Dawn Wells, that starred together girl-next-door mar Ann in the 1960s hit TV display “Gilligan’s Island,” died of symptom from COVID-19. She to be 82.

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Actress Dawn Wells, the previous beauty queen who ended up being America’s sweetheart by play the girl-next-door castaway mary Ann top top the TV collection “Gilligan’s Island,” has died. She to be 82.

Wells died Wednesday of symptom from COVID-19, she publicist Harlan Boll said in a statement to The Times. She had been in an assisted-living basic in Los Angeles.

“America’s favorite castaway, Dawn Wells, pass peacefully this morning, in no pain together a result of complications because of Covid,” Boll said.

The Reno native, who competed as miss out on Nevada in the 1959 miss out on America pageant, became synonymous with the castaway throughout the CBS sitcom’s run between 1964 and 1967. She likewise appeared in “77 Sunset Strip,” “Maverick,” “Bonanza,” “The Joey Bishop Show” and also “Hawaiian Eye.”



Appreciation: In just three seasons of ‘Gilligan’s Island,’ Dawn Wells left a lasting mark

Alongside Ginger Grant, the so late performer’s mary Ann Summers left a mark in the collective pop awareness that lengthy outlasted “Gilligan’s Island” itself.

Mary Ann to be modeled after Dorothy from “The wizard of Oz,” a Kansas farm girl through pigtails and also gingham dresses. Wells supposedly beat the end 350 prospective actress, including Raquel Welch, for the role. CBS paid her $700 a week when she started.

Playing the bright, fair-minded and reasonable castaway, she was often the silver paper to the harebrained antics that the show’s other characters.

“It’s amazing to see what the 45-year-old guy who is now raising youngsters is saying to me,” Wells called The times in 2014. “‘You were my fantasy. You were the girl ns would require to the prom. You to be the girl who taken my problems.’”


Dawn Wells at her Valley town home, left, and as a member of the “Gilligan’s Island” cast.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times; CBS-TV)
Despite she popularity — and the notorious rivalry through “the movie star” castaway, Ginger (played by Tina Louise, the show’s critical surviving cast member) — her character, and also the coconut-loving Professor, weren’t stated in the series’ attractive theme tune until costar Bob Denver (Gilligan) insisted on it.

“Dawn would certainly say that mary Ann fits today simply as she fit 3 generations ago, since she is timeless,” Boll said. “In a civilization where the sector and culture has been celebrating your ‘Bad girls,’ mary Ann proceeds to be, for many, the breath of new air as the ‘Good Girl.’”

Wells’ gingham dress and also famous belly button-covering shorts native the collection are at this time on screen in the lobby the the Hollywood Museum, Boll said.

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Posted by B Harlan Boll onWednesday, December 30, 2020

Born in Reno, Nev., on Oct. 18, 1938, Wells said The Times the her mom raised her with “Mary Ann values” between the gambling and prostitution rampant in the silver- State. Wells’ parental divorced as soon as she to be young, and also they shared custody of her through “no conflict.” she father, that was married four times, resided in Las Vegas. Wells attend the all-girls Stephens university in Missouri and also the university of Washington in Seattle, where she earned her level in theater arts.

She came to Los Angeles and began working in theater, TV and in such movies as 1963’s “Palm Springs Weekend.” She would go on come star in much more than 150 TV shows and also seven films. Regularly typecast as mary Ann, Wells operated primarily in theatre after “Gilligan’s Island” went turn off the air. She appeared in an ext than 60 theatrical productions, including the 1981 staging of “They’re play Our Song” top top Broadway.

“The an initial thing ns did was ‘The Owl and also the Pussycat,’ whereby I played a hooker,” she called The Times. “But it took me two years to get cast in ‘The Vagina Monologues.’ i think lock think that you as a movie actor that doesn’t carry out stage, for this reason they don’t recognize your range.”


More recently, Wells played Annie Hughes in the web series “Life Interrupted” and the web series shorts “She’s tho on the Freaking Island” through Terry Ray. She voiced Gumbalina Toothington in the animated series “The Epic story of Captain Underpants.”

She also racked increase credits as a producer, author, journalist, motivational speaker and also humanitarian. She chaired the terry Lee Wells Foundation, which concentrates on women and also children in northern Nevada, and ran she Film Actors boot Camp for seven years in Idaho.

Reflecting on her career, she called KTLA in 2019 the she would have actually liked to show up in much more movies and play against type.

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“I haven’t excellent as lot film as I’d like. I’d like to beat a genuine nasty person, ’cause you always love mar Ann, and I’d choose to pat the the contrary of what i do most of the time,” she said. “But i hope i’m working until I fall dead.”

No services are scheduled at this time, and also in lieu of flowers, donations are asked for to the Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tenn., the terry Lee Wells Nevada discovery Museum or the Shambala Preserve.

Actors wilhelm Shatner, woman Lynch and also Jon Cryer were amongst the celebrities mourning the star Wednesday. Here are some of their reactions: