‘Gilligan’s Island’: Why Tina Louise Described Growing Up as a ‘Gypsy Kind of Childhood’

by Will Shepard
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Tina Louise was in a lot of things before she joined Gilligan’s Island. But, the three seasons of the show inspired decades of fandom about the series. More importantly, she was regularly a center point in everything the show inspired.

However, Louise did not have the ideal childhood. She openly describes it as very different than a typical childhood. Nonetheless, it was formative and set her up for success.

In an interview with Authority Magazine in 2019, Louise dove into her childhood. The interview first complimented the longevity of her career and then asked a deeper question. Yitzi Weiner asked, “Are you able to tell us a bit of the story that brought you to this point in your career? How you got started in the show business?”

The Gilligan’s Island actress dove into the question.

“Well, you know I had a very unusual childhood,” she acknowledged. “I wrote a book about my first eight years called Sunday. I also have the beginnings of a script. I’ve always wanted to make a movie of it.”

Tina Louise Starred In “Gilligan’s Island,” but Her Journey to Get There Was Different Than Most People

Louise continued, explaining that her life was very unusual. She even recognized how different it was as a child.

“My path was very unusual. I lived with a lot of different cousins and aunts and strangers and so forth and so on, sort of a gypsy kind of a childhood.”

Knowing that you are growing up in a distinctly different way than all of your peers must be hard. But, for all of the hardships and weirdness it brought about, it made Louise committed to acting.

“We had a wonderful drama teacher in school, and everybody just loved him. It wasn’t that we were thinking about being actors, you know, we just liked him. We wanted to be around him. We wanted to be in the plays. So I participated in the plays there.”

Certainly, the Gilligan’s Island star put her blinders up and put her nose to the grindstone. It didn’t matter to her that she lived differently; she was determined to become an actress. Thankfully, the support network at her school was powerful enough to help her achieve her dreams.

Who knows what might have happened if she didn’t have such an awesome drama teacher. Regardless though, Louise would go on to become a bonafide star.

Outsider.com