It was considered “sexy” for its time–and several scenes had to be edited–but years later restored. It was “God’s Little Acre.” Two of its stars are Tina Louise and Buddy Hackett. He continued to be one of the world’s funniest men–a favorite of Johnny Carson…and mine. Tina went on to fame as Ginger in “Gillligan’s Island.” Although she ranked #2 as TV’s all-time sex symbol, second only to Heather Locklear, she declined to be a part of any of the four “reunion” “Gilligan’s” shows. For the past 11 years, Tina is a volunteer for Learning Leaders, a childhood literacy advocate group in NYC. She tells me she reads to kids at P.S.59, “once or twice a week.”
She has now authored a super-charming book, “When I Grow Up,” (Abrams) magnificently illustrated by Oliver Corwin. And on Aug.10 at the Hackett house in Beverly Hills (he died in 2003), Sherry Hackett will give away 70 of Tina’s books at the birthday party she gives friend Carolee Davies. It’s an annual bash at which she gives away a book. This year, Dr.Toni Grant’s “Being A Woman” will also be in the 70 gift bags with Tina’s, says Sherry. She was embarassed to admit she’d never given away Buddy’s book, “The Naked Mind of Beverly Hills,” but now that we spoke of it, she’ll donate it next year! Hackett would have loved it.
Tina will make a more public book appearance in L.A. on Aug.14 at Barnes & Noble at the Grove in L.A. She’s also talking a special on the book, which is “a work of love.” Meanwhile, “Gilligan’s Island” is being talked as a possible B’way musical and/or theatrical feature. (P.S. It’s also a slot machine favorite in Vegas. Tina appeared for its first spin.) She’s still hailed “Hey Ginger” on the streets of New York. One of the spectacular sets of illustrations in her “When I Grow Up”– promises, “If a firefly can glow in the dark–I can shine on the silver screen.” It’s that kind of charmer for kids-grandkids.