TINA LOUISE Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Tina Louise                                                                               
Birth name: Tina Blacker                                                                         
Born: 11 February 1934 New York City, New York, U.S.                                             
Tina Louise (born February 11, 1934) is an American model, singer and actress.                   
She is best known for her role as "movie star" Ginger Grant on the TV sitcom                     
Gilligan's Island.                                                                               
She was born in New York City, an only child and attended the Miami University                   
in Oxford, Ohio. She began her career as a model and nightclub singer while she                 
studied at the Neighborhood Playhouse. Her acting debut came in 1952 in the                     
Bette Davis musical revue Two's Company, followed by roles in other Broadway                     
productions as John Murray Anderson's Almanac, The Fifth Season, and Will                       
Success Spoil Rock Hunter?. She also appeared in such early live TV dramas as                   
Studio One, Producers Showcase, and Appointment with Adventure.                                 
In 1957, she and Julie Newmar appeared on Broadway in the hit musical Li'l Abner.               
Her album It's Time for Tina was also released that year, with songs such as "Embraceable       
You" and "I'm in the Mood for Love."                                                             
She made her Hollywood film debut in 1958 in God's Little Acre. She became an in-demand         
leading lady for major stars like Robert Taylor, Richard Widmark and Robert Ryan,               
often playing somber roles quite unlike the glamorous pinup photographs and                     
Playboy pictorials she had become famous for in the late 1950s. Further roles                   
followed, on Broadway and in films in Italy and Hollywood, but they failed to                   
accelerate her career. Among her more notable Italian film credits was the                       
historical epic Viva L'Italia! (1960), directed by Roberto Rossellini, that                     
concerned Garibaldi's efforts to unify the Italian states in 1860.                               
When Louise returned to the United States, she began studying with Lee Strasberg                 
and eventually became a member of the Actors Studio. She appeared in an early                   
1960s "beach movie," For Those Who Think Young, with Bob Denver, prior to the                   
development of Gilligan's Island.                                                               
In 1964, she left the Broadway musical Fade Out - Fade In to portray movie star                 
Ginger Grant on the TV sitcom Gilligan's Island, after the part was turned down                 
by Jayne Mansfield. However, she was unhappy with the role and worried that it                   
would typecast her. The role did make Louise a pop icon of the era, and in 2005                 
an episode of TV Land Top Ten ranked her #2 as television's all-time sex symbol,                 
second only to Heather Locklear.                                                                 
After the series ended in 1967, Louise continued to work in films and made                       
numerous guest appearances in various television series. She appeared as a                       
doomed suburban housewife in the original The Stepford Wives (1975), and both                   
the film and her performance were well received. She attempted to shed her                       
comedic image by essaying grittier roles, including a guest appearance as a                     
pathetic heroin addict in a 1974 Kojak episode, as well as a co-starring role as                 
an evil Southern prison guard in the 1976 ABC TV Movie Nightmare in Badham                       
County. Her other TV movies of the period included Look What's Happened to                       
Rosemary's Baby (1976), SST: Death Flight (1977), and Friendships Secrets and                   
Lies (1979).                                                                                     
Despite this success, she has declined to participate in any of the four reunion                 
television movies for Gilligan's Island, but did appear on a few talk shows and                 
specials for some Gilligan's Island reunions, including Good Morning America (1982),             
The Late Show (1988) and the 2004 TV Land award show, with the other surviving                   
cast members. In the 1990s, she was reunited with costars Bob Denver, Dawn Wells,               
and Russell Johnson in cameo appearances on an episode of Roseanne. Her                         
relations with series star Denver were rumored to be strained, but in 2005, she                 
wrote a brief, affectionate memorial to him in the year-end "farewell" issue of                 
Entertainment Weekly.                                                                           
Louise appeared as a semi-regular character in the prime-time soap opera Dallas                 
and made an appearance on Married... with Children. In 1985, Louise played the                   
second and final Taylor Chapin on the syndicated soap opera Rituals. Later film                 
roles included a co-starring appearance in the Robert Altman comedy O.C. and                     
Stiggs (1987), as well as the independently made satire Johnny Suede (1992)                     
starring Brad Pitt.                                                                             
She was married for several years to the radio announcer/interviewer Les Crane,                 
with whom she had one daughter, Caprice Crane (born 1974), who became an MTV                     
producer and a novelist. Crane's first novel, Stupid and Contagious, was                         
published in 2006, and was warmly dedicated to her mother. Louise now resides in                 
New York City. Since 1995, she has worked as a volunteer teacher with Learning                   
Leaders, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing tutoring to New York                   
City school children. In 2007, Louise released a children's book entitled "When                 
I Grow Up".                                                                                     
Tina made four record albums, two for Concert Hall, and two for Urania Record (1958             
and 1959 respectively). By far the most sought-after of these is the "It's Time                 
For Tina" (Concert Hall 1521). With arrangements by Jim Timmens and Buddy Weed's                 
Orchestra, 12 tracks include Tonight Is The Night and I'm In The Mood For Love.                 
Coleman Hawkins is featured on tenor sax. A version of this album is planned by                 
UK label Harkit Records.