The Berkshires Salute A TV & Movie Icon On Her Special Day
In my eyes, Tina Louise is an accomplished actress who has given us numerous performances in the realm of show business. I don't only associate her with a starring role in one of my favorite situation comedies of all time as my fellow native New Yorker has given us many memorable roles in film and TV. Tina also graced the Broadway stage in the LIVE presentation of Lil' Abner as Appassionatta Von Climax and co-starred with Carol Burnett and Jack Cassidy in "Fade Out, Fade In". I would have enjoyed being in the audience to see these performances first hand in the ol' hometown.
She also recorded an album in 1957 before her movie career took center stage. Her sultry delivery of tunes from "The Great American Songbook" resulted in a fantastic compilation of soothing and relaxing music with the release of "It's Time For Tina" she recorded an album, "It's Time for Tina", as this mesmerizing album brings us her best version of standards and features music from Coleman Hawkins on the saxophone plus lyrics and music by George and Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter and Jule Styne just to name a few.
Her movie career also gave us a plethora of memorable characters as her first film featured her as Griselda in the 1958 movie version of Erskine Caldwell's "God's Little Acre" and as they say, the rest is history. Some of the other feature films where she gave top-notch performances include a pair of westerns, "Day Of the Outlaw" and "Hangman", a pair of peplum films from the sword and sandal era including 4 roles in "The Siege Of Syracuse" and her performance of Sappho in "The Warrior Empress" was epic in nature. Tina portrayed Alexandra in a terrific World War 2 drama, "Armored Command" and also was featured with "The Epitome of Cool" Dean Martin in "The Wrecking Crew". Plus she co-starred opposite Bob Hope and Jackie Gleason in the 1969 comedy "How To Commit Marriage" and was part of an all star cast in "the Good Guys & The Bad Guys".
The role of Charmaine Wimperis in "The Stepford Wives" was without a doubt one of her awesome moments on the silver screen as she was part of an ensemble cast based on the novel by Ira Levin. Katherine Ross, Paula Prentiss, Peter Masterson and Patrick O' Neal also co-starred in this psychological thriller that was well received by audiences worlwide.
Her other contributions in television were also fabulous. One role that stands out is when she portrayed Audrey Norris in a season one episode of "Kojak" entitled "Die Before They Wake". Other roles included appearances on "The Real McCoys, "Burke's Law", "Bonanza", "It Takes A Thief", "Ironside", "Mannix" "Kung Fu", "Cannon", "The Love Boat" and "Fantasy Island".
Tina also appeared in season one of "Dallas" as Jock Ewing's secretary, Julie Grey. It was because she co-starred in this prime time soap opera that I would watch this series every Friday night for 13 years, even though she left the show after one appearance in the 2nd season. Two made for TV movies including a sequel to "Rosemary's Baby" and "SST: Death Flight stand out as another pair of terrific performances.
These days, "Yiayia" (the Greek word for grandmother) takes top priority to spend quality time with Clementine and Kingston. Her daughter, Caprice Crane shares beautiful photos of her children via social media and I am lucky to correspond with CC from time-to-time.
BOTTOM LINE: Thank you Tina for all of your fantastic accomplishments in show business. I am hoping to thank you personally for all that you have given us on the small and big screen and there is an open invite to chime in on my radio show to discuss your contribution to music that remains timeless to this day. Again, Happy Birthday! May God bless you each and every day.
(Photo images of Tina Louise courtesy of Facebook and www.amazon.com)