The Original Ladies of Gilligan’s Island

It was Ginger & Bunny before Ginger & Mary Ann

Above is a clip from the original, unaired 1963 pilot for Gilligan’s Island, featuring Kit Smythe and Nancy McCarthy as Ginger and Bunny, respectively, the two single ladies aboard the SS Minnow, both of whom were secretaries. Of course, these characters were changed from two secretaries to a movie star and a small town girl and recast with Tina Louise and Dawn Wells in the roles, forever giving rise to the eternal question; “Ginger or Mary Ann?” (and you can cast your vote here).

As a footnote that isn’t in fitting with the theme of this site, but will be added nonetheless; the other change made to Gilligan’s Island once the show was picked up for a series, was replacing the high school science teacher character, who was in the pilot, with the Professor, along with a different actor in that role. The rest of the characters in the TV series were the same and portrayed by the same actors as in the pilot.

Hat tip to Rock Baker.

About the author

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Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Chris flirted with the music business there and in Nashville before joining the U.S. Army and serving in South Korea. He remained in Asia for several years afterwards, teaching English, traveling, and covering the regional entertainment scenes. Currently in a mindset between Seoul and San Francisco, besides Idol Features, you can also catch his writings in the print edition of the monthly magazine, Effective.

1 Comment

  1. I see why these roles were recast. These two treated Gilligan poorly. The chemistry between Gilligan and Tina Louise’s Ginger and Dawn Wells’ Mary Ann was sure better.

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