Tina Blacker was born in New York City on February 11, 1934. At 2 years old she appeared in an advertisement for her father’s candy store in Brooklyn. Her parents divorced when she was 4 years old.
When she was in high school she added the middle name “Louise” at the suggestion of her drama teacher because she was the only girl in school without a middle name. At 17 she studied acting, singing, and dancing at Neighborhood Playhouse in Manhattan. After graduating from high school, she attended Miami University near Cincinnati, Ohio.
Modeling, Singing and Acting in the 1950s
Throughout the 1950’s she got a part on Broadway in Bette Davis’ revue called Two’s Company, followed by other roles in plays including John Murray Anderson’s Almanac, The Fifth Season, Lil’ Abner and Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?
She also did some modeling for Men’s magazines during this period. She appeared in the 1958 Frederick’s Of Hollywood catalog, Adam, as well as Playboy magazine in 1958 and 1959.
In 1957 she recorded an album titled It’s Time For Tina.
Early Movie And TV Career
Louise made her big-screen debut in 1958’s God’s Little Acre for which she won the Golden Globe for “New Star Of The Year”. She followed this up with Day Of The Outlaw, which was released the following year.
She also starred in the Italian film Viva Italia during this period as well as a beach comedy with Bob Denver called For Those Who Think Young (1962).
In 1964 she left a Broadway production of Fade In – Fade Out to play Ginger Grant on Gilligan’s Island. Although the show was not a smash hit like Bewitched or The Beverly Hillbillies, it frequently won its timeslot. In 1967, and after three seasons, the show was canceled. Louise wasn’t a fan of the show and felt she was typecast and her career was ruined.
Life After Gilligan
In 1968 Louise appeared in The Wrecking Crew with Dean Martin and Sharon Tate. In the 1970s she also appeared in episodes of Kojak and Dallas. Her final notable television guest appearances were in the 1990s on Roseanne and Married…With Children.
She has written the following books: What Does a Bee Do?, When I Grow Up, and Sunday: A Memoir.
She currently lives in New York City.