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. Wells beat out actors including Raquel Welch for her role.
Dawn's show biz career actually began with beauty pageants. she was crowd Miss Nevada in the 1959 Miss America pageant.
Wells then found success in Hollywood, appearing in shows including 77 Sunset Strip, Maverick, Bonanza, The Joey Bishop Shop and Hawaiian Eye.
Dawn played Mary Ann for all three seasons of Gilligan's Island between 1964 and 1967.Her death leaves Tina Louise (Ginger) as the last surviving star of the TV show.
Tina Louise portrayed movie star Ginger Grant on "Gilligan's Island" and said in a statement to CNN, 'I was sad to learn of Dawn's passing, I will always remember her kindness to me'.
"There hasn't been a Mary Ann on the air for I don't know how long", Wells said in a 2008 interview with the TV Academy Foundation.
She also had a one-woman show at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas in 1985.
Before her big break on Gilligan's Island, she made her Hollywood debut on ABC series The Roaring 20s playing Gloria in the episode War With The NightHawkers in 1961.
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In 2018, Wells' friend Doug Kirpatrick set up a GoFundMe account for the star after he learned that she was struggling to pay medical and tax bills.
Outside of the world of Gilligan's Island, Wells had guest roles on shows such as Columbo, Roseanne, Baywatch and ALF and performed in more than 60 theatrical productions.
Wells said that question was the most common topic mentioned to her by fans.
Wells had effusive praise for Denver and her other cast mates but was not especially close to Louise, who distanced herself from the Ginger character and declined to appear in various Gilligan's Island reboots with her former co-stars.
Her character acted as the flawless foil for co-star Tina Louise's sexy film star, Ginger, and the Mary Ann vs. I thought I was taking all the proper steps to ensure my golden years.
"We love Mary Ann because of Dawn Wells".
"She would be your best friend".