Gilligan’s Island
Odd But True Facts About

More Odd Facts

Natalie Schafer who played Mrs. Howell was really a millionaire. When she died her sizable fortune was passed on to her poodle. When the dog died the funds went to the Motion Picture and TV Fund Hospital. She also left a sizable sum to her Gilligan co-star Dawn Wells because Wells cared for Natalie during her battle with breast cancer,

Gilligan of Gilligan’s Island had a first name that was only used once, on the never-aired pilot show. His first name was Willy. The skipper’s real name on Gilligan’s Island is Jonas Grumby. The professor was named Roy Hinkley, Jr. It was mentioned once in the first episode on their radio’s newscast about the wreck.Click Here to see proof
Mrs. Howell’s maiden name was Eunice Wentworth.Click Here to see proof

News broadcast reporting the “Minnow” lost at sea.

The pilot for Gilligan’s Island was filmed “On location” on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. The same location used for the movie “South Pacific”.

The last day of filming for the pilot of Gilligan’s Island was 22 November, 1963. The day President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.

The S.S. Minnow was named after Newton Minow, Chairman of the Federal Communication Commission (FCC).

Jim Backus, Russell Johnson, Natalie Schafer, Bob Denver, Tina Louise, Alan Hale Jr., and Dawn Wells.

Another Gilligan Theory

There were seven passengers on the S.S. Minnow because they each represented the Seven Deadly Sins.

Thurston Howell: Greed

Mary Ann: Envy

Ginger Grant: Lust

Lovey Howell: Sloth

The Professor: Pride

The Skipper: Anger

Gilligan: Gluttony

The S.S. Minnow was possessed, it disassembles itself on it’s final appearance on the show.

Finally, the island is in fact, Hell. Many come and go quite easily but the castaways are stuck…forever.

The 8th (often overlooked) regular cast member was the lone announcer heard on the castaway’s radio, voiced by Charles Maxwell..

Blonde bombshell Jane Mansfield (and mother of Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay) nixed the role of sexy Ginger Grant on Gilligan’s Island, stating “I am a movie star.” Read the full text here.

Many viewers took the comedy way too serious. The Coast Guard was bombarded with letters and telegrams imploring them to rescue the castaways One example was:

“For several weeks now, we have seen American citizens stranded on some Pacific island. We spend millions in foreign aid. Why not send one destroyer to rescue these poor people before they starve to death?”

Gilligan’s Ilse Theme Lyrics

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale,
a tale of a fateful trip.
That started from this tropic port,
aboard this tiny ship.

The mate was a mighty sailing man,
The skipper brave and sure.
5 passengers set sail that day
For a 3 hour tour, a 3 hour tour.

The weather started getting rough,
The tiny ship was tossed,
If not for the courage of the fearless crew
The Minnow would be lost, the Minnow would be lost.

The ship set ground on the shore of this uncharted desert isle
With Gilligan, The Skipper too,
The millionaire and his wife,
The movie star
The professor and Mary Ann,
Here on Gilligan’s Isle.

The Closing Theme Song:

So this is the tale of the castaways,
They’re here for a long, long time,
They’ll have to make the best of things,
It’s an uphill climb.

The first mate and the Skipper too,
Will do their very best,
To make the others comfortable,
In the tropic island nest.

No phone, no lights, no motor cars,
Not a single luxury,
Like Robinson Crusoe,
As primitive as can be.

So join us here each week my friends,
You’re sure to get a smile,
From seven stranded castaways,
Here on ‘Gilligan’s Isle.’


The original opening ended with “the moo-vie star and the rest”. This was because Tina Louise’ s contract stipulated that she was to be the last credited with her picture and the caption “and also Starring Tina Louise as Ginger”. Later, Bob Denver threatened to quit unless his other co-stars were credited.