13 Actors Who Almost Died Filming Major TV Shows

4. Gilligan's Island - Bob Denver

bob denver gilligans island

In an interview charting his favourite moments while working on Gilligan's Island, star Bob Denver revealed that a beloved sequence from a particularly popular episode almost led to him becoming lion food. In a sequence where Denver was attempting to barricade himself away from a wild lion inside Howell's hut, he piled up furniture at the door to keep the lion away, failing to notice that the lion is already in the room with him.

If there was any doubt that the lion was real, or that it would do what all lions tend to do when faced with a potential meal, Denver admitted that he didn't have to act any fear into his performance:

"I must have looked like a little mouse because I heard the roar and my hair stood on end. The only thing that saved me was the twin beds splitting part when he tried to push off, then I turned to see the trainer in mid-air as he tackled the lion to keep him away from me. Other than that, none of us had any close calls. Believe me, that was close enough!"

Apparently most of the cast also considered the episode to be their favourite, which must have come as heartening justification that he was almost mauled to death to Denver.


WhatCulture's former COO, veteran writer and editor.