If you grew up in the late 60s and 70s, you’ll probably remember the classic television series Fantasy Island. The show had a unique premise: guests traveled to a remote tropical island somewhere in the South Pacific, where for a fee, a mysterious man in a white suit would make their wildest, most secret dreams come to life. The sky was the limit: you could go the “popular” route and be a movie star or a king for a weekend, or you could dredge up the craziest idea you ever had—go back in time, or gain a supernatural power. As the series progressed, some of the guests themselves were of otherworldly origin: at least two or three ghosts came to the island, and even the Devil himself dropped in a couple of times!
But having your dream made reality came with its own price. Sooner or later, something was going to happen that you never would have thought of, much less planned out how to cope with, that made the dreamer wonder if living out the fantasy was really worth it. Once you were sent into that dream of yours, that was it—there was no going back, and you were on your own. Even the dream facilitator couldn’t help you; he might give you a little advice, but it was up to you to figure out how to apply it. And just about every fantasy had its little lesson to be learned.
The island’s host was Mr. Roarke, a distinguished man dressed entirely in white, who possessed unexplainable powers and was shrouded in mystery. No one knew his origins or the provenance of his abilities. Who was he really? An angel? A god? A gifted extraterrestrial? Many speculated, but Mr. Roarke never told—not even his assistant, a little person named Tattoo, a jovial man with one eye always on some pretty girl and the other on the hope of eventually making a fortune. Later, during the fifth season Roarke’s young goddaugther Julie worked with him and Tattoo; and in the seventh and final season Tattoo was replaced by a British butler named Lawrence.
Fantasy Island was produced by Aaron Spelling (Love Boat, Charlie’s Angels, Dynasty, Mod Squad, Beverly Hills 90210, and many more) and Leonard Goldberg, and created by Gene Levitt. It aired every Saturday night at 10 pm (9 Central) on ABC, except for a brief period at the beginning of the third season when it aired at 8 pm (7 Central) on Friday nights. Following two pilot movies that did very well in the Nielsen ratings, the series premiered on January 28, 1978, and its final first-run broadcast aired on May 19, 1984.
We hope you’ll enjoy this site, which is meant not only as a tribute to the series but also to its two best-remembered actors, Ricardo Montalbán and Hervé Villechaize. The site will expand to include episode summaries, trivia, guest stars, and background information. Feel free to leave comments if you are so moved. Welcome, and we hope you will have a wonderful time during your stay here!