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Set Sail With Gilligan

Natalie Schafer

Gilligan's Island

Natalie Schafer

Mrs. Eunice "Lovey" Howell

Natalie Schafer

Although Natalie Schafer had the grace of a grande dame, she was known in Hollywood for her fabulous sense of humor. Her comic timing made her perfect for the role of Lovey Howellso perfect, in fact, that her long list of previous appearances were completely overshadowed by that one part.

Since her early days in the theater, Schafer generally played dignified society women. She appeared in nearly 30 feature films and on several TV classics including I Love Lucy and The Beverly Hillbillies before setting foot on Gilligan's Island.

Schafer accepted the role of Lovey in the Gilligan's Island pilot as a means of getting a free trip to Hawaii. Never expecting the series to sell, Shafer was initially shocked that the Minnow was scheduled to set sail, stranding her in Los Angeles when she much preferred to move back to her home in New York. She soon took to the role like water to a lagoon, however, and developed a reputation as a skilled comedienne. One indicator of her strong sense of humor was Mrs. Howell's wardrobe which Schafer herself put together.

Post-Gilligan, Schafer found herself inescapably typecast in the role she had been playing for most of her career, the rich socialite. Schafer returned for all of the Gilligan's Island reunions and made many guest appearances until her death on April 10, 1991. Her age was a carefully guarded secret, though it's believed that she was 90 at the time of her passing.

Character Bio

Once named "Queen of the Pitted Prune Bowl Parade," Eunice Wentworth met her husband, Thurston Howell III at Harvard. Married for over 20 years, Mrs. Howell comes from old money and makes the perfect socialite wife to her extremely wealthy husband. The pinnacle of charm and manners, she has much to teach the other castaways (including her husband) in the way of high society and social grace.

Gilligan's Island TV Schedule

Thursday
April 24
7:30pm
Physical Fatness
The castaways begin planning for life back home.
TV-G
8:00pm
It's Magic
Are there headhunters on Gilligan's Island?
TV-G
8:30pm
Goodbye, Old Paint
The island gets yet another visitor: a famous painter who has renounced civilization.
TV-G
Friday
April 25
7:30pm
My Fair Gilligan
Gilligan is adopted and dubbed "G. Thurston Howell, IV."
TV-G
8:00pm
A Nose By Any Other Name
A fall from a coconut tree gives Gilligan an inflated nose and a deflated ego.
TV-G
8:30pm
Gilligan's Mother-In-Law
A native family from another island seeks a husband for their none-too-attractive daughter.
TV-G
Saturday
April 26
5:00pm
The Kidnapper
Mrs. Howell is kidnapped for a ransom of $10,000.
TV-G
5:36pm
And Then There Were None
While hanging a clothesline with Gilligan, Mary Ann suddenly disappears.
TV-G
6:12pm
All About Eva
The castaways discover a beached boat in excellent condition.
TV-G
6:49pm
Take A Dare
George Barkley takes the dare on the "Take A Dare" radio contest.
TV-G
7:21pm
Court Martial
The Maritime Board of Inquiry has declared the Skipper at fault in the loss of his charter boat.
TV-G
7:54pm
The Hunter
Hunter Jonathan Kincaid lands on the island.
TV-G
8:27pm
Our Vines Have Tender Apes
A savage appears at the castaways' camp.
TV-G