There would be no “Gilligan’s Island” without Gilligan, but Bob Denver’s later years were filled with struggles. Denver’s wife, Dreama, published a memoir called “Gilligan’s Dreams; The Other Side of the Island.” In it, she talked about facing serious financial difficulties because of a lack of residuals, says Fox News, and not only did that make starting their own foundation — The Denver Foundation, which supports individuals with special needs — difficult, but it made providing for his family difficult. According to what she told Cancer Today, he was never paid more than $1,500 per week, and once an episode had aired twice, there was no more money.
Then, in 1984, the couple welcomed their son, Colin. Colin was diagnosed with severe autism and a seizure disorder, and required around-the-clock, specialized care … and it was care that wasn’t cheap. “When money was tight, Bob would go do personal appearances and that would give us enough to tide us over,” his wife shared. “We lived hand-to-mouth for a lot of our marriage.”
Dreama Denver has been candid, too, about her husband’s regrets regarding finances, saying that it always haunted him that he hadn’t held out for a better deal that would have improved their financial standing in later years. Still, they made the best of it: “We struggled financially, physically, emotionally like anybody else, and sometimes I think it really helps folks to know that celebrities are not immune to the challenges of life.”