‘Gilligan’s Island’ star Tina Louise shares how the show 'represented this great escape'

  
Via:  vic-eldred  •  3 weeks ago  •  13 comments

‘Gilligan’s Island’ star Tina Louise shares how the show 'represented this great escape'
“When we first aired, our country was in turmoil,” Louise reflected. “We were just past the Cuban Missile Crisis and the tragic assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The Vietnam War was escalating and I think people really needed an escape. Then we lost our beloved Martin Luther King and in a time of uncertainty, ‘Gilligan’s Island represented this great escape.”

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


Tina Louise , one of the last surviving members of   “Gilligan’s Island,”   is speaking out about the show’s 55th anniversary.

The actress famously played Ginger Grant, also known as “ The Movie Star .” The only other living cast member is   Dawn Wells , who played   Mary Ann Summers .
In a recent interview with Closer Weekly, the 85-year-old actress said she’s proud of the show’s lasting legacy.

GettyImages-82192059.jpg?ve=1&tl=1
Russell Johnson (as the Professor, in white shirt), Alan Hale Jr. (1918 - 1990) (as the Skipper, in blue shirt), Bob Denver (1935 - 2005) (as Gilligan, in red shirt), Dawn Wells (as Mary Ann, hand on chin), Tina Louise (as Ginger, standing), Jim Backus (1913 - 1989) (as Thurston Howell III, holding radio), and Natalie Schafer (1900 - 1991) (as Mrs. Howell).  (CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)


“On this 55th anniversary of ‘Gilligan’s Island’ I want to say how wonderful it is that our show is still on the air after all these years,” Louise told   Closer Weekly . “I honestly feel like I have so many friends out there who just love what we did and what we shared and the joy we brought. I’m so happy to have been part of something that was so special to American television.”

The beloved “Gilligan’s Island” explored how seven men and women are stranded on an uncharted island following a storm. It also starred Bob Denver, Alan Hale Jr., Jim Backus, Natalie Schafer and Russell Johnson. The sitcom aired from 1964 until 1967.

“When we first aired, our country was in turmoil,” Louise reflected. “We were just past the Cuban Missile Crisis and the tragic assassination of   President John F. Kennedy . The Vietnam War was escalating and I think people really needed an escape. Then we lost our beloved Martin Luther King and in a time of uncertainty, ‘Gilligan’s Island represented this great escape.”

tina-louise-dawn-wells-natalie-schaefer-
Tina Louise (left), Dawn Wells and Natalie Schaefer on "Gilligan's Island."  (Getty)


“This sweet, silly show provided its fans with calm and joy in a frightening time and has continued to do so,” Louise continued. “Well done television transports people into a fantasy and no matter what turmoil exists in the world, ‘Gilligan’s Island’ has provided that escape in an enduring way. Considering the state of everything these days, we should all be happy it’s still in reruns!”

The magazine shared Louise originally pursued a modeling career before finding fame in Hollywood. At age 2, she appeared in an ad for her father’s candy store. By age 17, she was studying acting, singing and dancing at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City.

Louise would go on to make her acting debut in 1952’s “Two’s Company” on stage, which led to several other Broadway productions. She appeared in film with 1958’s “God’s Little Acre.” She is still active in front of the big screen and most recently appeared in 2019’s “Tapestry” opposite   Stephen Baldwin   and Burt Young.

Back in 2013, Louise told   Esquire   that being a redhead wasn’t always easy.

“A lot of men are afraid of redheads,” she told the outlet at the time. “There’s not that many — and we’re different.”
“… Most men are most comfortable with brunettes,” she continued. “Brunettes aren’t gonna run away from them; they’re not gonna leave. Men worry that a redhead will. Which is ridiculous! ‘Cause if I’m with you, I’m with you for a darn good reason, and I’m staying there.”

Louise also admitted that appearing on “Gilligan’s Island” was completely different from what she learned as an actress over the years.

“[Teacher]   Lee Strasberg   was important,” she shared. “He’d pick up your arm and see if – and how – it would drop to determine the level of relaxation in your body and spirit. He’d say, ‘Make a sound.’ Some people would start to laugh and that would sometimes turn to tears. You didn’t have to be sad — it all came from deep relaxation. I learned a lot from Lee about deep relaxation to get at something you were working toward. And then I found myself on ‘Gilligan’s Island,’ where somebody’s telling you, ‘Go to the right. Go to the left.’ That was an adjustment. ‘Gilligan’s Island is what it is, and I am who I am.”

