Aug 6, 2012

Denny Miller

Another iconic memory from my childhood -- an episode of Gilligan's Island, the sitcom about shipwreck survivors stranded on an island in the South Pacific. Gilligan (Bob Denver) was cute, and he obviously shared a romantic relationship with the Skipper (Alan Hale, Jr.), but there was no beefcake.  Except for that one episode, "Big Man on Little Stick," when muscular surfer Duke (Denny Williams) surfed all the way from Hawaii on a tsunami.

Born in 1934, Denny Miller starred in a beach-boy version of Tarzan in 1959, and did some other movies and tv series (you can see him jump into bed with Peter Sellers in The Party, 1968).  In the 1990s he was the rugged fisherman character on Gorton's commercials.  But even today, on his official website, the most popular signed photo is of Duke Williams bringing a moment of muscular joy to millions of people trapped in cold Midwestern winters.