From 1964 to 1967, the late Dawn Wells and company hilariously tried to cope with being stranded on Gilligan’s Island. It was a relatively short-lived show. Still, three straight seasons of nothing but soundstage tropical backdrops had to have gotten a little routine for the cast. It’s no wonder, then, that Mary Ann Summers actor Dawn Wells’ favorite episodes were those that provided some variety.
Beyond the setting, though, Dawn Wells welcomed that variety in the form of guest stars too. During her interview with the Archive of American Television, she talked about how some of her favorite moments working on Gilligan’s Island were those shared with the likes of Roy Calhoun and Don Rickles.
Bear in mind; Wells was only a few years into her acting career when Gilligan’s Island came along. So she was slightly starstruck when certain guest stars participated in the show. But the overall theme of the Mary Ann Summers actor’s favorite episodes ties into a change of scenery.
“We liked to do the dream sequences because it was different, for one,” Wells said.
But what about some specific examples? Wells cited the Season 3 episode titled “And Then There Were None,” in which there’s a dream sequence where Gilligan falsely believes he’s living out a “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” scenario.
“I got to be the Eliza Doolittle. That was my favorite thing, with my accent. And then, of course, I was brand new in the business, but Roy Calhoun came on to do an episode,” continued Wells. “But he was just so handsome. I mean, Ginger and I would just walk around behind him with our mouths open he was so good-looking.”
Dawn Wells Said the Cast and Crew of ‘Gilligan’s Island’ Was a Perfect Fit
There are plenty of Hollywood horror stories out there about stars who can’t get along with anyone or directors who rule sets with an iron fist. That wasn’t the case on Gilligan’s Island. The Sherwood Schwartz-created show benefitted from a cast and crew who got along famously.
During a 2020 interview with the Palm Beach Post, Dawn Wells talked about the tight bond the cast of Gilligan’s Island shared.
“First, we all truly did get along off-screen. Alan Hale, who played the skipper, really was like the leader. And Bob Denver, who played Gilligan, was such a sweet and wonderful man — and was everybody’s ‘little buddy.’ Our producer, Sherwood Schwartz, cast the show brilliantly. He had a vision for these different characters to come together to form a misfit family,” she said.
Tragically, Dawn Wells passed away in December 2020 due to complications related to COVID-19. She continued working up until a few months before her death.