Old School Americana & Nostalgia


The Heartbreaking Way ‘Gilligan’s Island’ Star Tina Louise Turned Down Don Knotts

The Heartbreaking Way ‘Gilligan’s Island’ Star Tina Louise Turned Down Don Knotts

A lot of people think of Don Knotts as only a funny comedic actor, but Knotts had the hots for actress Tina Louise.

Now, that’s nothing unusual as many men have found Louise quite beautiful. People, though, think of Knotts from his time on The Andy Griffith Show and Three’s Company. Knotts, though, was quite a ladies’ man and never seemed to be at a loss for romance.

Karen Knotts, Don’s daughter, put it this way in her book, Tied Up in Knotts: My Dad and Me. She wrote, “Women loved Dad because of his vulnerability and, of course, he made them laugh.” Don Knotts was married three times with plenty of love in between. Making a connection between being funny and a kind of lothario can be hard for some to make.

Don Knotts Gets Compliment From John Ritter’s Widow

Nancy Morgan, who was married to the late John Ritter, spent some time around Knotts on the Three’s Company set. Karen Knotts had this quote from Morgan as part of her book. Morgan said, “I saw Don as the man who was quiet, kind, respectful, warm with the greetings, self-contained; it’s hard to achieve all that. He went from being a highly sophisticated gentleman to the biggest goofball with a rubbery face. There’s almost nothing sexier than someone who can be hilarious. He makes you laugh when he’s being a pro.”

Morgan knows what she’s talking about. After all, her late husband played Jack Tripper up for the laughs and did so magnificently. With Knotts’ charm and comedic talents, surely those were enough to impress even the prettiest redhead out in Hollywood.

Yeah, well, that didn’t work too well with Louise, according to MeTV.

Tina Louise Rejects Knotts’ Inquiries

Before playing Ginger Grant on Gilligan’s Island, Louise had appeared in a few movies. There’s no doubt that Louise’s beauty and even sensuousness were present a lot of the time. Knotts saw it and desperately wanted to go out with Louise.

Knotts called Louise repetitively. Like almost an addiction to a person. Well, Karen’s book also shared this story from Don’s friend, Joni Robbins. Knotts told her about his effort to woo Louise. Here’s what the book had to say about the Knotts-Louise lack of connection.

“He had a thing for redheads, and she had given him her phone number,” Robbins said. “Every week, he’d call and ask if she’d like to go out on Saturday night. She’d say, ‘Oh, I’m sorry, I have other plans, but could you call me next week?’ This went on for about a year until he finally realized how naive he’d been.”

While there was not a love connection between Knotts and Louise, both have a place in the classic TV world. Knotts, who died in 2006 at 81 years old, made his mark thanks to his incredible humor and physical comedy. Louise, who is still alive at 89 years old, will be connected with Gilligan’s Island, possibly to her dismay, forever.

The Andy Griffith Show runs Monday through Friday on TV Land and MeTV. It also has its very own channel on free-streaming Pluto TV. Gilligan’s Island runs on Sundays on MeTV and is available on free-streaming Tubi.