Tina Louise

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

(1934-02-11) February 11, 1934 (age 85)
OccupationActress, singer, author
Years active1952–2004, 2014–present
Les Crane
(m. 1966;div. 1971)
Children Caprice Crane

Tina Louise (born February 11, 1934) is an American actress best known for playing movie star Ginger Grant in the CBS television situation comedy Gilligan's Island . She began her career on stage during 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.

Ginger Grant

Ginger Grant is a fictional character portrayed by actress Tina Louise in the 1964 to 1967 television sitcom Gilligan's Island.

CBS is an American English language commercial broadcast television and radio network that is a flagship property of CBS Corporation. The company is headquartered at the CBS Building in New York City with major production facilities and operations in New York City and Los Angeles.

<i>Gilligans Island</i> American television series

Gilligan's Island is an American sitcom created and produced by Sherwood Schwartz. The show had an ensemble cast that featured Bob Denver, Alan Hale Jr., Jim Backus, Natalie Schafer, Russell Johnson, Tina Louise, and Dawn Wells. It aired for three seasons on the CBS network from September 26, 1964, to April 17, 1967. The series followed the comic adventures of seven castaways as they attempted to survive on an island on which they had been shipwrecked. Most episodes revolve around the dissimilar castaways' conflicts and their unsuccessful attempts, for whose failure Gilligan was frequently responsible, to escape their plight.


Louise had starring roles in a number of Hollywood movies, including The Trap , The Hangman , Day of the Outlaw , and For Those Who Think Young . Louise later returned to film, appearing in The Wrecking Crew , The Happy Ending , and The Stepford Wives (1975).

<i>The Trap</i> (1959 film) 1959 film by Norman Panama

The Trap is a 1959 color film noir directed by Norman Panama and released through Paramount Pictures. It stars Richard Widmark, Lee J. Cobb, Tina Louise, Earl Holliman, and Lorne Greene.

<i>The Hangman</i> (1959 film) 1959 film by Michael Curtiz

The Hangman is a 1959 film directed by Michael Curtiz. It stars Robert Taylor and Tina Louise. The film is based on the short story of the same name by Luke Short.

<i>Day of the Outlaw</i> 1959 film by André de Toth

Day of the Outlaw is a 1959 Western film starring Robert Ryan, Burl Ives, and Tina Louise. It was directed by Andre DeToth; this was DeToth's final Western feature film.

Early life

Tina Blacker was born in New York City, to a Jewish family. [1] [2] By the time she was four years of age, her parents had divorced. [3]

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

An only child, she was raised by her mother, Sylvia Horn (née Myers) Blacker (1916–2011), a fashion model. Tina's father, Joseph Blacker, was a candy store owner in Brooklyn [1] [3] and later an accountant. [4] The name "Louise" was allegedly added during her senior year in high school when she mentioned to her drama teacher that she was the only girl in the class without a middle name. He selected the name "Louise" and it stuck. [3] She attended Miami University in Ohio. [5]

Miami University Public research university located in Oxford, Ohio, United States

Miami University is a public research university in Oxford, Ohio. The university was founded in 1809, although classes were not held until 1824. Miami University is the second-oldest university in Ohio and the 10th oldest public university in the United States. The school's system comprises the main campus in Oxford, as well as regional campuses in nearby Hamilton, Middletown, and West Chester. Miami also maintains an international boarding campus, the Dolibois European Center in Differdange, Luxembourg. The Carnegie Foundation classifies Miami University as a research university with a high research activity. It is affiliated with the University System of Ohio.


Early work

At the early age of just two years, Tina got her first role, after being seen in an ad for her father's candy store. She played numerous roles until she decided it was best to focus on school work. By the age of 17, Louise began studying acting, singing and dancing. She studied acting under Sanford Meisner at the prestigious Neighborhood Playhouse in Manhattan. During her early acting years, she was offered modeling jobs, including as a rising starlet, who along with Jayne Mansfield, was a product advocate in the 1958 Frederick's of Hollywood catalog, and appeared on the cover of several pinup magazines such as Adam, Sir! and Modern Man. Her later pictorials for Playboy (May 1958; April 1959) were arranged by Columbia Pictures studio in an effort to further promote the young actress. [ citation needed ]

Sanford Meisner American actor and acting teacher

Sanford Meisner, also known as Sandy, was an American actor and acting teacher who developed an approach to acting instruction that is now known as the Meisner technique. While Meisner was exposed to method acting at the Group Theatre, his approach differed markedly in that he completely abandoned the use of affective memory, a distinct characteristic of method acting. Meisner maintained an emphasis on "the reality of doing", which was the foundation of his approach.

Jayne Mansfield American actress, singer, model

Jayne Mansfield was an American film, theater, and television actress. She was also a nightclub entertainer, a singer, and one of the early Playboy Playmates. She was a major Hollywood sex symbol during the 1950s and early 1960s, while under contract at 20th Century Fox. She was also known for her well-publicized personal life and publicity stunts, such as wardrobe malfunctions.

Frederick's of Hollywood was a well-known retailer of women's lingerie in the United States, with stores in many shopping malls across the US. After filing for bankruptcy in 2015, 93 retail stores were closed, the brand was acquired by Authentic Brands Group and it was relaunched as an online-only store.

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).

