Tina Louise

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Tina Louise
Tina Louise 1964.JPG
Louise in 1964
Born
Tina Blacker

(1934-02-11) February 11, 1934 (age 90)
New York City, U.S.
Alma mater Miami University
Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre
Occupations
  • Actress
  • singer
Years active1952–present
Known for Gilligan's Island
God's Little Acre
The Hangman
The Trap
Day of the Outlaw
Spouse
(m. 1966;div. 1971)
Children Caprice Crane

Tina Louise ( née Blacker; born February 11, 1934) is an American actress widely known for her role as movie star Ginger Grant in the CBS television situation comedy Gilligan's Island . Louise is the last surviving cast member of the TV series.

Contents

She began her career on stage in the mid-1950s before landing her breakthrough role in 1958 drama film God's Little Acre for which she received the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year.

Louise had starring roles in The Trap , The Hangman , Day of the Outlaw , and For Those Who Think Young . She also appeared in The Wrecking Crew , The Happy Ending , and The Stepford Wives (1975).

Early life

Louise was born Tina Blacker on February 11, 1934, in New York City. [1] Her parents divorced by the time she was four. An only child, she was raised by her mother, Sylvia (née Horn, later Myers), a fashion model. Her father, Joseph Blacker, was a candy store owner in the Brooklyn borough of the city, and later an accountant. [2] Louise attended PS 6, Scarborough Day School and Miami University. [3]

Career

Early work

Louise got her first role at age two after being in an ad for her father's candy store. She began studying acting, singing, and dancing at age 17 under Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in Manhattan. Her acting debut came in 1952 in the Bette Davis musical revue Two's Company , [4] followed by roles in such other Broadway productions as John Murray Anderson's Almanac , Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? , and the hit musical Li'l Abner . [5] She appeared in the live television dramas Studio One and Producers' Showcase .

Louise with Gene Barry from the television series Burke's Law (1964) Gene Barry Tina Louise 1964.JPG
Louise with Gene Barry from the television series Burke's Law (1964)
Louise in The Happy Ending (1969) Tina Louise In The Happy Ending.JPG
Louise in The Happy Ending (1969)

Hollywood and Gilligan's Island

Louise made her film debut in 1958 in God's Little Acre . That same year, the National Art Council named her the "World's Most Beautiful Redhead." [6] The next year, she starred in Day of the Outlaw with Robert Ryan. She became a leading lady for stars such as Robert Taylor and Richard Widmark, often playing sombre roles. She turned down roles in the films of Li'l Abner and Operation Petticoat , [7] taking roles on Broadway and in Italian cinema. Among her Italian film credits were The Siege of Syracuse and Garibaldi (both in 1960).

Louise returned to the United States, began studying with Lee Strasberg, and became a member of the Actors Studio. [8] [9] In 1962, she guest-starred on the situation comedy The Real McCoys , portraying a country girl from West Virginia in the episode "Grandpa Pygmalion". She appeared with Bob Denver two years later in the beach party film For Those Who Think Young (1964). In 1964, she left the Broadway musical Fade Out – Fade In to portray movie star Ginger Grant on the situation comedy Gilligan's Island . Over time, she became unhappy with the role and was worried that it would typecast her. Although she continued to work in film and made guest appearances on television, she claimed repeatedly that playing Ginger had ruined her movie career. She did not appear in any of the subsequent Gilligan's Island sequel movies: Rescue from Gilligan's Island (1978), The Castaways on Gilligan's Island (1979), or The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island (1981). Other actresses played the role of Ginger in the sequels. She maintained a steady acting career after the series ended, going on to appear in the Matt Helm spy spoof The Wrecking Crew (1969) with Dean Martin and in The Stepford Wives (1975).

Louise attempted to shed her comedic image by playing darker roles, such as a heroin addict in a 1974 episode of Kojak and as a cruel corrections officer in the 1976 television movie Nightmare in Badham County . Other television appearances included supporting roles in Look What's Happened to Rosemary's Baby (1976), SST: Death Flight (1977), and the soap opera Dallas during the 1978–1979 seasons. In the fall of 1984, she succeeded Jo Ann Pflug as Taylor Chapin on the syndicated soap opera Rituals .

Later work

Later film roles included a co-starring appearance in the Robert Altman comedy O.C. and Stiggs (1987) as well as the independently made satire Johnny Suede (1992) starring Brad Pitt. She appeared in the situation comedy Married... with Children as Miss Beck in episode "Kelly Bounces Back" (1990). In 2014, Louise starred in the spiritual drama Tapestry and the horror film Late Phases . [10] [11]

Although Louise declined to participate in any of three Gilligan's Island reunion television films, she made brief walk-on appearances on a few talk shows and specials for Gilligan's Island reunions, including Good Morning America (1982), The Late Show (1988) and the 2004 TV Land award show with the other surviving cast members. In the 1990s, she was reunited with costars Bob Denver, Dawn Wells, and Russell Johnson in an episode of Roseanne . [4] She did not reunite with them for the television film Surviving Gilligan's Island (2001), co-produced by Wells; Ginger was portrayed by Kristen Dalton in the television film. [12] Her relations with series star Denver were rumored to be strained, but in 2005, she wrote a brief, affectionate memorial to him in the year-end "farewell" issue of Entertainment Weekly after his death. [13]

Following the news of Dawn Wells' passing in December 2020, Louise denied any longtime rumors that she resented the role of Ginger Grant: "Never true – I loved doing my part, especially after they really started writing for my character, originally billed as a 'Marilyn Monroe' type of character. A different director took over and really started to write for my character. I really loved my character." She also said that she was very grateful to the show's fans for their continued support, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic: "We were part of the wonderful show that everyone loves and has been a great source of comfort, especially during these times. We brought a lot of joy to people and still do. This show is an escape from so many things going on. Fathers share it with their children now. I get letters all the time about that." [14]

Music

Louise made one record album, It's Time for Tina, which was released originally on Concert Hall in 1957 (Concert Hall 1521), and later reissued on Urania Records (1958 and 1959 respectively). [15] With arrangements by Jim Timmens and Buddy Weed's Orchestra, 12 tracks include "Tonight Is the Night" and "I'm in the Mood for Love." Coleman Hawkins is featured on tenor sax. The album has been reissued on CD twice, most recently on the UK label Harkit Records. [16] The album was released on iTunes in 2012. She also recorded for United Artists Records [17] but recorded just one single for that label in 1958. [18]

Personal life

From 1966 to 1971, Louise was married to radio and TV announcer/interviewer Les Crane, with whom she had one daughter, Caprice, [19] [20] who became an MTV producer and a novelist. Tina Louise and Les Crane appeared together as a married couple in a 1973 episode of Love American Style . Caprice Crane's first novel, Stupid and Contagious, was published in 2006, [21] and was dedicated to her mother. [22]

Louise is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and a lifetime member of the Actors Studio. [23] Louise has been a vocal advocate for improving child literacy. She donated a portion of the proceeds of her 2007 book, When I Grow Up, to literacy programs and said in a 2013 interview that she had been volunteering at local public schools since 1996. [23] [24] She has written three books including Sunday: A Memoir (1997) and When I Grow Up (2007). [4] The latter is a children's book that inspires children to believe they can become whatever they choose through creative and humorous comparisons of animal kingdom achievements.[ citation needed ] She also published a second children's book titled What Does a Bee Do? in 2009. [25]

Louise is quoted as saying, "The best movie you'll ever be in is your own life because that's what matters in the end." [26]

A Democrat, she campaigned for John F. Kennedy during the 1960 presidential election. [27]

