|Gould as a telephone operator on Gilligan's Island.|
I recently read a 1966 interview she did with writer Joan E. Vadeboncoeur, shortly after she joined the show. Gould explained that she originally declined to read for the part. Not only had she been friendly with Pearce, with whom she shared a dressing room when they worked in the film Dear Heart (1964), but Gould was also grieving the loss of her husband, producer Larry Berns, to cancer. "I stayed home and nursed him [for] five years," Gould recalled. "When he died I was like a basket case." She finally agreed to meet Bewitched executive producer Harry Ackerman because "I knew I had to get out of the house. They had already read 60 actresses and I read with 14 or 15. Then they wanted me to test, and I was still reluctant ... [O]ne day they called and said, "Come down and sign your contract." Once cast, Gould chose not to view episodes in which her predecessor appeared. "I can't be Alice," she decided, "so I'll do it the way I am."
Gould had been making people laugh the way she was for years, including a long run as Miss Duffy on radio's Duffy's Tavern. She was also a favorite of the late Joan Davis, and I enjoyed seeing Gould in numerous episodes of I Married Joan, as I researched my forthcoming book on its star. Sandra Gould had a rich, rewarding career as a character actress, not the least of which was giving us a memorable Take Two on Gladys Kravitz.