Search for content in message boards

Natalie Schaefer aka Natalie Shafer/Schafer

Replies: 0

Natalie Schaefer aka Natalie Shafer/Schafer

Posted: 1222329924000
Classification: Obituary
Surnames: Schaefer,Butterworth,Shafer,Calhern,
Actors on famous TV show "Gilligan's Island" set sails into the sunset of Eternity.

Natalie Schaefer played Mrs. "Lovey" Howell. Gilligan's Island hit the air in 1964!Some time during her later years, she had a double mastectomy. She lived on Rodeo Drive, in Beverly Hills. Her house was at number 514. It was in this house that Lovey died, on Wednesday, April 10th, 1991. Cancer. She was 90 years old. NINETY! She left a lot of money to the Motion Picture Country Home and Hospital, because there is now a Natalie Schaefer wing.

Like the Skipper, she was cremated and scattered at sea.

Unfortunately, in February of 2005 Natalie's house on Rodeo Drive was demolished.

Natalie had been diagnosed with severe liver cancer, and died in her sleep. None of her friends knew how old Natalie was, and two weeks before she died, she told friends (she had no immediate family) that she wanted her obituaries to read that she was 90 years old. Smug that she had fooled so many, for so long. Her last words to anyone were, "I'm gonna take a pain pill."

There was a memorial cocktail party held at Natalie's house. About 30 of her friends gathered and laughed.

She left more than $3 million to her favorite teacup poodle, which caused quite a bit of legal maneuvering among her nieces and nephews. The will was solid, however, so there was a poodle with a bank account until the funds rolled over to the Motion Picture home upon her (the poodle's) death.

I believe she also left a good bit to Dawn "Mary Ann" Wells who lived with her through her final illness. Dawn Wells has earned most of her post-Gilligan money from Wishing-Wells, a clothing company she owns for invalids. Natalie modeled for her in the final days and from a wigwam acting camp in Idaho.

Most of Ms. Schaefer's fortune came from investments in the golden era of Hollywood. Her first husband, Louis Calherne, was a contract player at a time when valley real estate was still attainable. The house on Rodeo Drive was purchased for $50,000 in the Forties, and worth millions by the time of her death.

Natalie Schafer

Date of Birth
5 November 1900, Red Bank, New Jersey, USA

Date of Death
10 April 1991, Los Angeles, California, USA (cancer)

Mini Biography

Natalie Schafer got her start doing Broadway plays then making the move to the big screen. Even before Gilligan's Island, she was typecast in roles as society women, or elegant, fashionable ladies. It was her role as "Eunice 'Lovey' Wentworth Howell" wife of multi-millionaire Thurston Howell III, that she was best known for. After the show ended it's run in 1967, Schafer did a few guest appearances on shows, most notably "The Brady Bunch."

Louis Calhern (20 April 1933 - 1942) (divorced)


Schafer had said she initially did the pilot to "Gilligan's Island" (1964), for the free trip to Hawaii. Afterwards, Schafer was in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on holiday when she got a telegram from the States. She read it and burst into tears. Everyone had thought Shafer's mother (who was ill at the time) had died, and offered their condolences, but Shafer had said no she didn't die, the reason she was crying was because the pilot for "Gilligan's Island" sold, and she had to stay in Los Angeles, and couldn't move back to New York.

Was engaged to comedic character actor Charles Butterworth in 1946 at the time of his tragic death in a single automobile crash.

Natalie Schafer (November 5, 1900(1900-11-05) – April 10, 1991) was an American actress.
Early life and career

Born to a Jewish family in Red Bank, New Jersey, Schafer began her career as an actress on Broadway before moving to Los Angeles in 1941 to work in films. She played several supporting roles during the 1940s (such as the wife of a German officer in the 1942 film Reunion in France) and 1950s, and also appeared most notably in The Snake Pit (1948) and Anastasia (1956) while returning to New York City to live and work between film roles.

Schafer appeared on Broadway in 17 plays between 1928 and 1959, almost always playing supporting roles. Most of her Broadway appearances were in short-run plays, with the exceptions of Lady in the Dark (1941–42), The Doughgirls (1942–44), and Romanoff and Juliet (1957-58). She also appeared in stock and regional productions of plays.

Schafer is best known for the television series Gilligan's Island (1964-67), playing the role of millionaire's wife "Lovey Howell." She reprised her role in the made-for-TV, Gilligan's Island, movies that were made after the show's demise, along with the animated spinoff, Gilligan's Planet, in 1982. Originally written as a humorless grande dame, Schafer worked with the writers to create a character not unlike the scatterbrain roles played in 1930s films by Mary Boland and Billie Burke. Schafer specifically suggested that the writers read the George S. Kaufman-Marc Connelly play Dulcy for its dizzy title character.

She continued acting until her late-80s and was a guest star on many TV series, including I Love Lucy in the 1950s. Her most notable film appearance in later life was in The Day of the Locust (1975).

Personal life

Schafer was married to actor Louis Calhern from 1934 to 1942, but they had no children. Long after their divorce, the two appeared together in Forever, Darling (1956). During much of the 1940s and 1950s she was romantically linked to George S. Kaufman.

Schafer was legendarily discreet about her age, never even telling Calhern. 1912 was generally given as her birth year for many years, which few believed, yet her actual year of birth (which was not discerned until after her death) of 1900, shocked even her intimate friends.

Her investments, particularly in real estate, made her a multimillionaire. Differing sources state that most of this fortune was bequeathed to either her Gilligan's Island co-star, Dawn Wells, or to care of her dogs. Wells has not commented.

Natalie Schafer died of cancer at home in Los Angeles, California at the age of 90.


Find a board about a specific topic