Bob Denver, star of the iconic sitcom Gilligan's Island, would have turned 86 today, and fans have joined his widow, Dreama Denver, in paying tribute to the late actor online. The pair were wed in 1979 and were together until Denver's passing in 2005, and Dreama detailed their relationship and her husband's legacy in the biographical book Gilligan's Dreams. Taking to Facebook on what would have been Denver's 86th birthday, Dreama posted an image of herself and Bob along with an emotional message.
"January 9, 1935. You came into this world 86 years ago and changed my life 42 years later. I'll never stop missing you," Dreama writes.
The tribute comes just days after the passing of Dawn Wells, the actress who co-starred with Denver as Mary Ann on Gilligan's Island. On the official Bob Denver website, Dreama addressed the loss of someone who had been a close friend for the past 45 years. "I'm so grateful for her 82 beautiful years on this earth - years full of adventure and joy. Her impact in television, movies and stage will live on, her legacy will never fade," Dreama says of Wells.
Bob Denver is certainly best remembered for his role as Gilligan on Gilligan's Island, one of the most legendary sitcoms of all time. He'd reprise the role years later in a series of reunion movies. Denver also played beatnik Maynard G. Krebs on the classic comedy series The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. The actor also appeared in other shows like Far Out Space Nuts, Dusty's Trail, and The Good Guys along with roles in movies like A Private's Affair, Take Her, She's Mine, and Did You Hear the One About the Traveling Saleslady?.
Prior to his passing, Bob and Dreama established the Denver Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to assisting special needs individuals in the state of West Virginia. The foundation was created in honor of the coup's severely autistic son, Colin, whom Bob spent the last 21 years of his life caring for. They also created the nonprofit radio station Little Buddy Radio with all profits going to the Foundation and its mission. On the official website, Dreama notes that the best way to honor Bob's memory is to "live a full and happy life, carrying on the work he started with a heart as big as his."
On social media, Gilligan's Island fans are honoring Bob with tribute messages of their own. "Happy heavenly birthday to Bob Denver. He would have been 86 today," tweets one fan, including a photo of Denver alongside Wells.
"Happy Birthday to one of my favorite actors of all time, Mr. Bob Denver who was born on this day in 1935," says another fan. "Although he will be forever known as Gilligan, he had many other TV roles in shows like 'Dobie Gillis' and 'Far Out Space Nuts.'"
Attaching a collage of different images of Denver, another fan says, "Happy 86 birthday to Bob Denver up in heaven. May he Rest In Peace."
Denver is clearly very missed, but his legacy continues to live on. May he rest in peace. The tribute message from his wife was posted by Dreama Denver on Facebook.