The actress who brought to life the girl-next-door character Mary Ann on “Gilligan’s Island” has died.
Dawn Wells, 82, died Wednesday of COVID-19 related causes, according to Variety.
Wells was one of the two last surviving members of the regular cast of the 60s sitcom, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The show followed three women and four men who were castaways on an island after their three-hour tour went awry.
“Gilligan’s Island” also starred Bob Denver as Gilligan; Alan Hale Jr. as the Skipper; Jim Backus as the millionaire Thurston Howell III; Natalie Schafer as his wife, Lovey; Russell Johnson as the professor; and Tina Louise as Ginger.
Walls had fallen in August 2018 and said she had difficulty paying for her two months of hospital rehabilitation, but her fans came to her rescue, donating nearly $200,000 in a month after a friend created a GoFundMe campaign. according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Steve Stinson, co-author of “What Would Mary Ann Do? A Guide of Life” with Wells wrote of her iconic character, “We love Mary Ann because she is the future, the hope of our world. The youngest of the castaways, Mary Ann has her entire life in front of her. Watching her unfailing good cheer, her optimism is never in question. We love her because we need her emotional support and her belief that all will turn out well ... We love Mary Ann because of Dawn Wells.”
Wells said Mary Ann was her, saying that she and the character had the same values and principles.
“I know this because the core of Mary Ann is really me. I mean, I built her from scratch ... if you play a character long enough on stage or screen, I think your true self shows through,” Wells said, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
In addition to “Gilligan’s Island,” Wells appeared in “77 Sunset Strip,” “Maverick,” “Bonanza,” “The Joey Bishop Show” and “Hawaiian Eye,” Variety reported.
She competed as Miss Nevada in the 1959 Miss America pageant before her television career.
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