To fans of “Gilligan’s Island” and classic television, the actress Tina Louise will always be “the actress” Ginger Grant. “Ginger,” of course, was one of the famous castaways on that famous island.
What you might not know is that Tina Louise is not the real name of the actress who brought Ginger Grant to life on the still-popular sitcom created by Sherwood Schwartz. The original run of the sitcom aired from 1964 until 1967.
So, what was the real name of the actress who played Ginger on “Gilligan’s Island”? Well, according to TV Guide, Tina Louise’s birth name was Tina Blacker. She was born in New York City, New York. According to her IMDb biography, she was born on Feb. 11, 1934, in the “city that never sleeps.”
Her parents were part of a very sweet profession. They were the owners of a candy store! Their names were Joseph Blacker and Sylvia (Horn) Blacker.
Being raised in New York City gave the future “Gilligan’s Island” star a chance to be seen by the movers and shakers in the acting world. She first achieved acclaim thanks to a Broadway role.
This role was in the Broadway production of “Lil Abner.” This show drew its inspiration from the comedy character of the same name. Also starring in this production was Julie Newmar. And, during this same year – 1957 – the future “Gilligan’s Island” star created a music album titled “It’s Time for Tina.”
Thanks to her role in “Lil Abner,” Tina Blacker – aka Tina Louise – landed a job in her very first movie. This film was the 1958 movie “God’s Little Acre.”
Before she found herself on “Gilligan’s Island,” Tina Louise acted in a few movies. She also went back to her New York City theatre roots. In this regard, she acted alongside the legendary and beloved Carol Burnett in a production of the show “Fade In, Fade Out.”
‘Ginger Grant’ Actress Tina Louise Had Many Other Roles Than Her Role in ‘Gilligan’s Island’
While “Gilligan’s Island” was a very successful television show, it only ran from 1964 until 1967. So, it’s not surprising that actress Tina Louise had many other roles during her career.
Some of her post-“Gilligan’s Island” days still included many roles for the New York City native who went on to become Tina Louise. The actress landed roles on television, in film, and on the stage.
One of her films was the 1969 movie “The Happy Ending.” She also appeared in the original version of “The Stepford Wives” during 1975. A remake of this film starring Nicole Kidman, Bette Midler, Glenn Close, Christopher Walken, Matthew Broderick, Jon Lovitz, and Faith Hill was released in 2004.
“Gilligan’s Island” actress Tina Louise also had a role in the very, very famous drama “Dallas.” In this show, she played the character of Julie Grey during 1978 and 1979.