Who is Tina Louise?
Tina Louise is a popular American writer, singer and actress well known for her portrayal of Ginger Grant in the 1960s television series ‘Gilligan's Island’. She began acting as a stage artist during the 1950s starting with ‘Two's Company’, a musical by Bettle Davis. Thereafter, she acted in numerous Broadway productions before making it big on the national theatre space with ‘Li'l Abner’ in 1957. She also released her first music album ‘It’s Time for Tina’ in the same year. Louise made her foray into Hollywood playing Griselda Walden in ‘God’s Little Acre’, a drama film released 1958.The movie received wide acclaim and Louise received the Golden Globe Award in the New Star of the Year category. During this time, she enrolled into Actors Studio in New York and developed her association with Lee Strasberg as his student. Her next memorable role came through in 1964 when she signed with CBS to play Ginger Grant in 1964. Louise kept juggling her career successfully between Broadway, television and Hollywood portraying somber characters as against her perceived image of a glamour doll. She pursued writing and in 1998 published her first book ‘Sunday’, a memoir of her first eight years of struggle in the entertainment industry. Her popularity continued through the years and in 2004, she won the prestigious TV Land Pop Culture Icon Award.
Childhood & Early Life
Tina Louise was born Tatiana Josivovna Chernova Blacker on 11th of February 1934 in New York City, as the only child of Sylvia Horn and Joseph Blacker, both of Jewish descent. Her father owned a candy store in Brooklyn and her mother was a fashion model. Her parents divorced when Louise was four years old and thereafter was raised by her mother.
Louise is an alumnus of Scarborough High School in Westchester and Miami University in Ohio. As a teenager, she studied acting, singing and dancing under the guidance of Sanford Meisner when she enrolled in Manhattan’scoveted Neighborhood Playhouse.
She first faced in the camera as a two year old in an ad for her father’s candy store. Thereafter, she received several such roles and at one point in time decided to reject the offers to pursue studies.
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Tina Louise made her stage debut in 1952 with the musical ‘Two’s Company’ and followed up the success with other Broadway productions such as ‘John Murray Anderson's Almanac’, ‘The Fifth Season’ and ‘’Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?’.
During 1950s, she also featured in live television series such as ‘Producers' Showcase’, ‘Studio One’, and ‘Appointment with Adventure’. .
By late 50s, Tina Louise has emerged as one of the leading female actors being cast opposite established stars such as Richard Widmark and Robert Taylor. In 1960, she acted in Roberto Rossellini’s Italian historical epic drama ‘Garibaldi’, which won her accolades in the Italian film industry.
The year 1964 marked a major turn in her career when she signed to play Ginger Grant in Gilligan's Island, a situational comedy, which catapulted her to the status of a pop icon of those times. She continued with the series until its end in 1967.
Post 1967, she regularly appeared in many of the films made for television. In 1975, her portrayal of a suburban homemaker destined to fate in the movie ‘The Stepford Wives’ was well appreciated.
During late 70s, she starred in ‘Dallas’, a very popular prime-time soap opera and followed it up with the 1984 television soap ‘Rituals’ replacing Jo Ann Plug in the role of Taylor Chaplin.
During the 80s and 90s, she appeared in a few movies most noteworthy being ‘O.C. and Stiggs’ co-starring Robert Altman. In 1992, she starred in the satirical ‘Johnny Suede’ co-starring Brad Pitt, who later went on to become one of the most famous Hollywood stars of all times.
In her latest movie outing, Tina Louise was seen in the 2015 spiritual drama ‘Tapestry’ and “White Lilies’.
Tina Louise’s musical album ‘It’s Time for Tina’ features 12 tracks, which include the foot tapping numbers ‘Tonight Is The Night’ and ‘I'm In The Mood For Love’.
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She is also an accomplished painter with painting exhibitions at Ambassador Galleries, Gallery Stendhal and Patterson Museum of Art.
After publishing her first book ‘Sunday’, a memoir of her life in 1998, she published her second book ‘When I Grow Up’ in 2007 for children.
Awards & Achievements
In 1958, Tina Louise received her first award for her debut film ‘God's Little Acre’ at the Golden Globe Awards in the category New Star of the Year – Actress. She grabbed the fifth place Laurel Award for Best Female Supporting Performance for the same film. The same year, she also grabbed the ‘World's Most Beautiful Redhead’ title in the list published by the National Art Council.
In 2004, she grabbed the TV Land Pop Culture Icon Award and ranked second as ‘All time sex symbols on Television’ in TV Land Top Ten episode aired in 2005
Her book ‘What Does a Bee do?’ published in 2009 is an educational book for children and adults approved by chancellor of New York City Public Schools to feature on the E-Catalog for principals. An animated version of the book is under development.
Tina Louise married Les Crane, a radio and television host in 1966 and gave birth to their daughter, Caprice Crane, in 1970. Her marriage to Crane ended with a divorce in 1974.
She lives in New York with her daughter, Caprice Crane, also an accomplished writer.
Louise is a sitting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and a life member of the Actors Studio.
Tina Louise is passionately advocates literacy and academic excellence. Since 1996, she is a teaching volunteer at Learning Leaders, a not-for-profit organization engaged in teaching under privileged school students in New York City.
She donated a significant part of the proceeds from her book ‘When I Grow up’ to promote various literacy programs.
During her senior year in school, she pointed out to her drama teacher that she is the only girl without a middle name and he chose ‘Louise’, which became her name for the rest of her life.
A restaurant in New Jersey serving Asia Food goes by the name Tina Louise
Early in her career, she launched her own healthcare company ‘TLC’ to market the parasol designed by her.
During her modeling career, she posed as glamour doll for the mainstream magazines such as Playboy, Adam Sir!, and Modern Man. Later on, the roles she donned in movies were totally opposite to her image of a glamour doll.