Tina Louise's daughter made her a better actor
Motherhood suited the star wonderfully.
Artists in every medium benefit from life experience. There's always something to be gained from a rich personal history. Especially if your job is emoting on camera, being able to draw from a toolkit of lived stories is so important.
Tina Louise was no exception to the rule. She delighted millions as Ginger Grant, the movie star, on Gilligan's Island. While she is best remembered for that role, Ms. Louise continued acting for the rest of her life. She was a mainstay as a guest star in many of the most popular series of the day, appearing in Bonanza, Mannix, The Love Boat, and many others. Here was a life in the pictures, straight through to 2019's Tapestry, her final onscreen performance.
After Gilligan, Tina Louise's personal life remained tabloid fodder for years. Her marriage and divorce with television host Les Crane was the subject of many articles and interviews throughout the late '60s and early '70s. However, it wasn't her husband who inspired Ms. Louise's work. In a 1972 interview for Publishers-Hall Syndicate, Ms. Louise spoke of the ways another family member enriched her life and her career.
"I've found that my love for my daughter is the most total love you can experience in your life. She's such a happy person. She's so joyful. I used to think of my work, my work, my work. But now my work's secondary. I'm happy to wake up every morning and be with this wonderful little person. It never happened to me before. I want to have more babies. One at a time, of course. I like the idea of a family. Having children, I think, is the most fun in life."
"I had been warned by other women that my passion for my child might subside, it might ease up, after a few months, but this hasn't. This has kept getting better and better! And I know my acting will be better now because I'm relaxed and because of my daughter. She's so terrific."