal Roach "streamlined feature," All-American Co-ed, 1941, also starring Frances Langford and directed by the veteran choreographer LeRoy Prinz.
At Sword's Point (1952) - What A Pretty Boy! Introduction of Maureen O'Hara as the daughter of Athos, through two smart outfits, summoned to join the sons of the other "Musketeers" (Cornel Wilde, Dan O'Herlihy, Alan Hale Jr.) who are convinced she's good looking, if not that she's a girl, early in At Sword's Point, 1952.
At Sword's Point (1952) - The Musketeers 2nd generation musketeers D'Artagnan, Aramis, Porthos and Claire (Cornel Wilde, Dan O'Herlihy, Alan Hale Jr., Maureen O'Hara), contrive to see the sickly French queen (Gladys Cooper), hoping to stop the forced marriage of her daughter (Nancy Gates), in RKO's wacky At Sword's Point, 1952.
West Point Story, The - By The Kissing Rock Cadets Tom (Gordon MacRae) and Bull (Alan Hale Jr.) mugging a tune (a Jule Styne/Sammy Cahn original) from their musical, comments and demonstration by visiting Broadway pro's Bix (James Cagney) and Eve (Virginia Mayo), in The West Point Story, 1950.
Giant Spider Invasion, The - Gleason Days Idyllic and evidently authentic scenes from the "Gleason Days" fair in Gleason, Wisconsin take an arachnid turn, with Alan Hale Jr. (as Sheriff Jones) phoning for help in The Giant Spider Invasion, 1975.
Giant Spider Invasion, The - Physics Sheriff Jones (Alan Hale Jr.) is having a laugh at the expense of doctors Langer (Barbara Hale) and Vance (Steve Brodie) at the local hangout in The Giant Spider Invasion, 1975.

Trailer

One Sunday Afternoon (1948) -- (Original Trailer) A dentist in turn-of-the-century New York thinks he may have married the wrong girl in Raoul Walsh's musical version of the stage hit One Sunday Afternoon (1948).
Man Behind The Gun, The - (Original Trailer) A cavalry officer (Randolph Scott) sent to stop a rebellion helps found the city of Los Angeles in The Man Behind The Gun (1953).
Gunfighter, The - (Re-issue Trailer) The fastest gun in the West (Gregory Peck) tries to escape his reputation in The Gunfighter (1950).
Up Periscope - (Original Trailer) U.S. frogman James Garner infiltrates a Japanese-held island during World War II in Up Periscope (1959).
5th Musketeer, The - (Original Trailer) France's King Louis XIV (Beau Bridges) tries to use his look-alike brother to political advantage in The 5th Musketeer (1979) co-starring Ian McShane and Rex Harrison.
Advance To The Rear - (Original Trailer) Civil War rejects are sent to the West, supposedly out of harm's way in Advance To The Rear (1964) starring Glenn Ford and Stella Stevens.
Sea Chase, The - (Original Trailer) A German freighter captain (John Wayne) tries to elude the British in the early days of World War II in The Sea Chase (1955).
Dive Bomber (1941) -- (Original Trailer) Errol Flynn as a reckless but honorable surgeon turned test pilot, Fred MacMurray the flight commander who becomes his friend, in Warner Bros. noisy, uneven pre-Pearl Harbor color action hit Dive Bomber, 1941, from a story by aviator Frank "Spig" Wead.
West Point Story, The - (Original Trailer) A Broadway producer tries to put on a show at the legendary military academy in The West Point Story (1950) starring James Cagney and Doris Day.
Young At Heart - (Original Trailer) Frank Sinatra and Doris Day are among the very Young At Heart (1955) in this musical version of Four Daughters.
It Happens Every Spring - (Textless Trailer) Ray Milland is a scientist who invents a baseball that cannot be hit in It Happens Every Spring (1949).
True Story of Jesse James, The - (Original Trailer) Robert Wagner turns infamous outlaw in Nicholas Ray's The True Story of Jesse James (1957).

Family

Alan Hale
Father
Actor, director, inventor. Died in 1950.
Gretchen Hartman
Mother
Actor. Died in 1979.
Karen Hale Wookey
Sister
Script supervisor, former actor. Died on September 9, 1998 at age 74.

Companions

Naomi Hale
Wife
Second wife.

Bibliography