Dawn Wells, who parlayed her girl-next-door attraction and healthful magnificence into enduring TV fame because the sweet-natured desert island castaway Mary Ann on the basic 1960s sitcom Gilligan’s Island, died on Wednesday at age 82, her publicist stated.
Wells, who gained the title of Miss Nevada in 1959 and competed within the Miss America contest, died from complications of COVID-19, publicist Harlan Boll stated in an announcement.
Born within the playing metropolis of Reno, Dawn Wells performed Kansas farm lady Mary Ann Summers, one of seven castaways stranded after their boat, the S.S. Minnow, turned battered in a storm throughout what was purported to be a three-hour tour from Hawaii. Wells beat out actresses together with Raquel Welch for her position.
Gilligan’s Island ran for 3 seasons (1964–1967) with a solid that additionally included Bob Denver because the zany Gilligan, Alan Hale Jr. as The Skipper, Jim Backus as millionaire Thurston Howell III, Natalie Schafer as his posh spouse, Russell Johnson as The Professor, and Tina Louise as film star Ginger.
The demise of Dawn Wells leaves Louise, 86, the only survivor of these solid members.
The 98 episodes invariably concerned their efforts in useless to get off the island, whilst a parade of visitor stars dropped in and had no bother getting out. The present drew the wrath of critics however its harmless enjoyable caught on with viewers at a time of tumult in America after the assassination of a president and throughout the rise of the civil rights motion and the escalation of the Vietnam War.
Dawn Wells, enjoying a cheerful brunette Midwestern farm lady, appeared within the collection sporting brief shorts, midriff tops and pigtails. Louise, enjoying a buxom red-headed sensation akin to Marilyn Monroe, wore slinky, form-fitting clothes. The two impressed what turned an everlasting popular culture query for males: “Ginger or Mary Ann?”
Wells stated that query was the most typical matter talked about to her by followers. “Mostly they’ll pick a favorite, Ginger or Mary Ann. For some reason, they feel they have to make a choice,” Wells advised Forbes journal in 2016.
Wells had effusive reward for Denver and her different solid mates however was not particularly near Louise, who distanced herself from the Ginger character and declined to look in numerous Gilligan’s Island reboots together with her former co-stars.
“We had nothing against each other,” Wells advised the Los Angeles Times in 2014. “We didn’t have much in common.”
In an announcement on Wednesday, Louise recalled Wells’ kindness, including: “I hope that people will remember her the way that I do – always with a smile on her face.”
Gilligan’s Island was canceled by community executives regardless of respectable scores, then turned ubiquitous in syndicated reruns.
“A misconception is that we must be wealthy, rolling in the dough, because we got residuals. We didn’t really get a dime,” Wells advised Forbes.
Wells stated she was paid $750 per week, including, “Sherwood Schwartz, our producer, reportedly made $90 million on the reruns alone.”
Like some of her co-stars, she suffered from typecasting in Hollywood after the collection ended, showing in TV visitor spots and stage work earlier than taking roles in B-movies.
In mild of the present’s regular recognition within the 1970s, three made-for-TV motion pictures had been made with progressively far-fetched plots involving Soviet satellites and visiting basketball gamers: Rescue from Gilligan’s Island (1978), The Castaways on Gilligan’s Island (1979) and The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan’s Island (1981).
Dawn Wells additionally lent her voice to the animated Gilligan’s Planet (1982) by which the castaways develop into stranded on a far-away planet.
Wells additionally capitalized on her fame by writing, Mary Ann’s Gilligan’s Island Cookbook, and later, for the 50th anniversary of the collection in 2014, the ebook, What Would Mary Ann Do? A Guide to Life.
Dawn Wells was born on Oct. 18, 1938, in Reno, and studied theater on the University of Washington, and headed to Hollywood after her magnificence pageant success.
She embraced her popular culture standing however stated there was extra to her than simply being Mary Ann.
“I’m deeper, smarter, more ambitious, funnier. I think if you meet me for 15 minutes, there is nothing you won’t know: what you see is what you get,” she advised Forbes.