Bob Denver’s Widow Dreama Remembers Late ‘Gilligan’s Island’ Actress Dawn Wells

by Suzanne Halliburton

Dawn Wells, the girl next door from Gilligan’s Island, touched so many lives, including the wife of Gilligan actor, Bob Denver.

Dawn Wells died earlier this week of complications from Covid-19. She was 82. The former beauty queen was known to generations of fans as the TV character Mary Ann, who was among a group of seven stranded on a Pacific island after they started out on a three-hour boat tour.

Dreama Denver is the widow of Bob Denver, who played Gilligan, the boat’s goofy, but beloved first mate. Dreama and Bob didn’t marry until 1979, so Dreama wasn’t around for the filming of Gilligan’s Island. However, she did know Dawn Wells.

Most Fans Know Gilligan’s Island From Syndication

The show ran for only three seasons, from Sept 26, 1964, to April 17, 1967. The first season was filmed in black and white. But the show’s 98 episodes found new life through syndication in the 1970s and 80s, allowing generations of fans to debate this question — Ginger or Mary Ann?

Mary Ann, played by Dawn Wells, was the wholesome Kansas farm girl, who won the boat trip in a contest. Ginger, portrayed by Tina Louise, was the sexy Hollywood star who trekked around the island in evening gowns.

After Wells’ death, Louise is the lone cast member still alive. She’s 86.

Dreama Denver and Dawn Wells were close friends. They even did the Gilligan’s Island fan circuit after Bob Denver died in 2005. Dreama talked about her relationship with the actress Thursday with Fox News.

Check Out Dreama Denver’s Sweet Memories Of Dawn Wells

Here is some of the interview:

First, Fox News asked Dreama Denver about some of her favorite Dawn Wells memories. She says every memory is “pretty special.” But the trips she took with the actress still stand out.

“Often, we shared a room and sat up most of the night talking “girl talk,” Dreama Denver said. “In 2015, we did a book tour in Missouri and visited her alma mater, Stephens College. To see the welcome she received, to feel the love directed at her for her support of Stephens, was really special.

Dreama Denver said the two still kept in touch, although Bob Denver died 15 years ago. The surviving members of the cast became closer, Dreama said. So of course that included Dawn Wells.

Dreama started representing her husband as “Mrs. Gilligan” at various fan gatherings around the country, she told Fox News.

“That’s when Dawn and I hit the road together as Mary Ann and Mrs. Gilligan,” Dreama Denver said. “We were quite the duo and fans seemed to enjoy the two of us together. Over the last 15 years, our appearances together were how we stayed in touch, and during the months between, there was always the phone. LONG conversations!

Dreama Denver Says Dawn Wells Was “Protective” of Mary Ann

Finally, Dreama Denver says that Dawn Wells was very “protective” of her Gilligan’s Island character. Mary Ann probably was Wells’ alter ego, considering how she was identified as the castaway for much of her life.

“Dawn loved and was forever grateful for “Gilligan’s Island” and the fame it brought her,” Dreama Denver said. “She never once complained about being known for the show.

“As a matter of fact, she was very protective of Mary Ann, understanding that her character was a role model for young girls everywhere, which made her treat Mary Ann with a lot of TLC. There was so much of Dawn in that character. Obviously, the sweet nature, the physical beauty and the nurturing quality of Mary Ann.”