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'Gilligan's Island' Sex Symbol Opens Up About Her Faith and Hollywood Legends

The "Gilligan's Island" cast in 2004
The "Gilligan's Island" cast in 2004 (Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 05 December 2019 01:39 PM

Nearly 60 years have passed since Tina Louise captivated audiences as the glamorous Ginger Grant in the CBS television series "Gilligan's Island." The actress, who became an instant sex symbol, is still drawing the public's attention, this time for her role in the faith-based film "Tapestry."

Louise appears alongside Stephen Baldwin, who is her son in the film and whose life is coming apart. The actress plays a dying matriarch desperately trying to help him. It was the underlying message that initially drew her to the film, she told Fox News while opening up about her faith.

"In the film, my son loses his faith because somebody does very bad harm to him to get him fired. Then, everything starts to fall apart as a family. I'm the force that helps bring it back together," she said. "It was great working with this cast, especially because we did a lot of improvising, and I liked the message."

Working with Baldwin made her realize just how "charming and spiritual" he is and to someone who values faith as much as Louise, these are important traits.

"I think it's so important to think good thoughts and surround yourself with positive energy, good energy, and accepting today for this day," she said. "I try to be in the present. I try not to bring yesterday into today."

Baldwin is not the only star who has left an impression on Louise. She's worked with some of the all-time greats. Dean Martin is on that list, as he appeared alongside her in 1968's "The Wrecking Crew."

"He was just the sweetest," Louise said. "I remember he sang a song for me. He was such a sweetheart. Lovely. Such a great man."

Then there was the time she got to have a dance with Frank Sinatra at a party. "I remember him being very charming," she said.

Another star who almost crossed her path was Cary Grant. He wanted to meet Louise, who was wanted for 1959's "Operation Petticoat," but the opportunity never came into being.

"He was so talented and attractive and just everything," she gushed. "He wanted to get to know me [but] my people didn't want me to do it. They thought the film was just the opposite of what they planned for me."

At the time, Louise's film "God's Little Acre" was at the Venice Film Festival and her agents were "just really against it."

Her beauty has charmed many celebrities over the years, but Louise always maintained a wholesome image despite the fame. She has also managed to remain a kind-hearted woman who always has time for her co-stars.

A glimpse of this was offered during filming for "Gilligan's Island." Thinking back to those days, she remembered a birthday bash that was thrown for co-star Jim Backus, who had Parkinson's.

"I had said to ['Gilligan's Island' creator] Sherwood [Schwartz] I was going to dance with him that night," she said. "He said, 'No, you won't be able to.'"

This did not deter her though.

"When [Jim] sat next to me, I asked him if he wanted to dance. He stood up and I danced with him. I will never forget that night with him."

The sentimental memory echoes what Louise had said about using her faith to be positive and keep good thoughts in her mind. Her reflections come at a time when the topic of faith is at the forefront as Christmas approaches.

While many families use the time to acknowledge the meaning behind the holiday, others will spend their time in shopping malls, sacrificing quality time with their family in order to rush around buying last-minute gifts.

Louise said she hopes that "Tapestry" will change things during the festive season.

"I think this is the right time to connect with your loved ones and reach out to those who may be having some difficult times," she said. "If you haven't heard from someone you love, reach out, and just be patient with your family and friends. We just want to try to bring everybody together as much as possible."

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Nearly 60 years have passed since Tina Louise captivated audiences as the glamorous Ginger Grant in the CBS television series "Gilligan's Island."
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Thursday, 05 December 2019 01:39 PM
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