William "Willy" Gilligan ( or as he is simply known, Gilligan) is one of the main characters. He is a close friend of the Skipper, and first mate aboard the S.S. Minnow. Despite his accident prone nature, the Skipper often addresses Gilligan as "little buddy", demonstrating their friendship. He served with the Skipper in the Navy and apparently saved his life by pushing him out of the way of a depth charge, but according to the Skipper he "didn't exactly save it [his life], You just prolonged it so you'd give me more bad luck." Gilligan was played by actor Bob Denver.
Gilligan has to be the most dimensional character on the island. While much of his past is a mystery, more has been discovered about his personality than any of the other castaways. His personality can be labeled as funny, sensitive, klutzy, dumb in a funny way, and scared, due to the fact that throughout the series he is always doing clumsy and funny things, but he is nonetheless thoughtful and kind. Usually, when faced with headhunters and kidnappers, Gilligan is visibly scared, though when things get serious, he has been known to display a brave streak. Obviously not very intellectual, Gilligan sometimes doesn't understand words like "navigable" or "gourmet" and is very forgetful. Gilligan is accident-prone, and usually, disaster follows him wherever he goes. In Court-Martial, when the Skipper is trying to reconstruct the accident that marooned the castaways, it is discovered that Gilligan lost the anchor which wasn't tied to the Minnow and accidentally tossed the blowtorch overboard.