Born 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 forties and fifties and appeared most notably in The Snake Pit (1948) and Anastasia (1956) while returning to New York City to live and work between film roles..
She appeared in the television series Gilligan's Island from 1964 until 1967 playing the role of millionaire's wife Lovey Howell, and reprised her role in the made-for-TV Gilligan's Island movies that were made after the show's demise.
She continued acting until the age of ninety and was a guest star on many TV series. Her most notable film appearance in later life was in The Day of the Locust (1975).
In real life, she was far removed from the dizzy Lovey Howell she had played. Her astute investments, particularly in real estate made her a millionaire. Differing sources state that most of this fortune was bequeathed to either her Gilligan's Island co-star Dawn Wells, or her cat. Miss Wells has admitted to something of a daughter-type relationship with Miss Schafer, but has never publicly admitted to receiving anything from her estate.
She died from cancer in Los Angeles, California.
Natalie Schafer Facts
|November 5, 1900
|Red Bank, New Jersey, USA
|Date of death
|April 10, 1991 (age 90)