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The Only Major Actors Still Alive From Gilligan’s Island – SlashFilm

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Backus passed away in 1989, Hale in 1990, Schafer in 1991, Denver in 2005, Johnson in 2014, and Wells in 2020. Tina Louise remains the only member of the main cast still alive in 2024. She will celebrate her 90th birthday on February 11, 2024.

Louise played Ginger Grant, described in the opening theme song as “the movie star.” Ginger was a polymath on the Island, happy to gossip about her friendships with other movie stars, but could also give out hair and makeup advice. Every so often, it was implied that Ginger and the Professor (Johnson) were engaged in a love affair, although their relationship rarely made it beyond the realm of romantic tension. 

Prior to “Gilligan’s,” Louise caused a stir with her debut performance in the 1958 drama “God’s Little Acre” which netted her a Golden Globe nomination. She played the poet Sappho in the 1960 peplum film “The Warrior Empress,” and appeared in the Matt Helm film “The Wrecking Crew.” After “Gilligan’s,” Louise continued to work steadily, and gave a notable performance in the 1975 sci-fi feminist nightmare “The Stepford Wives.” She had small parts in the 1990s oddities “Johnny Suede” and “Welcome to Woop Woop.” Her final film performance was in a 2019 film called “Tapestry.”

Louise released a musical album in 1958 and has performed on stage. Just like Ginger, Louise was hardworking and versatile, happy to play complex characters or sexbombs as the script demanded. 

Not wanting to be typecast, Louise did not return to play Ginger for the 1978 “Gilligan’s” TV movie, being replaced by Judith Baldwin. In 1981, Ginger was played by Constance Forslund, and for “Gilligan’s Planet,” her co-star, Dawn Wells, stepped in. But even so, Louise never resented her “Gilligan’s” role, loving the part and the fame it brought her. 

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