Tina Louise is an American writer, singer, and actress best remembered for her role as Ginger Grant on the 1960s television show “Gilligan’s Island.” She began her career as a theater actress in the 1950s, with Bettle Davis’ musical “Two’s Company.” Following that, she appeared in a number of Broadway productions before breaking through with ‘Li’l Abner’ in 1957. In the same year, she published her debut album, ‘It’s Time for Tina.’ Louise made her Hollywood debut as Griselda Walden in the drama film ‘God’s Little Acre,’ released in 1958. The film was critically acclaimed, and Louise won the Golden Globe for Best New Star of the Year. During this period, she enrolled in New York’s Actors Studio and began her relationship with Lee Strasberg as a student. In 1964, she signed with CBS to portray Ginger Grant, and it was her next noteworthy role. Louise continued to effectively juggle her career between Broadway, television, and Hollywood, portraying melancholy roles in contrast to her image as a beautiful doll. She continued to write, and in 1998, she released her first book, ‘Sunday,’ a memoir of her first eight years in the entertainment industry. Her popularity grew over time, and she was awarded the prestigious TV Land Pop Culture Icon Award in 2004.
Childhood and Adolescence
Tina Louise was born Tatiana Josivovna Chernova Blacker on February 11, 1934, in New York City, the only child of Jewish immigrants Sylvia Horn and Joseph Blacker. Her mother was a model and her father had a sweets store in Brooklyn. Louise’s parents split when she was four years old, and she was raised by her mother after that.
Louise attended Westchester’s Scarborough High School and Miami University in Ohio. She joined Manhattan’s prestigious Neighborhood Playhouse as a teenager and studied acting, singing, and dancing under the direction of Sanford Meisner.
She initially appeared in front of the camera at the age of two in an advertisement for her father’s confectionery store. Following that, she was offered other similar roles, which she turned down to pursue her education.
Tina Louise’s Career
Tina Louise made her Broadway debut in 1952 with the musical “Two’s Company,” and went on to star in such shows as “John Murray Anderson’s Almanac,” “The Fifth Season,” and “Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?”
She also appeared on live television shows such as “Producers’ Showcase,” “Studio One,” and “Appointment with Adventure” in the 1950s.
Tina Louise has established herself as one of the prominent female performers in the late 1950s, starring with established stars such as Richard Widmark and Robert Taylor. She received critical acclaim for her performance in Roberto Rossellini’s Italian historical epic play ‘Garibaldi’ in 1960.
When she signed on to play Ginger Grant in Gilligan’s Island, a situational comedy, in the year 1964, she rocketed herself to the status of a pop icon of the day. She stayed with the show until 1967 when it ended.
She continued to act in a number more television movies after 1967. Her portrayal of a suburban housewife doomed to failure in the 1975 film ‘The Stepford Wives was favorably received.
She starred in ‘Dallas,’ a popular prime-time soap opera in the late 1970s, and then replaced Jo Ann Plug in the role of Taylor Chaplin in the 1984 television soap ‘Rituals.’
She acted in a few films in the 1980s and 1990s, the most notable of which was ‘O.C. and Stiggs,’ co-starring Robert Altman. In 1992, she co-starred with Brad Pitt in the satirical film ‘Johnny Suede,’ which went on to become one of the most famous Hollywood stars of all time.
Tina Louise’s most recent film appearances are “White Lilies” and the 2015 spiritual drama “Tapestry.”
Her Major Projects
Tina Louise’s musical album ‘It’s Time for Tina’ has 12 songs, including ‘Tonight Is The Night’ and ‘I’m In The Mood For Love.’
She’s also a talented painter, with shows at Ambassador Galleries, Gallery Stendhal, and the Patterson Museum of Art.
After publishing her debut memoir, ‘Sunday,’ in 1998, she followed up with a children’s book, ‘When I Grow Up,’ in 2007.
Achievements and Awards
Tina Louise won her first Golden Globe Award for her debut film ‘God’s Little Acre’ in the category New Star of the Year – Actress in 1958. For the same film, she won the Laurel Award for Best Female Supporting Performance in fifth place. In the same year, she was named the ‘World’s Most Beautiful Redhead’ by the National Art Council in a poll.
In 2004, she won the TV Land Pop Culture Icon Award, and in a 2005 TV Land Top Ten episode, she was voted second for ‘All-Time Sex Symbols on Television.’
Her book “What Does a Bee Do?” was released in 2009 and was approved by the chancellor of the New York City Public Schools to be included in the E-Catalog for principals. The book is being adapted into an animated film.
Her Private Life
Tina Louise married to radio and television broadcaster Les Crane in 1966, and their daughter, Caprice Crane, was born in 1970. Crane’s marriage to her terminated in divorce in 1974.
Her daughter, Caprice Crane, is also a talented writer, and they live in New York.
Louise is a life member of the Actors Studio and a sitting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
Tina’s Humanitarian Action
Tina Louise is an outspoken supporter of literacy and academic achievement. She has been a volunteer teacher at Learning Leaders, a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching underprivileged youngsters in New York City, since 1996.
She contributed a large portion of the profits from her book “When I Grow Up” to various reading projects.
Estimated Net worth
Tina Louise is a $6 million dollar actress, author, and singer from the United States. Louise is most remembered for her portrayal of Ginger Grant, the fiery redhead on “Gilligan’s Island.”
She told her theatre teacher during her senior year that she was the only female in her class without a middle name, and he chose ‘Louise,’ which she used for the rest of her life.
Tina Louise is the name of a restaurant in New Jersey that serves Asian cuisine. She started her own healthcare company, TLC, to promote the parasol she invented early in her career.
She posed as a glamour doll for prominent magazines such as Playboy, Adam Sir!, and Modern Man during her modeling career. Her later movie roles were diametrically opposed to her image as a glamorous doll.