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Thurston Howell III (mentioned in the opening credits as: "The Millionaire") is a character on the CBS television sitcom Gilligan's Island, which ran from 1964 to 1967, and later in syndication. Howell, portrayed by veteran character actor Jim Backus, is so wealthy that he took hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and several changes of clothing with him for what was intended to be only a three-hour boat tour in Hawaii, one of the sillier premises of the show. Speaking with a Locust Valley lockjaw accent, Howell is a stereotypical member of the New England Yankee elite — a resident of Newport, Rhode Island, a graduate of Harvard University and a Republican. He is a member of the Union League Club where he has a "window seat". His wife, Lovey, portrayed by Natalie Schafer, is conscious of social strata, yet seems to be a good-hearted woman with a deep sense of noblesse oblige, allowing her to interact with the other passengers and crew, though they are all her social inferiors. One of the implied humorous points of the show is that Thurston continually fails to realize that all of the Howells' money is essentially useless to them on the island. On the other hand, the other castaways apparently tolerate the fact that he refuses to do any work. One exception is when an egocentric Hollywood producer (played by Phil Silvers) "visited" the island and the Howells had to wait on him as butler and maid in order to be rescued. One of the most unusual aspects of his character is that, even though he is married, he sleeps with a teddy bear that he calls "Teddy". The Howells, as was common practice on American sitcoms of the mid-1960s, slept in twin beds. Thurston Howell III was the basis of a character in the television sitcom Dusty's Trail which was based on Gilligan's Island. Howell was included on Forbes Magazine's 2006 list of the 15 richest fictional characters, with a net worth of $8.6 billion.[1]He is shown as owning several large corporations. When asked what happened to him during the Great Depression, his wife says that he was a billionaire, lost most of his money and "became just a millionaire." Among his assets were a diamond mine, a coconut plantation, a railroad, an oil well, and 40,000 acres (16,000 ha) in Colorado—which included all of downtown Denver—that he bequeathed to his fellow castaways in his will. He also owned the Hatchet-Cuckoo Oil Company in Dust Bowl, Oklahoma. He tried to shove this supposedly worthless oil company on Gilligan. When he hears that an imposter is going to sell off his companies for cash, he is so enraged that he tries to swim back to the mainland three times, intent on killing the man, only to be stopped by Gilligan, the Skipper and his wife. Backus reprised his role in the three spin-off movies of the original series, although in the last one, (The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island) Backus's declining health only allowed him to make a three minute appearance. Although the Howells never had any children in the original series, their son, Thurston Howell IV (portrayed by David Ruprecht), is introduced in that movie. The younger Howell's mannerisms are similar to those of his father. Cultural and literary references[edit] Mitt Romney was compared to Thurston Howell during his 2012 U.S. Presidential campaign due to a perception of him as wealthy and out-of-touch.[2] References[edit]

^ Noer, Michael (2006-11-20). "The Forbes Fictional 15". Forbes. Retrieved 2010-01-10.  ^ Brooks, David (September 18, 2012). "Thurston Howell Romney". The New York Times. Retrieved September 18, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Gilligan's Island on IMDb

v t e

Gilligan's Island

Episodes

Season 1 Season 2 Season 3

Characters

Gilligan The Skipper The Professor Ginger Grant Mary Ann Summers Thurston Howell III Lovey Howell

Spin-offs

The New Adventures of Gilligan Rescue from Gilligan's Island The Castaways on Gilligan's Island The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island Gilligan's Planet Surviving Gilligan's Island

Related

Episodes S. S. Minnow The Adventures of Gilligan's Island Gilligan's Island pinball machine The Real Gilligan's Island Gilligan's Wake

v t e

Forbes Fictional 15

2002

Santa Claus Richie Rich Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks Scrooge McDuck Thurston Howell III Willy Wonka Bruce Wayne Lex Luthor J. R. Ewing Auric Goldfinger C. Montgomery Burns Charles Foster Kane Cruella de Vil Gordon Gekko Jay Gatsby

2005

Santa Claus Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks Richie Rich Lex Luthor C. Montgomery Burns Scrooge McDuck Jed Clampett Bruce Wayne Thurston Howell III Willy Wonka Arthur Bach Ebenezer Scrooge Lara Croft Cruella de Vil Lucius Malfoy

2006

Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks C. Montgomery Burns Scrooge McDuck Richie Rich Jed Clampett Mr. Monopoly Bruce Wayne Tony Stark Prince Abakaliki of Nigeria Thurston Howell III Willy Wonka Lucius Malfoy Tony Montana Lara Croft Mario

2007

Scrooge McDuck Ming the Merciless Richie Rich Mom Jed Clampett C. Montgomery Burns Carter Pewterschmidt Bruce Wayne Thurston Howell III Tony Stark Fake Steve Jobs Gomez Addams Willy Wonka Lucius Malfoy Princess Peach

2008

Uncle Sam Scrooge McDuck Richie Rich Gordon Gekko Jabba the Hutt Ebenezer Scrooge Tony Stark Thurston Howell III Bruce Wayne Adrian Veidt Jed Clampett Artemis Fowl II C. Montgomery Burns Lara Croft Mr. Monopoly

2010

Carlisle Cullen Scrooge McDuck Richie Rich Tony Stark Jed Clampett Adrian Veidt Bruce Wayne Tooth fairy Thurston Howell III Sir Topham Hatt Artemis Fowl II C. Montgomery Burns Chuck Bass Jay Gatsby Lucille Bluth

2011

Scrooge McDuck Carlisle Cullen Artemis Fowl II Richie Rich Jed Clampett Tony Stark Smaug Bruce Wayne Mr. Monopoly Arthur Bach Jo Bennett C. Montgomery Burns Chuck Bass Gordon Gekko Jeffrey Lebowski

2012

Smaug Flintheart Glomgold Carlisle Cullen Jed Clampett Tony Stark Richie Rich Charles Foster Kane Bruce Wayne Forrest Gump Mr. Monopoly Lisbeth Salander Tywin Lannister C. Montgomery Burns Robert Crawley Jo Bennett

2013

Scrooge McDuck Smaug Carlisle Cullen Tony Stark Charles Foster Kane Bruce Wayne Richie Rich Christian Grey Tywin Lannister C. Montgomery Burns Walden Schmidt Lara Croft Mr. Monopoly Mary

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