Unfortunately for the show’s producers, the character Ginger Grant was always a tough role to fill, considering that it took a total of 6 actors to keep her character going throughout the years. Initially played by Tina Louise, the character went through several adaptations for some funny reasons.
During casting for the made-for-TV-movie, Rescue from Gilligan’s Island, Tina refused to reprise the role, claiming that playing as Ginger typecasted her forever as a glamour queen actress. She was replaced by Judith Baldwin, who was then replaced before the third movie by Constance Forslund and later replaced by more actresses for the various spin-off and cartoon versions of the show.
Dawn Wells raised $130,000 to help with her finances
Dawn claimed to have dealt with pretty serious financial troubles, including “penalties by the IRS” since 2008’s financial crisis. She also claims to have been dealing with “an unexpected accident that required hospitalization for two months.” Dawn proceeded to start a GoFundMe campaign seeking to raise money for her IRS penalties and hospital costs.
The campaign was a great success and has raised nearly $140,000 in just 10 days. According to her friend Kirkpatrick, “Dawn is so flattered that her fans have come to her rescue — shocked and amazed, actually. She loves them and always has. She’s proved that over the years. She’s even flown people to her ranch (where she was working) in Idaho for movie screening because they couldn’t afford it. She’s been very generous to many people for many years.” Many fans wrote personal thank-you letters telling her how much her performance as Mary Ann helped them in their time of need and how happy they are to return the favor. Heartwarming indeed.
They are not their characters
As is to be expected with such a famous show – and as has happened on dozens and dozens of other shows – viewers tend to recognize the actors and actresses not by their names but by their characters.
While most of the principal cast has now passed away, it happened all the time with Bob Denver. Tina Louise hated it, but Alan Hale Jr., who played the Skipper, loved it. He'd had a long career with many distinguishing moments, and he loved the idea that he had a role that brought him big acclaim, especially among children. According to Russell Johnson (the Professor), there was almost no difference between Hale and his character.
Russell Johnson was a World War II veteran
Our favorite inventor, the Professor, was played by Russell Johnson. Despite being on the softer side and not very outspoken, the actor himself was actually a World War II veteran and served in the United States Army Air Force as an aviation cadet. Russel went on to receive a purple heart for all of his contributions to the air force while in the Philippines.
After finishing his service, he used his GI Bill to fund his acting lessons before eventually signing on to Gilligan’s Island as the beloved Professor. Johnson was married three times and had a relatively light acting career after Gilligan’s Island. He eventually died from kidney failure at his home in Bainbridge Island, Washington, on January 16, 2014, at the very respectable age of 89.
Edited for syndication
When the show originally aired, the ending had a narration, telling viewers, “So join us here each week, my friends, you're sure to get a smile....” However, when the show moved to syndication, the “each week” portion was edited out in order not to confuse viewers who didn't know the show would be on the very next day – or even on the following slot.
In addition, when Ted Turner bought the series, he colorized the black-and-white first season for airing on TBS. Both the original and the colorized versions were shown during syndication. Not much colorization work had been done at that point, and the process was intense.