Dawn Wells, best known as Mary Ann on Gilligan’s Island died yesterday from Covid-related complications at the age of 82.
Wells went to Hollywood after she competed in the 1960 Miss America pageant as Miss Nevada. There she found success making guest appearances on nearly every major television show including Wagon Train, Cheyenne, Maverick, 77 Sunset Strip, Bonanza and others. In 1964, Wells won the role of Mary Ann Summers on Gilligan’s Island. The series ran for 3 years and 98 episodes. Surprisingly Gilligan’s Island gained even more popularity when the series ended and went into syndication.
After Gilligan’s Island, Wells continued to have success with guest appearances on other television shows including The Invaders, The Wild, Wild West and Bonanza. Wells also appeared in theatrical releases including Winterhawk, The Town that Dreaded Sundown and Return to Boggy Creek.
Due to the popularity of Gilligan’s Island in syndication, Over a decade after the series was cancelled, Wells returned to play Mary Ann in three made-for-tv movies (Rescue from Gilligan’s Island, The Castaways on Gilligan’s Island and The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan’s Island). Wells even voiced Mary Ann (and Ginger) on the cartoon series Gilligan’s Planet. Wells continued to stay active appearing on tv shows and movies through 2019.
By all accounts Dawn Wells was really as sweet and loveable as her character Mary Ann. Its funny to think that when I was a kid, you liked either Mary Ann or Ginger and I was always on the Mary Ann bandwagon. So were most of my friends. That’s because we were on the Dawn Wells’ bandwagon.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dawn Wells’ family, friends and fans.