Bob Denver and Tina Louise ignored one another on Gilligan's Island

Learn about the love lost between the castaways.

What's a workplace without some drama? True unanimous harmony just doesn't happen in spaces where everyone has opinions and egos and their own motivations. Couple that with the outsized personalities in Hollywood, and it's no wonder not every production ended on friendly terms. 

The drama on Gilligan's Island is hard to verify, but sometimes what's unspoken is more powerful than what is. That show was a big deal, both in terms of its ratings and the merchandise empire that came out of it. So, like with many other media properties, any interview surrounding Gilligan's Island was pretty heavily monitored and controlled by the network. CBS was pretty diligent in what its stars could and couldn't say about one another in the press. They were, after all, the meal ticket. And if CBS wasn't happy, you could guarantee none of the involved actors would be either.

However, there are some clues within a January 1965 edition of TV Guide. These clues point to some serious acrimony between series star Bob Denver (Gilligan) and Tina Louise (Ginger Grant). If the island was paradise, then the TV Guide article pointed toward the trouble in it.

"[Bob] Denver will not say why he and the glamorous Tina [Louise] do not get along, nor will any of the castaways—they just ignore her, and she ignores them.

"Between scenes, while the other six principals chat and tell jokes together, she sits off by herself. And recently when Denver was asked to pose for pictures with her, he adamantly refused."

While much is left to speculation, it appears as though the hard feelings weren't just one-way. As it turns out, it may have been the production as a whole that left a bad taste in Tina Louise's mouth.

"Part of Louise's dissatisfaction with the series was that she had expected to be the star of the show."

While she wasn't given top billing for any of Gilligan's 98 episodes, Tina Louise was inarguably an important part of the show's success. But, because of the series' indelible mark on pop culture, Louise was mostly typecast as Ginger types for the rest of her career. That might sour anyone on a show and its crew. 

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17 Comments

Tomclay 28 days ago
Remember playing Ginger or Mary Ann? Everyone always picked Mary Ann!

This does not surprise me that much Andy and the woman who played Aunt B did not really like each other.
AgingDisgracefully 29 days ago
Had this happened 40 years later, she may have been given her own CSI.
Runeshaper 30 days ago
I remember hearing there was some interest there outside of the workplace… 🤷‍♂️
AltBill 30 days ago
He wasn't too kind to her in his book either, "Gilligan, Maynard and Me", by Bob Denver. It is a good read though.
It wasn't her show, but certainly was an integral part of most episodes.
jmworacle 1 month ago
Let's see, the show was named Gilligan's Island and Ms. Louise expected to be the star?
daDoctah jmworacle 30 days ago
Well, it's not unheard of for a secondary character, or even one introduced *after* a show was already running, to become the show's "star". I'm thinking Fonzie and Urkel here.
justjeff 1 month ago
Tina Louise is definitely a legend in her own mind.

Barabara Stanywyck defined egotism pretty much like this.. "Egotism: A case of mistaken non-entity".

Tina Louise certainly embodied that definition as far as I'm concerned. She's about as deep as a rain puddle...
Pacificsun 1 month ago
These disgruntled "Artists" are so strange. Tina Louise is unmistakable in "almost" any role in which she appeared. Sure, did she take advantage of meal tickets, of course. But her situation was no different than most of the actors in classic TV which we enjoy today. They either embraced the advantages which their fame offered. Or they complained about it. After cashing the checks. Granted, the Sixties couldn't foresee the end point of nearly sixty generations later. And they were pioneers in the beginning of those premises. But, being a castaway, on an island, where there wasn't much opportunity of rescue. Kind of spoke for itself. She wasn't a prisoner of the production either.
Andybandit 1 month ago
I didn't know the actors and actresses on GI ignored TL and she ignored them.
McGillahooala 1 month ago
Great show. It’s a shame when people are given the golden ticket and don’t know it.
Randall 1 month ago
For Years, when fans approached Tina Louise about Ginger, She didn't want to talk about it ,She passed on the 79' Reunion movie! Now She boasts about being the last surviving cast member!
MrsPhilHarris 1 month ago
I wonder why she thought a show called “Gilligan’s Island” would be about a female movie star called Ginger Grant. 🤔
Too funny! Like, after reading the very first script. Ahhh, the Skipper and .... was sort of a clue. Not many (even fictional) movie stars were much good at being "boat-hands."
justjeff MrsPhilHarris 1 month ago
The "Island Diva" probably assumed that the name "Gilligan's Island" was just a spot on a map...
Exactly! 🤭
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Pacificsun 1 month ago
It did show what GOOD actors they were!!!
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