Filmography

Film

YearFilmRoleNotes
1958 God's Little Acre Griselda Walden Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actress
Laurel Award for Best Female Supporting Performance (5th place)
1959 The Trap Linda Anderson
1959 The Hangman Selah Jennison
1959 Day of the Outlaw Helen Crane
1960 L'assedio di Siracusa Diana / Artemide / Lucrezia
1960 The Warrior Empress Sappho
1961 Garibaldi French Journalist
1961 Armored Command Alexandra Bastegar
1964 For Those Who Think Young Topaz McQueen
1967 The Seventh Floor Dr. Immer Mehr
1968 The Wrecking Crew Lola Medina
1969 How to Commit Marriage Laverne Baker
1969 The Good Guys and the Bad Guys Carmel
1969 The Happy Ending Helen Bricker
1970 But I Don't Want to Get Married! Miss SpencerTelevision film
1973 Call to Danger April TierneyTelevision film
1975 The Stepford Wives Charmaine Wimpiris
1975 Death Scream Hilda Murray
1976 Look What's Happened to Rosemary's Baby Marjean DornTelevision film
1976 Nightmare in Badham County GreerTelevision film
1977 SST: Death Flight MaeTelevision film
1977 The Kentucky Fried Movie Voice
1978 Mean Dog Blues Donna Lacey
1979Friendships, Secrets and LiesJoan HolmesTelevision film
1980The Day the Women Got EvenMary Jo AlfieriTelevision film
1981Advice to the LovelornDiane MarshTelevision film
1981 Peter-No-Tail Molly CreamnoseVoice, English version
1984 Dog Day Noémie Blue
1984Hell RidersClaire Delaney
1985 Evils of the Night Cora
1985 O.C. and Stiggs Florence Beaugereaux
1987The PoolMiloha
1988Dixie LanesViolet Hunter
1991 Johnny Suede Mrs. Fontaine
1997 Welcome to Woop Woop Bella
2000Growing Down in BrooklynMrs. Pip
2004West from North Goes SouthCeleste Clark
2014 Late Phases Clarissa
2019TapestryRose

Television

YearShowRoleNotes
1956 Studio One DoloresEpisode: "Johnny August"
1956 Producers' Showcase MaudeEpisode: "Happy Birthday"
1957 The Phil Silvers Show GinaEpisode: "Bilko Goes South"
1957 Climax! Maxene SumnerEpisode: "A Matter of Life and Death"
1961 Tales of Wells Fargo Helene MontclairEpisode: "New Orleans Trackdown"
1961 The New Breed Stella KnowlandEpisode: "I Remember Murder"
1962 Checkmate CheckmateEpisode: "A Funny Thing Happened on My Way to the Game"
1962 The Real McCoys Tilda HicksEpisode: "Grampa Pygmalion"
1963 Burke's Law Bonnie Belle TateEpisode: "Who Killed Billy Jo?"
1963 Route 66 RobinEpisode: "I'm Here to Kill a King"
1964 Kraft Suspense Theatre Angie PowellEpisode: "The Deep End"
1964 Mr. Broadway The GirlEpisode: "Smelling Like a Rose"
1966 The Red Skelton Show Daisy JuneEpisode: "Be It Ever So Homely, There's No Face Like Clem"
1964–1967 Gilligan's Island Ginger Grant Series regular, 98 episodes
1967 Bonanza Mary BurnsEpisode: "Desperate Passage"
1968 It Takes a Thief Anna MartineEpisode: "Totally by Design"
1970 Ironside CandyEpisode: "Beware the Wiles of the Stranger"
1973 Mannix Linda ColeEpisode: "The Faces of Murder"
1969–1973 Love, American Style Mrs. Rossi / Wilma / Lola/ Audrey4 episodes
1974 Kojak Audrey NorrisEpisode: "Die Before They Wake"
1973, 1974 Police Story April / Anita2 episodes
1974 Movin' On Helen TruebloodEpisode: "The Cowhands"
1974 Kung Fu Carol MercerEpisode: "A Dream Within a Dream"
1975 Cannon Nell DexterEpisode: "The Wedding March"
1976 Marcus Welby, M.D. Susan DagerEpisode: "All Passions Spent"
1978–1979 Dallas Julie GreySpecial guest star, 5 episodes
1979 The Love Boat Betty BrickerEpisode: "My Sister, Irene/The 'Now' Marriage/Second Time Around"
1980 Fantasy Island Lisa CordayEpisode: "Unholy Wedlock/Elizabeth"
1980 CHiPs Edie Marshall2 episodes
1982 Matt Houston Jessica CollierEpisode: "The Kidnapping"
1983 Knight Rider Anne TylerEpisode: "The Topaz Connection"
1984–1985 Rituals Taylor Chapin Field von PlatenSeries regular
1986 Blacke's Magic Lainie WardeEpisode: "Death Goes to the Movies"
1986 Santa Barbara Cassie DunnSpecial guest star
1986 Simon & Simon Robin PriceEpisode: "Act Five"
1990 Married... with Children Miss BeckEpisode: "Kelly Bounces Back"
1994 All My Children Tish PridmoreSpecial guest star
1995 Roseanne Roseanne (cameo)Episode: "Sherwood Schwartz: A Loving Tribute"
1999 L.A. Heat Patricia LudwigsonEpisode: "In Harm's Way"

Stage work

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References

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