Do you ever wonder where the
women of Gilligan’s Island are these days?
OK, I don’t really, either.
I mean, there were only three of them, and Mrs. Howell (Natalie Schafer)
is dead. But Gilligan’s Island was once important to me, so I took notice when a friend
sent me an email with the subject line, “Mary Ann is a Stoner!”
See, I’m not making it up.
She was really arrested and is on probation, although they dropped the
possession charge. And she gave a really pathetic excuse to the police
— her car smelled like pot because she picked up three hitchhikers,
but she made them get out when they lit up. Oh, and her friend left
some pot in her car. Uh huh.
Regardless, you can see why
I’ve been thinking about the Gilligan
ladies and what they’re up to these days. So here’s what I’ve learned about their whereabouts since leaving the island.
(Ginger, “the movie star”) left the island behind her a long time
ago (although she did appear in with other cast members in an episode
of Roseanne in 1995).
Apparently, she hated being
on the show. It seems she originally thought she was supposed to be
the star, and then had a rude awakening when she realized it was actually
about Gilligan. (Hence the name.) She did her time on the show, but
refused to participate in any of the reunion specials. (In a meta-ish
of coincidence that probably appeals only to me, both Tina Louise and
replacement Ginger, Judith Baldwin, were in one of my favorite
And Baldwin was also in The Stepford Children.)
Louise continued do a lot of
soap opera and other TV work, and recorded a few albums along the way.
For the past 10 years or so, she’s been involved in children’s literacy
in New York, and has written a couple of children’s books, including
When I Grow Up, which was published last year.
And then there’s Mary Ann (Dawn
Wells). She provided the All-American girl-next-door contrast to
Ginger’s more obvious sexuality, provoking the eternal question to boys
of whether they preferred Ginger or Mary Ann.
When she hasn’t been in jail,
Dawn Wells has fully embraced her Gilligan past. She appeared in
all the movies, including the one where the Harlem Globetrotters played basketball against a team of
robots on the island.
And a few years ago, she published
Mary Ann’s Gilligan Island Cookbook, which includes Gilligan’s
Island–themed recipes and anecdotes about the show.
She didn’t limit her cooking
tips to the cookbook, though. Check out her amazing Idaho potato-peeling
Wells also founded the Film Actor’s Boot
Camp to help aspiring
actors break into the film industry. So, really, she’s a productive
member of society.
Rather than delve further into
cheap jokes about Mary Ann’s stoner ways, I’ll leave you with a clip
of what may be my favorite Gilligan’s Island scene.
And I’ll leave you with the
question of whether you prefer Mary Ann or Ginger.