Fantasy Island was a beloved television series that ran from the late 70s to the early 80s. It captured viewers’ imaginations for years and is still remembered fondly today. If you are lucky, you can still find it in syndication. But where was Fantasy Island filmed?
The Location of Where Was Fantasy Island Filmed
Fantasy Island was filmed on location at Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills, California.
The ranch is a 2,700-acre facility located in the Santa Monica Mountains owned by Paramount Pictures. It has been used as a filming location since 1927 and has seen movies like Caught in the Draft (1941) and Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman (1993) filmed there as well.
Where was the original Fantasy Island filmed? Fantasy Island was filmed at the ranch from 1978-1984 and many of the show’s most recognizable backdrops were located on the property, including Mr. Roarke’s iconic white mansion surrounded by palm trees and gardens.
The Story of Fantasy Island
Fantasy Island was a fantasy drama television series that aired from 1978-1984. The show follows the exploits of Mr. Roarke (Ricardo Montalban) and his assistant Tattoo (Hervé Villechaize), who run a fictional island resort where wealthy guests can live out their elaborate fantasies. But as with any fantasy, there is usually a hidden catch.
Each episode was filled with exciting twists and turns that kept audiences guessing until the very end. Visitors to the island must confront their inner demons and learn important life lessons in order to escape without harm. The show was known for its campy humor, intense drama, dramatic twists, and supernatural elements that made it unlike anything else on TV at the time. It remains a cult classic today and has influenced many other fantasy-adventure shows since.
The Original Fantasy Island Cast
The show’s main stars were Ricardo Montalban as Mr. Roarke and Hervé Villechaize as his loyal sidekick Tattoo, who famously yelled “de plane, de plane!” to announce the arrival of new guests on the island.
Other recurring cast members included Wendy Schaal as Julie, a love interest for Tattoo, and the show’s mysterious narrator who would introduce each episode. The guest stars changed from week to week, with a long list of Hollywood A-listers appearing throughout the series’ run including Lindsay Wagner, Jamie Farr, Charlton Heston, and Leslie Nielsen.
The show was directed by Barry Crane, who also served as a director for series like McCloud (1970-1977) and Hart to Hart (1979-1984). He was assisted by Dennis Donnelly and Bob Sweeney. The production crew included many talented individuals such as art directors Herbert Flemming and Martin Blum, cinematographers Bruce Logan and Thomas Ackerman, and costume designer Bill Belew. The show was produced by Aaron Spelling’s company, Spelling-Goldberg Productions.
Fun Facts About The Original Fantasy Island TV Show
The network originally wanted Orson Welles to play the lead role but Aaron Spelling won the battle with Ricardo Montalban.
The real Fantasy Island is in Kauai, Hawaii.
Mr. Roarke’s mansion was originally built by Paramount Pictures in the late 1920s to serve as a Spanish Colonial Revival ranch house.
The show also used the nearby Malibu Creek State Park as a film location for some of its exterior shots.
Fantasy Island Awards
The Fantasy Island TV series never actually won any awards but was nominated eight times. These included:
- Outstanding Music Composition for a Series – 1999
- Outstanding Cinematography for a Series – 1983
- Outstanding Achievement in Makeup – 1982
- Outstanding Costume Design for a Regular or Limited Series- 1982
- Outstanding Achievement in Hairstyling – 1980
- Outstanding Costume Design for a Series – 1980
- Outstanding Cinematography for a Series – 1980
- Outstanding Achievement in Film Sound Editing for a Series – 1978
What is The Paramount Ranch Famous For?
The Paramount Ranch is famously used as the backdrop for many film productions. It’s located in the Santa Monica Mountains. In 2018, the Woolsey Fire destroyed much of the area known as Western Town, an actual movie set.
Unique Places Around Paramount Ranch and Santa Monica
There are many unique places around Paramount Ranch and the Santa Monica Mountains. You can explore Malibu Creek State Park, The Japanese Garden at Calabasas, or Castle Rock Beach. There are also some great hikes to take in the area such as Topanga State Park and the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
Can You Visit Paramount Ranch?
Yes, you can visit Paramount Ranch. It offers guided tours every weekend at 11:00am and 1:00pm with an admission fee of $7.50 per person. You can also explore the ranch on your own or take part in outdoor movie screenings, museum visits, and more. It’s the perfect place to explore Hollywood’s past and relive some of your favorite moments from the show.
The ranch is still open to visitors today and you can take a self-guided tour to see the original sets used in Fantasy Island. It’s a great way to relive the show’s magical moments and feel like you’re really on the mysterious island!
Things to Do in and Around Paramount Ranch
There are plenty of things to do around Paramount Ranch. From outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and camping to cultural attractions like the Getty Villa and the Hollywood Bowl, there is something for everyone.
You can also tour Paramount Studios for a behind-the-scenes experience of a real working studio.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the house on Fantasy Island real?
The house is the Queen Anne Cottage in Arcadia, USA.
Why did Tattoo stop appearing on Fantasy Island?
Tattoo (Hervé Villechaize) was replaced by Mr. Belvedere in the final season. Villechaize became increasingly demanding, asking for an increase in salary and displaying inappropriate behavior.
If you are old enough to remember the series you’ll enjoy taking a trip through Paramount Ranch and visiting some of the sets used in western films. Likewise, for people who enjoy the outdoors, there are plenty of hiking trails and other attractions to enjoy.
Additional Film Location Resources
If you are looking for more film locations, insider information and behind the scenes footage of your favorite movies – here are some additional posts for you to check out:
Have you been to the Paramount Ranch? Let me know in the comments below.