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David Deeb

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I find it very interesting that in the reporting of Dawn Wells passing, so many different media outlets & forums have mentioned that Tina Louise is the last surviving cast member. When Russell Johnson passed, I noticed many mentioning that Dawn Wells and Tina Lousie were the only living cast members.

I think it says something about the show's distinctly memorable & easily identifiable characters, and the perfectly cast actors for each character, that people all over the planet know the entire cast so well. Not many other shows get that particular area of attention.

Part of that is because there were only 7 characters - all stranded in one place. Guest stars were memorable, but there weren't really peripheral characters coming and going through episodes through the years. The Wrongway Feldman character appeared in 2 episodes, and actor Vito Scotti appeared in 4 episodes, but playing 2 different characters.

Part of it is that theme song that name checks every character. I just find this interesting.
 

JamesSmith

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Some of the black and white photos of Dawn, not in her Mary Ann persona, really convey a different aspect that isn't rarely seen in her other work. Might have to go back and see her other non-Mary Ann shows.

--jthree
 
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Greg.K

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“I will always remember Dawn’s kindness to me. We shared in creating a cultural landmark that has continued to bring comfort and smiles to people during this difficult time,” said a tweet on the 86-year-old star’s official Twitter account. “I hope that people will remember her the way that I do — always with a smile on her face.”
 

Malcolm R

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I have an autographed copy of her "Mary Ann's Gilligan's Island Cookbook". My mother picked it up when she was traveling and Dawn Wells was doing a book signing in the area. Have to whip up Wrongway Feldman's Pork Turnover, or a batch of Boris Balinkoff Baked Beans. :)

R.I.P. Ms. Wells.
 

The Obsolete Man

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Part of it is that theme song that name checks every character. I just find this interesting.
Starting in season 2.

Remember, originally The Professor and Mary Ann were "and the rest", which was kind of dumb. I mean, there were only two more to name, it's not like there were half a dozen more castaways to mention.

Though on second thought, maybe that was a contractual thing the first year.
 

Greg.K

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Starting in season 2.

Remember, originally The Professor and Mary Ann were "and the rest", which was kind of dumb. I mean, there were only two more to name, it's not like there were half a dozen more castaways to mention.

Though on second thought, maybe that was a contractual thing the first year.

According to Bob Denver, he got that changed for season 2 by threatening to push his own name to the end credits.

 

Bryan^H

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According to Bob Denver, he got that changed for season 2 by threatening to push his own name to the end credits.

Great video find. The book "Gilligan, Maynard, and Me" was a great read and I remember Bob speaking very fondly of Dawn in it...not so much Tina though :eek:
 

Caproni

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As I said on another thread, it is a little ironic to me that Tina Louise is the final surviving cast member. We're all aware that she apparently loathed being on the role, claiming it "ruined" her dramatic career. Louise had studied at the Actors Studio and had Broadway experience under her belt when she was recruited to play on Gilligan's Island.

Her comments on the passing of Dawn Wells can be taken for what they are ─ mere comments. Louise apparently went on record once saying she was "never close" to Dawn Wells or Russell Johnson, while it's clear she and Bob Denver shared a mutual loathing of one another. Louise was evidently more friendly with Alan Hale Jr., and she was said to have admired industry veterans Jim Backus and Natalie Schafer.

Tina's distaste for Dawn allegedly originated when Tina was upset, saddened, or whichever to learn that Dawn received more fan mail. (Dawn Wells received the most fan mail of the cast.) The eternal "Ginger or Mary Ann?" debate has also ensued over the decades, and most polls taken tend to favor Mary Ann. Bob Denver once said that Dawn Wells beat Tina Louise in popularity polls three-to-one. Getting personal, I've always lend towards the Ginger side of the fence. She was beautiful, sure, but I think it's that Monroe-esque quality that comes through Louise's portrayal that makes her more appealing to me. (Monroe knockoff Jayne Mansfield had been originally considered for the role, but turned it down.)

I've never seen Dawn Wells in anything outside of Gilligan's Island except an episode of Gunsmoke or Bonanza that she did. As for Tina Louise, I've seen her in God's Little Acre, her 1958 film debut, but that's it.

Sorry for the rambling. I had some free time.

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roxy1927

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Tina Louise is wonderful in the show. It's too bad she couldn't enjoy its popularity. Reminds me of Robert Reed in The Brady Bunch turning into a real pain in the neck because he thought the show was beneath him(even though it was.) At least neither let it show in their performances. Glad that old industry veterans like Backus, Schafer, and Henderson were like hey it's a paycheck and we're just lucky to have careers in the business. Even Reed didn't work with the greats that Henderson did.
 

Malcolm R

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From what I've read, I'm not sure any of the actors were really happy to be on the show when it went on for multiple seasons. Most every account I've read of the beginnings of the show and the casting choices contain some variation of: they took the job because they were sure the show would be cancelled quickly. It would be a quick and easy paycheck between "real" jobs.
 

Caproni

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From what I've read, I'm not sure any of the actors were really happy to be on the show when it went on for multiple seasons. Most every account I've read of the beginnings of the show and the casting choices contain some variation of: they took the job because they were sure the show would be cancelled quickly. It would be a quick and easy paycheck between "real" jobs.
Natalie Schafer and Russell Johnson were quite open about their concerns that Gilligan's Island would never last as a full-time series. Schafer especially said she took the job because it was a free trip to Hawaii to film the pilot and because she was assured in herself that the show would "never go". Knowing his history, I'm sure Jim Backus, who was a popular film and television actor, felt the same way. Apparently, Backus quipped that his part was so secondary that the registry at the Beverly Hilton (or some other hotel) was longer.

Bob Denver was thrilled at getting his own series, while Alan Hale Jr. was also excited about tackling a sitcom over the familiar westerns he did. Dawn Wells was excited because she was so new to the business. She was sad when the reviews were harsh, but glad the show was a hit with audiences. Tina Louise seemed to have loathed it all from the beginning. "She was a difficult lady," in the words of Russell Johnson.

In saying that, I know Russell Johnson and Dawn Wells both echoed their distain for Tina Louise not returning for the made-for-television movies post-series. Johnson specifically said, "Tina was Ginger." Judith Baldwin and Constance Forslund filled Louise's spot in those telefilms, but the sexiness was amped up and the comedy Ginger brought was left behind.

It's a shame, too.

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roxy1927

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Well was it in their contract for the pilot that if it were picked up they were obligated to continue? I kind of doubt that. I bet they actually enjoyed it(except for Tina) and how often does a successful series come along? Considering all the people trying for one almost never. The worst thing to happen to TV was the hayseed purge and the arrival of Norman Lear's everybody screaming at everyone else and won't shut up sitcoms.
 

Caproni

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Well was it in their contract for the pilot that if it were picked up they were obligated to continue? I kind of doubt that. I bet they actually enjoyed it(except for Tina) and how often does a successful series come along? Considering all the people trying for one almost never. The worst thing to happen to TV was the hayseed purge and the arrival of Norman Lear's everybody screaming at everyone else and won't shut up sitcoms.
Oh, almost all of them said (except for Tina) that they ended up enjoying their time on the show. Alan Hale Jr., in particular, was so proud of the show that the Skipper practically became his alter ego as he aged. He always wore the Skipper's hat and enjoyed being recognized from being on the show.
 

Robbie^Blackmon

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Her passing has not deterred her stalker, Frank Bennett. He's still posting weird audio and rambling, vague diatribes on YouTube:


Dude is still obsessed, and more audio is scheduled to go up in a week. This was just one more thing she had to deal with in her last years.
 

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