There is more to Tina Louise than Gilligan’s Island and most fans forget that she was a real movie star before being stranded on that island sitcom. After achieving success as Appassionata Von Climax in the hit Broadway musical Li’l Abner, luschious redhead Tina went Hollywood and received more kudos for her film debut as the sexy farm nymph Griselda in God’s Little Acre (1958) even sharing a Golden Globe Award for Most Prmising Newcomer – Female.
She was one of the hottest actresses of the time and decided to go the dramatic route opting for three not-so-memorable films with Robert Taylor, Robert Ryan and Richard Widmark while turning down two of the biggest box office hits of 1959. She passed on reprising her role in the movie version of Li’l Abner (Stella Stevens stepped in to fill the cleavage and won a Golden Globe) and said no to being Cary Grant’s leading lady in the comedy Operation Petticoat (1959) because of the “boob jokes.” What were you thinking Tina!?! Fantasy Femme Joan O’Brien took her place as the busty nurse, the screenplay (boob jokes and all) received an Academy Award nomination, and the movie was one of the five highest grossing films of the year.
Thinking she could get better roles in Europe, headstrong Tina fled to Rome. Though she did a cameo in the great Roberto Rossellini’s film Viva l’Italia!, her starring roles were in cheapy peplum movies such as The Warrior Empress and Siege of Syracuse. However, Tina always rose above her material. Checkout the below to watch a tantalizing Tina get a rise out of toga-clad Rossanno Brazzi.