erik lundegaard


Saturday September 02, 2023

Ginger Snaps

How many women have played Ginger Grant, the Marilyn Monroe-esque movie star stranded with “the rest” on Sherwood Schwartz' much-syndicated 1960s sitcom “Gilligan's Island”? I knew that for some of the subsequent TV movies another actress had been tapped, since Tina Louise had been uninterested in reprising the role; but it turns out, no, not just some: She never reprised the role, through all of its various reiterations. Which means this is our Ginger roll call:

  1. Tina Louise: “Gilligan's Island” (1964-67)
  2. Jane Webb: “The New Adventures of Gilligan” (1974-75) (Animated)
  3. Judith Baldwin: “Rescue from Gilligan's Island” and “The Castaways on Gilligan's Island” (1978, 1979) (TV movies)
  4. Constance Forsland: “The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island” (1981) (TV movie)
  5. Dawn Wells: “Gilligan's Planet” (1982-83) (Animated) *

* Is this the ultimate revenge of Mary Ann?

But wait: Apparently there was a pilot episode, too—like Star Trek's “The Cage”—which resurfaced in the 1990s. And while Gilligan, Skipper, Thurston and Lovey were played by familar actors, the Professor was played by John Gabriel, Mary Ann was someone named Bunny and played by Nancy McCarthy, while Ginger Grant was played by yet another redhead, Kit Smythe. So:

6. Kit Smythe: “Gilligan's Island: Pilot episode” (1964)

I know she was a bit of a diva, but it's a testament to Tina Louise that no one compares.

Posted at 09:48 AM on Saturday September 02, 2023 in category TV