Louise also told the outlet that aside from work, she’s been happily volunteering since 1996 and is a proud member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

GettyImages-947929136.jpg?ve=1&tl=1
Tina Louise attends The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children's 2018 Spring Luncheon at The Pierre Hotel on April 17, 2018, in New York City.  (Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

“I love being part of the Academy,” she said. “I try to see everything on the big screen. I see about two films a week. I don’t eat popcorn. I loathe it when people are eating popcorn in a movie house. I’m used to concentrating on a film in very quiet places.”

“Age is not a number,” Louise added. “Some people are way older than others who are the same numerical age because of the way they carry themselves, because of the way they don’t stand up straight, or the way their bellies stick out. I don’t think you should label people with numbers.”

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Vic Eldred
1  seeder  Vic Eldred    3 weeks ago

Here's to great escapes, be it TV comedies, good books, the racetrack or even loyal Redheads!

 
 
 
Tessylo
2  Tessylo    3 weeks ago

What's a 'loyal' redhead?

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
2.1  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Tessylo @2    3 weeks ago

Didn't you read it?  Oh, my mistake, I somehow left it out: “… Most men are most comfortable with brunettes,” she continued. “Brunettes aren’t gonna run away from them; they’re not gonna leave. Men worry that a redhead will. Which is ridiculous! ‘Cause if I’m with you, I’m with you for a darn good reason, and I’m staying there.”

(Fixed it)

 
 
 
JohnRussell
3  JohnRussell    3 weeks ago

Gilligan's Island is , in essence, a children's show.  The plots are simple minded,  the acting is rudimentary,  and the jokes are on an elementary school level. Once you accept that you are watching a show aimed at a childlike mentality , it is fairly enjoyable on that basis. 

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
3.1  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  JohnRussell @3    3 weeks ago

And those adolescents at the time (1964-67) would have been whom? Answer: most of the baby boomers.

 
 
 
MUVA
3.2  MUVA  replied to  JohnRussell @3    3 weeks ago

I notice that show is a lot like your comments.

 
 
 
WallyW
3.2.1  WallyW  replied to  MUVA @3.2    3 weeks ago
I notice that show is a lot like your comments.

Yep,  childlike and immature  jrSmiley_100_smiley_image.jpg

 
 
 
WallyW
3.3  WallyW  replied to  JohnRussell @3    3 weeks ago

Thanks  for confirming you have no sense of humor..  I  bet you didn't think this show was funny either.

 
 
 
Kathleen
4  Kathleen    3 weeks ago

I did see a couple episodes of that show and it was funny at times. I thought the most lovable character was the skipper. It was silly, but so were many shows made in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.  In all these shows there were funny moments in them.  We use to laugh thinking they sure took a lot of stuff with them for a couple hour trip. : )

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
4.1  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Kathleen @4    3 weeks ago

Some were fantasies and all were escapes from the harsh realities of life, which is why I seeded the article. On the fantasy side, does anyone remember "The Wild Wild West?" I think I was in my late teens when that was on tv. I couldn't sit through any of the episodes, but I remember thinking to myself, whenever I saw Robert Conrad in those action scenes - "now there is what a man should look like. 

Silly comedies, fantasies and variety shows were gradually replaced by the less entertaining counter culture slop of modern network tv, which I totally avoid. 

 
 
 
Kathleen
4.1.1  Kathleen  replied to  Vic Eldred @4.1    3 weeks ago

I remember the episode when they found a movie camera and wanted to make a movie to help them get rescued.  The close ups were real close ups! Lol  Also when they found the vegetables and they had super powers.  😆

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
4.1.2  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Kathleen @4.1.1    3 weeks ago

Lol, that's funny. That was typical of the writing. I'm surprised you remember that! I think we could have done a better job with some of the story lines. The characters were adequate but the plots were something else - as John pointed out, it was pointed at the key audience of that time - the very young of a huge generation.

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
5  Paula Bartholomew    3 weeks ago

What I don't get about that show is:

1.  Who takes an elaborate wardrobe (Mrs. Howel) for a 3 hr tour.  Also why would they take the tour at all as they were rich and had a yacht?

2.  The prof built a peddle car and other sophisticated things, but could not repair a hole in the side of a boat.

3.  The show went on for 14 yrs, yet their clothes never got old or worn out.

4.  None of the men had beards or long hair and the women had clean legs and pits.

5.  A band once appeared playing electric intruments, but there was no electricity on the island.

 
 
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