Natalie Schafer, in her 60’s at the time the show was being filmed, did not let her age or anything else for that matter get in the way of her getting down and dirty by doing her own stunts. Yes, that means Schafer would jump into the lagoon or fake quicksand without a stunt double. In 1965, she told “Let’s Be Beautiful” columnist Arlene Dahl that she stayed in shape by swimming and by following her special “ice cream diet.”
That’s right, although she was in her early 60’s when the show was originally filmed, actress Natalie Schafer decided that she would do all of her stunts by herself instead of relying on a stunt double. This means that all the dangerous and oftentimes dirty stunts we see the rich and spoiled Lovey Howell perform in the show were actually Natalie being very unspoiled and brave at her job!
Not everyone got along during the show
There other difficult cast members too. It was reported in the Jan. 23, 1965 edition of TV Guide that Tina Louise, who played Ginger “I’m a movie star” Grant, had many problems with the cast. The article even stated that “Denver will not say why he and the glamorous Tina [Louise] do not get along, nor will any of the castaways, they just ignore her, and she ignores them.”
The article continues, “Between scenes, while the other six principals chat and tell jokes together, she sits off by herself. And recently when Denver was asked to pose for pictures with her, he adamantly refused. Part of Louise’s dissatisfaction with the series was that she had expected to be the star of the show.” (Maybe she was just a really good method actress and was preparing for filming between sets?)
Ever heard of Jonas Grumby?
Most people think that Skipper’s name was just “Skipper,” but during the first episode, most of us missed the one time that he actually revealed his real name. Skipper’s real name is... are you ready for it? Jonas Grumby. Yup, just watch the episode carefully, and you’ll spot it.
For some odd reason, probably the same one that kept Willy Gilligan’s name confined to only “Gilligan,” Skipper’s real name was never ever said again. Perhaps it’s better to remember these 2 as their nicknames since they seem to stick much better and, at this point, would be almost impossible to forget.
Bob Denver also had a fantastic career following the show
In addition to his iconic role as Gilligan, Bob Denver went on to have a very successful career. Still, he made sure to respect the character by performing as either Gilligan or some parody of Gilligan every few years in shows such as Baywatch, The Simpsons, Meego, ALF, and many more including lending his voice for various animated shows.
Most of Denver's acting career was in television and even appeared in several films and on Broadway. He also made a modest income by making public appearances, often dressed up as Gilligan. In 1992, he played Gilligan to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation for a West Virginia fundraiser for the organization. Denver passed away on September 2, 2005, and we hope wherever he is right now, he’s making others laugh there too.
No number four
While it was a big surprise that the show ended so suddenly – the show was canceled while the cast was on vacation, as we know – for a long time it was rumored there were scripts for the planned fourth season that would have had Tina Louise's character Ginger being rescued.
At the same time, two additional female characters were going to join the cast. However, this has been debunked. Louise has even gone on record by saying that while she didn't enjoy the show, she wasn't planning on leaving and would have been a part of the fourth season.