In one memorable episode, famous actress Zsa Zsa Gabor appeared as a fellow castaway, who was rescued by the Navy at the end of the episode. When asked about whether or not her character, Erika Tiffany Smith, would help rescue the main cast, producers explained that while she had written as many details as she could in her diary, she had written it in Hungarian, which nobody in the Navy could read.
In addition, she had no idea about the exact longitude and latitude of the island. The sailor who had brought her to the island could have told people the location, but he “suffered a major coronary and died.”
Natalie Schafer wasn’t just rich in the show
Lovey and Thurston Howell, the millionaire couple, were extremely wealthy in the show. Apparently, the actress Natalie Schafer wasn’t just rich in the show; she was actually extremely wealthy in her real life too. Her investments, particularly those in real estate, had made her a millionaire.
When she died, she left a sizable amount of her fortune to her poodle since she had no children, and the money was to be donated to the Motion Picture & Television Fund hospital after the poodle died. Sources state that most of this fortune was bequeathed to Gilligan’s Island costar Dawn Wells, who essentially had served as Natalie's caretaker during her fight with breast cancer.
Dawn Wells's Singing Was So Bad That She Wasn’t Allowed to Sing
If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that nobody’s perfect. We thought that rule was broken by the beautiful and talented Dawn Wells until learning that she was effectively tone deaf and couldn’t sing to save her life. Apparently, her singing was so bad that she was not allowed to join the cast during their group songs (like the time the castaway gang sang “For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow”.)
In fact, Dawn’s singing was so bad that it actually made everyone else unable to sing on the notes. The production team decided to dub over her singing using the voice of singer/songwriter Jackie DeShannon. Her real singing voice was only used once during a season 3 episode "The Second Ginger Grant," where her awful voice was part of the actual plot.
Will they ever escape?
One of the most popular theories about the show is that the characters will never get off the island. In fact, they're all dead, and they're in purgatory to work off bad karma. It's common practice to give sitcom characters one of the seven sins (greed, envy, sloth, etc.) and see how they interact, or at least to give them depth.
While this was a fun theory – and the number of characters matches nicely with the number of deadly sins – it was eventually proven to be untrue, as the characters finally got off the island in the second reunion movie. However, we still enjoy watching them fail just because of their sinful faults.
Acting for two
In both of the animated series – “The New Adventures of Gilligan” and “Gilligan's Planet” – the characters of Ginger and Mary Ann are voiced by the same person. In “The New Adventures,” it was actress Jane Webb (pictured below on the left) who provided the voices, as Tina Louise refused to return, and Dawn Wells was busy.
This prompted a change to Ginger, becoming a platinum blonde instead of having Louise's red hair. In “Gilligan's Planet,” Wells was available, so she voiced both of the characters. In addition, in an original live-action episode, Tina Louise plays both Ginger and an identical stranger Eva Grubb.