"Titian-haired" is the manner in which actress Tina Louise is usually described. Despite her numerous comic performances, she prefers to be regarded as a serious actress; according to some of her co-workers, her preference in this manner often takes the form of an ultimatum. Louise was born near Brooklyn, where her father ran a candy store. She studied drama at Miami University, the Neighborhood Playhouse, and the Actors' Studio. A nightclub singer in the mid-1950s, Louise came to Broadway as Appasionatta von Climax in the original 1956 production of the musical Li'l Abner. Two years later she made her first film, the then-torrid God's Little Acre.
By the early 1960s, Louise was shuttling between Hollywood and Europe, often appearing in productions of the shoestring variety. Louise is fondly remembered for her three-year (1964 through 1967) stint as Marilynesque movie star Ginger Grant on Gilligan's Island, though she despised the role and made no secret of it on the set. Nor did she wish to have anything to do with the Gilligan cartoon and TV movie follow-ups of the 1970s and 1980s, choosing instead to carve a reputation as a versatile, no-nonsense actress, though she eventually capitulated and appeared in The Castaways on Gilligan's Island. Though she would go on to make other film and TV appearances in the decades to come, even penning a children's book and earning her helicopter pilot's license, Louise would forever remain the most well known for the role of Ginger.