Dawn Wells Succumbs to Covid 19
January 7, 2021
Dawn Wells Mary Ann, who survived being shipwrecked on the television sitcom Gilligan's island in the 1960's has died.
She played the wholesome Mary Ann among a misfit band of shipwrecked castaways on the 1960s sitcom "Gilligan's Island," died Wednesday of causes related to COVID-19, her publicist said. She was 82.
Wells died at a residential facility in Los Angeles, publicist Harlan Boll said. "There is so much more to Dawn Wells" than the "Gilligan's Island" character that brought her fame, Boll said in a statement.
Besides TV, film and stage acting credits, her other real-life roles included teacher and motivational speaker, Boll said.
"I will always remember her kindness to me," Louise said in a statement. "We shared in creating a cultural landmark that has continued to bring comfort and smiles to people during this difficult time. I hope that people will remember her the way that I do - always with a smile on her face."
"Oh, this so sad. Bon voyage, Mary Ann," Jane Lynch posted on Twitter.
"Two and a Half Men" star Jon Cryer tweeted that it was a "thrill" to meet Wells when she visited the show, adding, "She could not have been more lovely and gracious."
Wells, a native of Reno, Nevada, represented her state in the 1959 Miss America pageant and quickly pivoted to an acting career. Her early TV roles were on shows including "77 Sunset Strip," "Maverick" and "Bonanza."
Then came "Gilligan's Island," a goofy, good-natured comedy that aired from 1964-67 that became an unlikely but indelible part of popular culture. Wells' comely but innocent Mary Ann complemented Louise's worldly Ginger, and both became innocuous '60s TV versions of sex symbols.
Tina Louise, 86, who played Ginger the movie star, is the last surviving member of a cast that included Bob Denver as the title character; Alan Hale Jr. as the Skipper; Jim Backus and Natalie Schafer as wealthy passengers Thurston and Lovey Howell, and Russell Johnson, known as the Professor.Johnson died in 2014
Wells' wardrobe included a gingham dress and shorts that modestly covered her belly button, with both costumes on display in Los Angeles at The Hollywood Museum.