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|Gilligan's Island character|
Ginger as portrayed by Tina Louise
Gilligan's Island (pilot, 1963)
|Last appearance||"Gilligan's Army"
Gilligan's Planet (1982)
|Created by||Sherwood Schwartz|
|Portrayed by||1963 – Kit Smythe
1964–1967 – Tina Louise
1978-1979 – Judith Baldwin
1981 – Constance Forslund
1982 – Dawn Wells
1974-1977 – Jane Webb
Grant is a "movie star", and would casually mention names of some of the biggest movie stars of the day, as co-stars or acquaintances, suggesting that she too was a great star. She also mentions her roommate and fellow actress, Debbie Dawson, several times. In the series' Season 1 Episode 1 "Two on a Raft", Ginger is also "singing in a club in Waikiki", the same gig mentioned by the radio announcer, after which she was seen boarding the tour boat "still wearing the evening gown from her last performance". "When I first broke into show business, I used to work with a magician", Ginger confesses in Season 1 Episode 33 "It's Magic". In Gilligan's Island's pilot, actress Kit Smythe, was hired to portray Ginger, who was then a secretary.
Ginger was sometimes seen helping the Professor with his experiments, dressed in a lab coat and spectacle frames, and they conspired together in the episode 'Ship Ahoax' to make it appear as though she were fortune-telling. They also shared romantic scenes, although these were usually in the form of a "lesson in love", such as in the episodes 'Erica Tiffany-Smith to the Rescue' and 'The Postman Cometh'. It is possible the creator of the show intended to develop a relationship between the pair, but this never eventuated on screen.
She also appears to have been the object of desire of The Skipper (Alan Hale, Jr.) in several episodes. The Skipper chooses Ginger as his preferred contestant in the "Miss Castaway Pageant" held on the island (Season 2 Episode 2 "Beauty Is As Beauty Does"). In addition, when Skipper loses his memory in the first season Episode 30 "Forget Me Not", he is much more attracted to Ginger than Mary Ann, asking Ginger, "Hi, beautiful what's your name?" while leering at her with delight. Ginger does not know about the Skipper's memory loss and she answers, with appropriate Hollywood pique, "Ginger, big boy, what's yours?"
Ginger sides with Thurston Howell, III on many occasions - acting as a witness during a trial over treasure, serving as a sort of spy to divulge information from Gilligan by scratching his back and allowing herself to be bribed by Howell, such as during the "election" of who was to be President of the island. It should also be noted that her secret agent code name and her measurements were both 36-25-36.
She is also close friends with Mary Ann; the two are around the same age.
Ginger Grant, due to many prior film roles in Hollywood, spent her time on the island occasionally taking on the roles of chanteuse, barefoot fortune-teller, lab assistant, hair stylist, and psychoanalyst – as well as fronting the hastily formed island musical trio: The Honeybees. She also had to deal with a doppelganger, a plain mousy girl named Eva Grubb (also played by Tina Louise).
Unlike the other female castaways, who were seen in more than one set of clothes, Ginger initially appeared only in her evening gown. Later episodes did include changes in apparel for her as well.
The character in Gilligan's Island reunion films
In the 1978 made-for-TV-movie, Rescue from Gilligan's Island; Tina Louise refused to return, for she believed the role had typecast her forever as a glamor queen, and was replaced by Judith Baldwin. Baldwin also portrayed Ginger in the sequel The Castaways on Gilligan's Island. However, Baldwin didn't return for the third sequel, The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island; therefore, Constance Forslund, stepped in as the fourth actress to play the "movie star".
Jayne Mansfield, a late-1950s sex symbol, was offered the role of Ginger after the departure of Kit Smythe, who played Ginger as a secretary in the pilot. When Ginger was converted to a movie star, the producers swapped the actresses, and asked Mansfield, who was Marilyn Monroe-esque, to portray the character. However, she turned it down and was replaced by Tina Louise. Louise, however, disliked the character and for years felt it had ruined her career as a "serious" actress. Judith Baldwin played her in the first and second reunion film. Constance Forslund played her in the third and final reunion film to date. Kristen Dalton played Ginger in Surviving Gilligan's Island. Tina Louise didn't reprise her role in the animated-spinoffs either, in The New Adventures of Gilligan Jane Webb voiced her, while in Gilligan's Planet she was replaced by her co-star Dawn Wells. Roseanne Barr portrayed the role of Ginger in a parody episode of Roseanne.
- Denver, Bob (November 1993). Gilligan, Maynard & Me. Carol Publishing Corporation. ISBN 0-8065-1413-2.
- Green, Joey (April 1988). Unofficial Gilligan's Island Handbook. Warner Books. ISBN 0-446-38668-5.
- Johnson, Russell; Steve Cox (July 1993). Here on Gilligan's Isle (1st ed.). Perennial. ISBN 0-06-096993-8.
- Schwartz, Sherwood (April 15, 1994). Inside Gilligan's Island: A Three-Hour Tour Through The Making of a Television Classic. St. Martin's Griffin. ISBN 0-312-10482-0.
- Stoddard, Sylvia (May 1996). TV Treasures – A Companion Guide to Gilligan's Island. New York: St. Martin's Paperbacks. ISBN 0-312-95797-1.
- Gilligan's Island – The Complete First Season (DVD), 2004, Turner Home Entertainment, UPC 053939673425.
- Gilligan's Island – The Complete Second Season (DVD), 2005, Turner Home Entertainment, UPC 053939692624.
- Gilligan's Island – The Complete Third Season (DVD), 2005, Turner Home Entertainment, UPC 053939733129.
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