When RAQUEL WELCH Auditioned For the Role Of Mary Ann On Gilligan’s Island?

The programming executives at CBS were underwhelmed by the pilot, but it managed to impress three different test audiences enough that they put the series on the fall schedule.

But before filming for the first episode began, they had a few caveats—the first of which was replacing three cast members who had tested the “lowest” with audiences: John Gabriel, who played The Professor, a high school science teacher; Kit Smythe, who played Ginger as a secretary, not a movie star; and Nancy McCarthy, who played Bunny, yet another secretary.

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It was decided to make Ginger an actress, and Bunny was replaced by wholesome farm girl Mary Ann.

One actress who auditioned for Mary Ann’s part was a young Raquel Welch, though something about her just didn’t scream “girl next door.”

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