The New Jersey connection to ‘Gilligan’s Island’
Did you know that both the creator of Gilligan’s Island and one of its stars were born in New Jersey?
Sherwood Schwartz, the creator of the iconic show (as well as the creator of The Brady Bunch), was born in Passaic in 1916. He started his show business as a writer for both radio and television. He won an Emmy for writing on the Red Skelton Show. He went on to not only create two of the most beloved sitcoms of all time, he also wrote the classic themes for both shows.
The other New Jerseyan involved in Gilligan’s Island is Natalie Schafer of Red Bank; she played Lovey Howell. Do you know what her character’s full name was? According to IMDB.com, it was Eunice Wentworth Howell.
While we’re at it, here are the full names of all the characters (again, according to IMDB.com): Jonas “Skipper” Grumby, Roy “The Professor” Hinkley, Ginger Grant, Mary Ann Summers, Thurston Howell III, and Gilligan. There is some dispute over Gilligan’s real name and officially it is just “Gilligan” without explanation of whether that was his first or last name.
According to Snopes.com, Sherwood Schwartz considered naming the character Willy Gilligan, but did not and no name other than Gilligan was ever used on the show. The show ran for three seasons (98 episodes) in first run, and pretty much ever since in syndication.