Tina Louise must be feeling her age at least somewhat, seeing as how she is the last surviving cast member of Gilligan’s Island. Dawn Wells, the actress who played Mary Ann Summers, passed away in December of 2020. Thus making Louise the sole member of a club that once included the likes of Bob Denver, Alan Hale Jr., Jim Backus, Natalie Schafer, and Russel Johnson.
Louise played the movie star Ginger Grant on that Sherwood Schwartz-led series which ran from September 26, 1964 to it’s finale on April 17, 1967. The series followed the misadventures of seven unfortunate castaways; who shipwrecked on a deserted island after hopping aboard the SS Minnow in what infamously supposed to be only a ‘three-hour tour’.
Giligan’s Island ran for 98 episodes, and throughout the course of the series; and well beyond it’s initial run considering how the series perpetually airing in syndication ever since – Tina Louise had the reputation of being a ‘blonde bombshell’. Some viewers simply wrote her off as some kind of ditsy, eye-candy type, and really, so did much of the entertainment industry. After Gilligan’s Island wrapped up, Louise found herself typecast and found it very difficult to land other roles. There was even a rumor that started going around that Louise resented her role as Ginger because of this – but we’ll address that one in just a bit.
Some of Louise’s later roles included appearances in the Robert Altman comedy OC and Stiggs in 1987 and in the 1992 film Johnny Suede alongside Brad Pitt. She also guest-starred on an episode of the sitcom Married…With Children as the character Miss Back in the 1990 episode ‘Kelly Bounces Back’. In 2014, she starred in the spiritual drama film Tapestry as well as in the horror film Late Phases; which came out later that year.
At 87, Louise still seems to be doing quite well for age. In fact, she’s even feeling spry enough to consider pursuing love at this late stage of her life. Join Facts Verse as we discuss the octogenarian actresses‘ love life as well as a few other details of her personal life.
Tina Louise Finally Admits Which Gilligan Star She Found Most Attractive
In a recent interview, Louise seemed to have no hesitation when asked who she thought was her sexiest Gilligan co-star was. Speaking to the New York Post; Louise revealed that the actor that she found to be most attractive from the series was none other than Jim Backus.
Louise referred to Jim, the actor who played the millionaire Thurston Howell III, as hilarious. And as everyone knows, there are few better ways to win over someone’s heart than through humor. Tina said that she loved how funny and witty Jim was. And how he would go to the psychiatrist every day and come back to the set to tell her the day’s news. Beyond his great sense of humor, Louise admitted to finding the man adorable in pretty much every way.
The popular 60s television series also starred Bob Denver as Gilligan, Alan Hale Jr as the Skipper, and Russell Johnson as the professor.
Speaking of Johnson, Louise said that the professor ‘read too many books’. And as far as Gilligan, she explained that he was much too nervous and scared all the time. Ultimately, he was too shy for her tastes and talked too fast for her to keep up.
Louise lives in New York City, and she’s currently single. The only time she has ever married was back in 1966 when she married radio announcer and television show host Les Crane. The couple had one daughter, Caprice Crane; who was born in 1970 and has since become a producer for MTV as well as a novelist. Louise’s marriage to Crane ultimately soured, and the two divorced in 1971.
When asked if she is still open to finding love at this point in her life, Louise told the Post that she is ‘open to life’. She also opened up about what qualities she would be looking for in a prospective partner if they were to come her way.
She told the outlet that he would have to be funny with a good heart. And money wouldn’t matter if they happened to stuck on an island together.
When asked who in Hollywood she finds to be attractive, Louise said that she has a bit of thing for late-night host, John Oliver. She mentioned several things about Oliver that struck her fancy, including his dimples and the fact that he is ‘bright, cute, and funny’. She went on to opine that for a relationship to be successful. You have to actually enjoy each other’s company and have something interesting to talk about. That certainly wouldn’t be a problem if she ever did get a chance to spend time with her celebrity crush; considering how Oliver literally talks for a living.
Tina Louise’s Thoughts On Being Labeled As A ‘Blonde Bombshell’
Ever since her breakthrough role in 1958s God’s Little Acre; Tina Louise has known for her looks just as much as for her acting chops. It’s something that many celebrities have to contend with; but that doesn’t necessarily excuse the superficial way that they are perceived by the media and critics. But at the end of the day, it’s just a fact of life – and one that Louise has always acknowledged.
Louise’s rise to fame was during a time that was very socially conscious. The 60s and 70s were definitely an era of change. And many ways, her role of Griselda in the film God’s Little Acre mirrored her real-life experience.
Addressing the film, Louise said that Griselda was only sexy because she looked and felt the part, but in reality, her story was pretty tragic. “Men just couldn’t keep their hands off [her[“ Louise remarked before further detailing how in the film; every time a man saw her they tried to kiss her and ‘rough her up’.
Being treated like a sexual object instead of as a person is still a serious problem today. But back in the 60s, the issue wasn’t addressed nearly as well as it is in the modern world.
Louise hated feeling objectified like that. She lamented how she treated as one-dimensional even though anyone that spent any time with her would learn that she’s not. It was especially difficult for her to convince Hollywood that she was a serious actress once she had developed the reputation for being the bombshell.
Tina Louise On Aging
Nearly six decades have gone by since Giligan’s Island was on the air. And Louise’s place in the entertainment industry has obviously shifted since then.
In 2013, the aging star told Esquire that she believed that age was less of a concrete number and more so a constuct tied to one’s demeanor and outlook in life.
She told the outlet that some people are much older than others who are the same numerical age largely because of how they present themselves, their posture, or the way they have maintained their physique. She also expressed how she thinks it’s wrong to simply label people with numbers.
Clearing Up The Rumors
After Dawn Wells passed away in December 2020, Louise had a few kind words to say about her deceased co-star. Even though it was often speculated that the two had some kind of feud or rivalry; Louise says that she will always remember Wells’s kindness to her. She went on to express gratitude that they got to be a part of the creation of the same cultural landmark that continues to bring people joy during these uncertain times. She says that she hopes that people will remember her as she does; as someone who always wore a smile on her face.
Louise also denied the long-circulating rumors that she resented the role of Ginger Grant. She told the New York Post that these rumors were never true and rather she loved doing her part; especially after her character really started getting developed by the writing team. While Ginger was originally imagined as some kind of Marilyn Monroe-esque character. A different director eventually took over the series and started to write more sophisticated material for her character.
A Few Extra Details Of Tina Louise’s Personal Life
Tina Louise is a longtime member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. She is also a lifetime member of the Actors Studio.
Louise has always cared deeply for children and has been a vocal advocate for improving child literacy. After publishing her 2007 children’s book; When I Grow Up, she donated a portion of the book’s proceeds to literacy programs. She revealed in 2013 that she had also been volunteering at local public schools as far back as 1996.
In total, Louise has written three books. In addition to When I Grow Up, which she wrote to help inspire children to believe in themselves and feel empowered to become whatever they wanted to. She also penned 1997s Sunday: A Memoir and another motivational children’s book titled What Does A Bee Do; which hit bookshelves in 2009.
To wrap this video up, it seems fitting to recite one of Tina Louise’s most famous quotes.
She once said ‘The best movie you’ll ever be in is your own life because that’s what matters in the end”.
We think that Tina Louise’s life movie has been pretty fascinating to watch so far. And even though she’s 87, we’re still rooting for her to find true love!
Anyway, now it’s your turn to let your voice be heard. Do you think Tina Louise didn’t receive the credit she deserved for her acting skills? Or do you think she managed to show the world that she was more than just her looks? Let us know down below in the comments.
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