Actress Tina Louise is best known for her role in the classic TV series Gilligan’s Island but she also found herself in movies, too. One of them was titled The Wrecking Crew and Louise worked alongside Dean Martin. The movie itself came out in 1968, which is after Gilligan’s Island left the CBS primetime lineup. What was it like being in a movie with Martin?
Tina Louise Recalls Her Time On Movie With Dean Martin
“Oh, Dean was a prince,” Tina Louise says about working with Dean Martin in an interview with Fox News. “He was just the sweetest. I remember he sang a song for me. He was such a sweetheart. Lovely. Such a great man. And, of course, I was invited to the big party for the film and I got to dance with Frank Sinatra, so that was fun. I remember him being very charming.”
Imagine getting to work with Martin while also having a chance to meet with Sinatra. Back in 1968, that’s a good deal. Martin did appear in a series of films as Matt Helm. In The Wrecking Crew, a train in Denmark has been hijacked and it has gold bullion worth $1 billion that’s been stolen. The U.S. government sends out Helm, one of its top agents, to investigate the crime and recover the gold. Besides Martin and Louise, others in the cast include Sharon Tate and Elke Sommer.
It also didn’t hurt Martin at that time that he hosted one of the most popular variety shows on NBC. The Dean Martin Show would feature musicians and comedians alike every single week. Later on, this same show would have some of the funniest roasts to air on network TV. Martin also made a name for himself by working alongside comedian Jerry Lewis for a number of years.
After Sitcom Ended, Louise Shifted Her Focus Back To Serious Roles
Back to some Gilligan’s Island stuff with Louise. She was one of three women on the show with Dawn Wells and Natalie Schafer. Wells played Mary Ann while Schafer was “Lovey” Howell, wife of Jim Backus’ Thurston Howell III. In another interview with the New York Post, Louise talks about the show leaving the network.
“The writers didn’t want us to get off the Island,” she said. “The show was in the Top 10 or 20 when it ended. The [network] president wasn’t happy [with the 1967] schedule. He wanted ‘Gunsmoke’ to come back on. So they took our show off. In syndication, it just went on and on and on … and on and on and on. When it did end I just got back to what I was doing. Which was more dramatic roles.”