A Straight Dope Classic from Cecil's Storehouse of Human Knowledge

In Gilligan's Island, what was Mrs. Howell's first name?

October 31, 1997

Dear Cecil:

All right, Cecil, this will stump you. I've asked many people this, and none knows. If you can provide a verifiable answer, I will send $20 to a charity of your choice. The question: What was Mrs. Howell's (of Gilligan's Island fame) given name? Her maiden name was Wentworth. Sorry, "Lovey" doesn't count.

Cecil replies:

I'll decide what counts around here. "Lovey" in fact was Mrs. Howell's given name — or at least it was the name by which she was known in the show. We learn this from Steve Cox, who cowrote Here on Gilligan's Isle (1993) with Russell Johnson, the guy who played the Professor. (The Professor's name, incidentally, was Dr. Roy Hinkley.) In the book Natalie Schafer's character is listed as "Lovey Wentworth Howell." Ms. Schafer also had a little dog named Lovey.

No doubt you have a different answer in mind, though. In a Gilligan's Island episode entitled "Mr. and Mrs. ??" Mrs. Howell's first name is given as Eunice.  Snopes (www.snopes.com/radiotv/tv/gilligan.htm) writes:

It was the episode where the Howells learn from a radio broadcast that the minister who married them was not properly ordained, and thus their marriage is not valid. The broadcast mentions Mrs. Howell's maiden name, which is given as "Eunice Wentworth." (Of course, the whole thing is revealed as a mistake by the end of the episode.)

It's listed in most episode guides as something like:

#67 — Mr. and Mrs. ??

A radio bulletin states that the Howells aren't married at all.

Eunice clearly was an invention for this particular episode — Mrs. Howell was known as Lovey at all other times. Still, if you're trying to win $20 bets, Eunice is probably the answer you want.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Recent Additions:

A Straight Dope Classic by Cecil Adams
A Straight Dope Classic by Cecil Adams
A Straight Dope Classic by Cecil Adams
A Straight Dope Classic by Cecil Adams
A Straight Dope Classic by Cecil Adams
A Straight Dope Classic by Cecil Adams
A Straight Dope Classic by Cecil Adams
By Cecil Adams
A Straight Dope Classic by Cecil Adams
A Straight Dope Classic by Cecil Adams
A Straight Dope Classic by Cecil Adams
A Straight Dope Classic by Cecil Adams
A Straight Dope Classic by Cecil Adams
A Straight Dope Classic by Cecil Adams
A Straight Dope Classic by Cecil Adams
A Straight Dope Classic by Cecil Adams

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope! Your direct line to thou- sands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope? Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright © 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC.