Alan Hale Jr. was constantly mistaken for his father in the '60s
The entertainment industry is an industry where connections run deep. Sometimes, it really is all about who you know as a young actor. For Alan Hale Jr., who played the Skipper on Gilligan's Island, that connection is someone very familiar to him.
His father, Alan Hale Sr., had a successful career in entertainment before his death in 1950. He was known for roles that include: The Adventures of Robin Hood, Adventures of Don Juan, The Sea Hawk and more.
In a 1964 interview with The State, Hale Jr. said many viewers who were fans of his dad, thought he was his reincarnation.
"The older I become the more the confusion," he said. "It's almost as if I'm two people, not one. Even old friends get confused. When the old Errol Flynn movie, Robin Hood, played on television for the first time, one of them said to me 'Saw you on TV last night. Great.' I had to tell him 'That wasn't me. That was my father. That film was made in 1937.'"
The father-son duo shared many striking resemblances with eachother. In voice and with a hearty laugh, he and his father were carbon copies of eachother. Physically, it seems the only difference between the two was his father had curly hair and Hale Jr.'s was straight.
"It's also almost like my dad isn't gone," he said. "Because of TV, we're all still talking about him constantly. At least once a week my children chorus 'Daddy, look - Grandpa is on television!'"
Hale's career had never suffered due to the constant mix up between him and his father, instead it was his way of connecting with his father, even after his death.
In a 1964 interview with Arizona Republic, Hale Jr. said when he joined the cast of Gilligan's Island in 1964 the producer didn't want him to lose weight for the role.
"My going weight is usually 250, but the producer... doesn't want me to lose a pound," he said. "He says my weight adds weight to my role. I carry it pretty well, and I can eat as much of anything as I want to. I love to eat, as did my father."
Gilligan's Island was just another chapter in which he and his father's memory connected. According to Hale Jr., he never complained about his success. He was happy enough with the legacy left by both him and his father.
"With me, it's a way of life, but I couldn't care less whether or not I become an actor's actor," he said. "My father was a working actor, not in the least star conscious. I'll settle for that. As long as there's a job to look forward to, I'm content. But if the day ever comes when producer's won't hire me, then you'll hear me complain, but loud!"