Professor Roy Hinkley, Jr. is one of the main characters on the show. He is a science professor at a high school, and it's because of this that he is almost solely referred to as "The Professor" instead of his name.
The Professor was a high school science teacher who originally booked his tour on the Minnow to help with his research on his book "Fun With Ferns." The Professor is very smart, kind, sensible, and rarely gets frightened. The Professor is very grounded in reality, and doesn't believe in superstitious things like voodoo or ghosts. He always strains to find a sensible, logical explanation for almost any situation.
Dr. Roy Hinkley, a 35 year old high school Professor, holds 6 degrees in the fields of chemistry, botany, biology, and geography. He has a B.A. from USC, a B.S. from UCLA, an M.A. from SMU, and received his Ph.D from TCU at the age of 25. He also holds a master's degree in psychology, and can speak fluent Marubi, Papuan, and Katubi, to name a few. Back home, he is the number one man on his chess team, and was the youngest Eagle Scout in the entire city and at the time of the shipwreck was a Scoutmaster. He has never been married. He wrote a book called, "Rust, the Real Red Menace," and was writing another book "Fun with Ferns," which was the reason for taking the 3 hour tour. During his first week on the island, he discovered 5 different mutations of ragweed. The Professor shows very little knowledge of sex, sea navigation, and finance, and is oblivious to the constant pursuit by Ginger and Mary Ann. Still, the Professor is the only rational person on the island, and without his scientific skills and leadership ability, it is unlikely that the castaways would ever stand a chance of survival, let alone rescue. On the Island he has acted as a judge, doctor, dentist and psychiatrist.
With the exception of the dream sequences, the Professor wears a white, long sleeved, dress-like shirt, khakis, and brown shoes throughout the entire show. During cool nights on the island, he wears a brown tweed coat. He also has a set of striped pajamas.
The Professor doesn't seem to bring a lot of stuff with him besides a few books (although a few were probably already on the Minnow), rubber gloves, a magnifying glass and a slide rule.
- It is a common joke on the show that the Professer can make anything from coconuts and bamboo, but he can't fix a 2-foot hole on a boat. (Actor Russell Johnson later explained that if he was stuck on an island with Dawn Wells and Tina Louise, he would be in no hurry to fix the boat.)
- In the episode, Two on a Raft, it is mentioned on the radio that he is a research scientist of no particular field and a Scoutmaster.
- In high school, he was on the chess team.
- In the unaired pilot, he was played by John Gabriel and was a high school teacher called "the Professor."
- When asked how long he could kiss Ginger Grant during the Silent Movie episode, he mentions had been a scuba diver.
- In "Rescue from Gilligan's Island," when the Skipper and Gilligan vist the Professor in a laboratory, Gilligan knocks over a pile of test tubes- this was a dummy set by the Professor just set up for Gilligan!
- In the Lord Beasley episode, the Professor passes out from drinking too much fermented berry tea. In the Nyet, Nyet, Not Yet episode, he claims he can't drink Vodka because he is allergic to alcohol.
- In the first Season ending credits, he is seen beside the Minnow wearing his trademark white shirt and dark pants. In the episode where everyone is allergic to Gilligan, the Professor is seen wearing white pajamas with rosette decorations. In the Beauty contest episode, he is seen wearing a brown sport coat.
- He also owns a calendar watch and a pocket knife and a diary
- In common with the Skipper, he enjoys eating coconut-pineapple pie
- He writes with his left hand.
- Among his inventions are a bamboo Geiger counter; a bamboo hypodermic syringe; clamshell prongs; a record player made from the Minnow's steering wheel; bamboo test tubes.
- Ironically, in real life, Russell Johnson was a USAF crewman on a bomber that crash landed in the Phillippines during World War II!