‘Gilligan’s Island’: Dawn Wells Was Hilariously Suspected of Sniffing Cocaine on Reunion Set

by John Jamison

From 1964 to 1967, the late Dawn Wells played Mary Ann Summers on the classic TV comedy “Gilligan’s Island.” She instantly became a favorite with fans for her beauty and undeniable charm.

But what many may not know is that Dawn Wells wore caps on her front teeth. And putting them on nearly landed her in hot water on one occasion.

Dawn Wells was a former beauty queen. She became Miss Nevada in 1959, and a year later, she competed in the Miss America pageant. Originally planning on being a doctor, Wells transferred colleges after discovering her love for drama. Soon after she moved to Hollywood, she found acting work. And once Wells landed the role of Mary Ann on “Gilligan’s Island,” she never looked back.

In an appearance she made at the Chiller Theatre Convention in 2014, Dawn sat down for an interview with Celebrity Biograph. During the interview, Mark J. Gross asked her if she had a “Gilligan’s Island” story that nobody had heard before. She graciously obliged.

The ‘Gilligan’s Island’ Star Kept Her Fake Teeth in a Vial

She went on to describe how the caps she wore on her teeth would fall off all the time. And she’d end up chewing on them if she was eating something.

“So I learned to keep them in a little vial tucked in my bra,” Wells said. “So we made one of the ‘Gilligan’s Island’ specials 12 years later. And we had fans watching us in the rescue. So as we got ready to shoot I said ‘excuse me,’ and I put my teeth in, and we filmed.”

Dawn would turn around to hide what she was doing from the audience. And apparently, the assistant director came up to her and kindly requested that Dawn put her teeth on in front of everyone.

“I said, ‘why?’ ‘Cause if one person has asked me, 20 people have asked me, is she sniffing cocaine?’ Cause I’d go back like this and I come back and I’d smile,” she finished.

She proceeded to show Mark J. Gross pictures of her with and without the teeth. And was proud to report that at the age of 55, she finally got braces to correct what the caps had previously covered up.

Unfortunately, Dawn Wells passed away in December 2020 due to complications from COVID-19. She was 82 years old. And while she’s no longer around, we still get to benefit from the legacy and funny stories she left behind.

Thanks, Dawn. And rest easy.