‘Gilligan’s Island’: How Dawn Wells Remembered Costar Bob Denver’s Personality

by Leanne Stahulak

Dawn Wells, who played fan-favorite character Mary Ann on the classic TV sitcom “Gilligan’s Island,” opened up about her co-star Bob Denver.

Unfortunately, Wells passed away in December 2020 due to COVID-related issues. But the year before, in 2019, she talked with Smashing Interviews about her role and fellow castmates on “Gilligan’s Island.”

At one point, she brought up how the casting of the show really contributed to its success, especially when it came to on-screen chemistry.

“The writers just wrote the script. You would bring to the character what you needed to bring to it,” Wells explained. “Jim Backus may have brought more to it because he was very funny. Natalie (Schafer) was very much Mrs. Howell, and Ginger was a movie star… And Bob (Denver) was so skinny and little and Alan (Hale, Jr.) was the same size as my dad. The two of them were wonderful.”

She added, “It’s all in the casting. It really is. Casting is the most important thing.”

While Bob Denver was cast for a comedic role on “Gilligan’s Island,” Dawn Wells revealed that he actually wasn’t that funny off the set.

“No. He was not very witty. He was very much an intelligent man. Bob was very smart and always quite serious,” Wells revealed. “Jim Backus was the one who had the sense of humor. Alan was a big jovial guy. But Bob was not witty at all. He could play any character and was very good at the stunt stuff though, falling out of trees and all that.”

Bob Denver’s Wife, In Addition to ‘Gilligan’s Island’ Star Dawn Wells, Emphasized His Intelligence

Back in 2016, “Gilligan’s Island” star Bob Denver’s wife, Dream Denver, made similar comments to Dawn Wells. Dreama also drew attention to Bob’s intelligence, despite the roles he played on TV.

Dream specifically told FOX411’s Pop-Tarts column how Bob took the time to help care for their autistic son during the last two decades of his life.

“He was very under the radar, and never put himself out there that much. He put the characters out there but not himself. I wanted the fans to know who he really was because he was a special, special man, especially when dealing with our son Colin, who has severe autism,” Dreama Denver said.

“I thought it was important to tell people that he set aside the last 21 years of his life to be with me and take care of our son, who had to have full-time care,” Dreama continued. “[Because he] didn’t want me to do it alone. That speaks to the type of human being he was… He was highly intelligent, and I think that is the most surprising thing about him. He was extremely intelligent, and that didn’t always come across in the characters that he played.”