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Gilligan's Island

Natalie Schafer

Mrs. Eunice "Lovey" Howell

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 Howell—so 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

Wednesday
July 1
7:00pm
It's A Bird, It's A Plane
The U.S. military develops a "jet-pack" enabling airmen to fly like birds.
TV-G
7:30pm
The Pigeon
The Professor sees an opportunity for the castaways' rescue.
TV-G
Thursday
July 2
10:48am
Gilligan Vs. Gilligan
Gilligan is suspected as the culprit behind the disappearance of Mary Ann's freshly baked pie.
TV-G
11:24am
Pass The Vegetables Please
Gilligan snags an unusual catch when he reels in a wooden crate on the end of his fishing line.
TV-G
12:00pm
The Producer
Egomaniacal Hollywood producer Harold Hecuba makes an emergency landing on the island. Guest Star: Phil Silvers
TV-G
7:00pm
Bang! Bang! Bang!
Secret agents lose a container of liquid plastic.
TV-G
7:30pm
Gilligan, The Goddess
An old legend says that a "white goddess" can be found on Gilligan's Island.
TV-G
Monday
July 6
10:48am
Two On A Raft
The castaways are marooned on a deserted island.
TV-G
11:24am
Home Sweet Hut
Looming tropical storms force the castaways to build a communal hut for shelter.
TV-G
12:00pm
Voodoo Something To Me
After the supply hut is burglarized; the castaways dread the loss of the flare gun.
TV-G
7:00pm
Gilligan's Mother-In-Law
A native family from another island seeks a husband for their none-too-attractive daughter. Guest Stars: Russ Grieve, Mary Foran, Henny Backus
TV-G
7:36pm
Beauty Is As Beauty Does
The castaways argue over which of the island's three women is the most beautiful.
TV-G