Tina Louise quit a musical starring Carol Burnett to join the cast of ''Gilligan’s Island''

Louise had to give up one good opportunity for a great one.

Sometimes, an opportunity is so good, that you just have to jump on it, even if that means leaving another great thing behind. It’s a lesson that Tina Louise learned fairly early on in her career when she was offered the opportunity to join the main cast of Gilligan’s Island.

The show would prove to be a phenomenon whose relevance would stand the test of time even today. When she was offered the role, Louise wasn’t aware of the success that was to come, but she did understand that the opportunity was one that she simply couldn’t refuse. She had to take the part.

There was just one problem. According to an interview with the Democrat and Chronicle, Louise already had her hands full in the theatre. She was part of a musical entitled Fade Out-Fade In, which was set to unveil performances in New York with one whopper of a lead – Carol Burnett.

Louise explained, “We hadn’t been open in New York for more than two weeks before I had this offer to become one of the regulars in the new CBS series Gilligan’s Island.” So now, Louise was stuck being pulled in two different directions. In the end, Louise chose to invoke an escape clause included in her contract for Fade In-Fade Out. She reasoned, “The television offer was too good to pass up. I’m ambitious, but it doesn’t hurt to be practical.”

Louise was always very honest about her acting experiences, as well as her career goals. In the interview, she revealed, “My interest is in serious acting. But you go where the money is when it comes along with the idea that it will help you do what you really want to do later.”

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12 Comments

Runeshaper 5 months ago
I’m glad Tina took the 3 hour tour!
SparkleMotion 5 months ago
I don't remember where I read it or heard it (like on a documentary), but this is not what I remember about Tina Louise coming to GI. I thought she was reluctant to do it because, for lack of a better way to say it, she thought it was beneath her.
Pacificsun SparkleMotion 5 months ago
Actually the story goes that SS proposed the idea as giving her top billing. Or, making her the focal point of the ensemble. Hard for viewers to see it that way now. But it's always the way the actors bring the characters to life. In short, meaning how the chemistry comes together on film!
ncadams27 Pacificsun 5 months ago
I read a different version. Tina Louise thought she would be the lead, but Sherwood Schwartz told her “what part of Gilligan’s Island don’t you The one actor he really wanted was Jim Backus.
Pacificsun ncadams27 5 months ago
Oh, interesting. Thank you for the update. Yes, in his day Jim Backus was well known and lideable. Glad you set me straight!!
Mystery99 5 months ago
The story I heard is that she became disgruntled with her role as Ginger because it caused her to become typecast. She was never able to move her career forward after G.I. One of the reasons why she never appeared in the reunion movie.
Pacificsun Mystery99 5 months ago
True. And lets face it, they were all typecast. I mean who could take them seriously after never being able to escape that island???
Snickers 5 months ago
They make it sound like she was forced into the Gilligan's Island role. She made the choice, she didn't have to give up any thing
Snickers 5 months ago
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MrsPhilHarris daDoctah 5 months ago
That is laughable. She must have been very gullible. Did she not audition or read the script? 😁
justjeff MrsPhilHarris 5 months ago
From my perspective, she was (and probably still is) a "diva" and like other divas, their starlight goes out much quicker than their egos can realize or accept...
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