Her acting debut came in 1952 in the Bette Davis musical revue Two's Company , [5] followed by roles in other Broadway productions, such as John Murray Anderson's Almanac , The Fifth Season, and Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? She appeared in such early live television dramas as Studio One , Producers' Showcase , and Appointment with Adventure . In 1957, she appeared on Broadway in the hit musical Li'l Abner . Her album, It's Time for Tina, was released that year, with songs such as "Embraceable You" and "I'm in the Mood for Love". [ citation needed ]

Bette Davis American film, television and stage actress

Ruth Elizabeth "Bette" Davis was an American actress of film, television, and theater. With a career spanning 60 years, she is regarded as one of the greatest actresses in Hollywood history. She was noted for playing unsympathetic, sardonic characters, and was famous for her performances in a range of film genres, from contemporary crime melodramas to historical and period films, suspense horror, and occasional comedies, although her greatest successes were her roles in romantic dramas.

<i>Twos Company</i> (musical) musical

Two's Company is a musical revue with principal sketches by Charles Sherman and Peter DeVries, principal lyrics by Ogden Nash and Sammy Cahn, and principal music by Vernon Duke.

<i>John Murray Andersons Almanac</i> musical

John Murray Anderson's Almanac is a musical revue, featuring the music of the songwriting team of Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, as well as other composers. It was conceived by John Murray Anderson.

Hollywood and Gilligan's Island

Louise made her Hollywood 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 an in-demand leading lady for major stars like Robert Taylor and Richard Widmark, often playing somber roles quite unlike the glamorous pinup photographs and Playboy pictorials she had become famous for in the late 1950s. She turned down roles in Li'l Abner and Operation Petticoat [7] taking roles on Broadway and in Italian cinema and Hollywood. Among her more notable Italian film credits was the historical epic Garibaldi (1960), directed by Roberto Rossellini, that concerned Garibaldi's efforts to unify the Italian states in 1860. When Louise returned to the United States, she began studying with Lee Strasberg [8] and eventually became a member of the Actors Studio. [9] [10] In 1962, she guest-starred on the sitcom The Real McCoys , portraying a country girl from West Virginia in an episode titled "Grandpa Pygmalion". Two years later, prior to the development of Gilligan's Island , she appeared with Bob Denver in the beach party film For Those Who Think Young .

In 1964, she left the Broadway musical Fade Out – Fade In to portray movie star Ginger Grant on the situation comedy Gilligan's Island, after the part was turned down by Jayne Mansfield. Over time she became unhappy with the role and worried that it would typecast her. The role did make Louise a pop icon of the era, and in 2005 an episode of TV Land Top Ten ranked her as second only to Heather Locklear as the greatest of television's all-time sex symbols.[ citation needed ] After the series ended in 1967, Louise continued to work in film and made numerous guest appearances in various television series. She did not appear in the 1978 movie Rescue from Gilligan's Island nor on another cast reunion film, The Castaways on Gilligan's Island and The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island, the only original cast member to decline reprising the role (which was played by Judith Baldwin and Connie Forslund in the later film).

She appeared in the Matt Helm spy spoof The Wrecking Crew (1969) with Dean Martin. Louise played a doomed suburban housewife in the original The Stepford Wives (1975), and both the film and her performance were well received.

She attempted to shed her comedic image by assaying grittier roles, including a guest appearance as a heroin addict in a 1974 Kojak episode, as well as a co-starring role as a Southern Corrections Officer in the 1976 ABC television movie Nightmare in Badham County . Her other television films of the period included Look What's Happened to Rosemary's Baby (1976), SST: Death Flight (1977), Friendships, Secrets and Lies (1979), and in the prime-time soap opera Dallas , during the 1978–1979 seasons, as J.R. Ewing's secretary, Julie Grey, a semi-regular character. Her character was finally killed off. In the fall of 1984, she replaced Jo Ann Pflug as Taylor Chapin on the syndicated soap opera Rituals after Pflug refused to do love scenes with co-star George Lazenby because of her religious beliefs. After a few months, however, Louise did not renew her own contract and the character was written out. She later made cameo appearances on the network daytime soaps Santa Barbara and All My Children .[ citation needed ]

The question "Ginger or Mary Ann?" is considered a classic pop-psychological question when given to American men of a certain age as an insight into their characters, or at least their desires as regarding certain female stereotypes. With the January 2014 death of Gilligan's Island co-star Russell Johnson, Louise and actress Dawn Wells are the only two surviving cast members of the original sitcom.

Later work

Louise declined to participate in any of three reunion television films for Gilligan's Island. Despite maintaining an active career after the show's run, she maintained that the show actually ruined her career. The role of Ginger was recast with Judith Baldwin and Constance Forslund. Although she did not appear in these television movies, 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 . [5] She did not reunite with them for the television film Surviving Gilligan's Island (2001), co-produced by Wells. She was portrayed by Kristen Dalton in the television film. [11] 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 . [12]

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 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 . [13] [14]

Louise In The Happy Ending (1969) Tina Louise In The Happy Ending.JPG
Louise In The Happy Ending (1969)


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 has one daughter, Caprice Crane (born 1970), who became an MTV producer and a novelist. Crane's first novel, Stupid and Contagious, was published in 2006, and was dedicated to her mother.[ citation needed ]

Louise now resides in New York City. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and a lifetime member of the Actors Studio. [19] 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. [19] [20] She has written three books including Sunday: A Memoir (1997) and When I Grow Up (2007). [5] 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. [21]

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." [22]

A Democrat, she campaigned for John F. Kennedy during the 1960 presidential election [23] .



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
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


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"
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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