Gilligan’s Island actress Dawn Wells has died at 82 of Covid-19

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

Dawn Wells, Mary Ann, Gilligan's Island, death, Covid-19

Dawn Wells, who starred as Mary Ann on the beloved CBS comedy series Gilligan's Island, passed away on Wednesday morning in Los Angeles of complications due to Covid-19. She was 82. With her bubbly demeanor, dark brown eyes, and penchant for getting into some very sticky situations, Wells' Mary Ann captured the hearts of millions as a girl-next-door and so much more.

After being crowned Miss Nevada in the 1959 Miss America pageant, Wells defeated 350 actresses for the role of Mary Ann Summers. During her time as a bright and shining star of stage and screen, she appeared in more than 150 series as well as a number of films and Broadway presentations.

“There hasn’t been a Mary Ann on the air for I don’t know how long,” she told the TV Academy Foundation in a 2008 sit-down for “The Interviews” video series. “There hasn’t been a good girl over 14, and Mary Ann was very much that. The Mary Ann-Ginger issue is always there. You had to be a real man to understand Ginger, and Mary Ann would’ve gone to the prom with you and been your best friend. A lot of guys would come up to me and say I married a Mary Ann. She had the values.”

To this very day, Gilligan's Island fans continue to debate whether Mary Ann or Tina Louise’s Ginger Grant is the better castaway on the series. For some, Mary Ann's country bumpkin naivete gave her a softer, more endearing edge over Ginger, the show's seductive Hollywood starlet. Meanwhile, others prefer Ginger's flirtatious, take-charge demeanor that often resulted in the character getting her way. Whichever you prefer, both actresses were a highlight on the comedy series, which saw a rise in popularity in the late-’60 and 1970s thanks to heavy syndication.

No service has been scheduled at this time, though fans of Wells' work are already showing their love for the actress across social media. Sadly, we are still in the process of studying and adapting to the Covid-19 virus, which had left doctors with very few options to explore while treating Wells' condition. We here at JoBlo would like to extend our sincere condolences to Ms. Wells' family, friends, and fans. May she find peace in the Great Hereafter.

Source: Deadline

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.