How Ginger Grant Marooned Tina Louise On 'Gilligan's Island'

By Cyn Felthousen-Post
Tina Louise, circa 1965. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

She'll never be forgotten as Gilligan's Island's Ginger, but Tina Louise is a multi-talented performer who has been -- or, she herself might say, could have been -- so much more. When Louise took the part of Ginger, a sultry actress in the vein of Marilyn Monroe who is one of five castaways on the show, she worried she might be typecast as a sex symbol. She was right -- to this day, Tina Louise is remembered as Ginger Grant and, perhaps unfortunately, little else. The actress had begun her career on Broadway while in her teens, explored a career as a singer, and appeared in many other TV shows and movies, notably The Stepford Wives (1975).

Many who've tried their had at show business would say that Tina Louise's problem wasn't much of a problem at all -- after all, she played an iconic character on a much-loved TV show. Many actors and actresses work long and hard but never achieve that sort of success. But at the same time, Tina Louise was always bigger than Gilligan's Island in the culture -- she was known as a glamorous personality in a way her co-stars weren't. Yet she never played any other role that could dislodge her Ginger Grant persona from the public's consciousness.