A Brief History about actress Tina Louise
The beautiful Ginger Grant!
Tina Louise was born Tatiana Josivovna Chernova Blacker in New York City On February 11, 1934. Her mother was a fashion model and her father ran a candy store in Brooklyn who later became and an accountant. She added the name "Louise" during her senior year in high school when she realized she was the only girl in the drama department who didn't have a middle name.
She was accepted at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and began studying acting, singing and dancing. She started her acting career on Broadway. Her first Broadway musical was with Bette Davis in Two's Company (1952). She was also in the musical hit Li'l Abner (1957) where she played Appassionate Von Climax.
When Tina Louise headed to Hollywood, while she was working on getting her name known, she modeled and showed up in pinup magazines such as Adam, Sir! and Modern Man. Columbia Pictures arranged for her to be shown in Playboy in May 1958 and again in April 1959 to assist her in name recognition.
The National Art Council named her the "World's Most Beautiful Redhead" in 1958 and she became very much in demand as a leading lady for major stars at the time like Robert Taylor, Richard Widmark and Robert Ryan. She had a range in acting from the somber to the comedic and was working in Italian film, Broadway and Hollywood.
In 1964 she accepted the position on Gilligan's Island to play Ginger Grant, movie star. She was not the first choice, Jayne Mansfield was, but Mansfield, another well known pinup model, turned it down. This was a decision the actress has regretted. When she accepted the part she was told that she would be the star, and though she was professional on set, there was conflict and bitterness between Sherwood Schultz and Tina Louise as a result. After the show ran it's 3 year course, she removed herself from it not appearing in any of the television movies made after the show ended. Another conflict was between Dawn Wells. It looked like Ginger and Mary Ann got along really well on television, but there was strain between the two actresses. Their personalities just did not click. It was also floated around that there was conflict with Bob Denver, but when he passed away in 2005, Tina Louise wrote a beautiful eulogy for him.
After Gilligan's Island ended, Tina Louise tried to get out of the comedic typecast. In interviews she has stated that taking the position of Ginger ruined her acting career.
Today Tina Louise is very active in helping young students gain literary skills. She is a volunteer teacher at Learning Leaders, a non-profit organization that assists New York City school children with reading. Along these same lines, she has authored several books, one being a memoir and another being a children's book. Her latest book, "What Does a Bee Do" discusses the depopulation of honey bees and is offered on Amazon.
Ginger Grant was originally supposed to be a practical secretary, but instead was a very famous actress from Hollywood. When Ginger took the "three-hour tour" that stranded her with six other castaways she was still wearing her evening gown from singing at a club in Waikiki.
When Ginger was converted from the practical secretary to the famous actress she was originally supposed to be sharp tongued and hard-nosed. It was re-written to be more Marilyn Monroe-esqe. Ginger used her sex appeal in several ways on the show. She was Skipper's choice for the "Miss Castaway Pageant" that was held on the island. She was often conspiring with Thurston Howell III and willingly accepted his bribes for greater fame in Hollywood when they returned to civilization, and her secret code name was her figure measurements in one of the shows. She used sex appeal to try to manipulate Gilligan into doing her favors often, and in his innocence, often fainted and bonked his head on something.
Due to the many films roles that Ginger was in prior to the shipwreck, she spent time on the island taking on roles. She was a barefoot fortune teller, a hair stylist, a psychoanalyst and when plays were made, she was the leading lady. This was exceptionally memorable in the remake of Hamlet for Harold Heckuba when he visited the island. He didn't rescue them because he plagiarized their work when he returned to Hollywood.
Films that Ginger Grant was in:
1. Belly Dancers from Bali-Bali
2. The Bird People Meet the Chicken-Pluckers
3. The Hula Girl and the Fullback
4. In Our Darkest Hour When All Seems Lost, Somewhere in the Fearsome Black of Night, Let us Search for That Shining Star Which Will Guide Us Out of Our Desolation
5. Mohawk Over the Moon
6. The Rain Dancers of Rango-Rango
7. San Quentin Blues
8. Sing a Song of Sing-Sing
9. Housewives from Mars,
10. Dracula's Women
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