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`MRS. HOWELL' OF `GILLIGAN'S ISLAND' DIES

Published: Friday, April 12 1991 12:00 a.m. MDT

Actress Natalie Schafer, who played the stranded millionaire's wife Lovey Howell on "Gilligan's Island," has died of cancer at age 90.

Miss Schafer died Wednesday at her home, family spokesman Frank Liberman said Thursday.Miss Schafer played the wife of Thurston Howell III, portrayed by the late Jim Backus, on the series that aired from 1964 to 1967 and is still hugely popular in reruns.

The characters, of various ages and backgrounds, wound up marooned on a desert island when a three-hour cruise went awry.

Miss Schafer considered the show silly but agreed to appear in the cast because she had never been to Hawaii, where the pilot was made.

She brought her own sense of style to her character, including a love of pearls, high-heeled shows and eccentric fashions.

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