Dawn Wells, who played Mary Ann on ‘Gilligan’s Island,’ dies of COVID-19 at 82.
By Nardine Saad, Staff Writer Dec. 30, 2020, The Los Angeles Times
Actress Dawn Wells, the former beauty queen who became America’s sweetheart by playing the girl-next-door castaway Mary Ann on the TV series “Gilligan’s Island,” has died. She was 82. Wells died Wednesday of complications from COVID-19, her publicist Harlan Boll said in a statement to The Times.She had been in an assisted-living facility in Los Angeles… The Reno native, who competed as Miss Nevada in the 1959 Miss America pageant, became synonymous with the castaway during the CBS sitcom’s run between 1964 and 1967. She also appeared in “77 Sunset Strip,” “Maverick,” “Bonanza,” “The Joey Bishop Show” and “Hawaiian Eye.”
Wells attended the all-girls Stephens College in Missouri and the University of Washington in Seattle, where she earned her degree in theater arts. She came to Los Angeles and began working in theater, TV and in such films as 1963’s “Palm Springs Weekend.” She would go on to star in more than 150 TV shows and seven films. Often typecast as Mary Ann, Wells worked primarily in theater after “Gilligan’s Island” went off the air.