‘Gilligan’s Island’: Dawn Wells Sold Iconic Mary Ann Outfit for Surprising Amount

by Madison Miller

Whether it’s in museums, in displays, in the actor’s home, or with a fan, props and costumes from TV shows are often given a chance to live on. For Dawn Wells, her outfit is now on display as well.

According to The Guardian, Marilyn Monroe’s dress from “The Seven Year Itch” sold for $4.6 million. Audrey Hepburn’s Ascot dress from “My Fair Lady” sold for $3.7 million. Finally, the lion costume from “The Wizard of Oz” sold for $3.07 million.

It’s no surprise that an actor’s costume can be a fortune on its own. One of the stars from “Gilligan’s Island,” Dawn Wells found out that she may have “missed the boat” when it comes to selling her own star’s outfit.

Dawn Wells played Mary Ann Summers on the three-season TV show. She was the iconic, sweet girl-next-door that is so typical in TV from that time period. Even today, reruns of the show are still common. Unfortunately, Dawn Wells passed away at the age of 82 in December.

She died from complications directly related to COVID-19. While she is known for her role in “Gilligan’s Island, ” she was also in “77 Sunset Strip,” “Bonanza,” “The Joey Bishop Show,” and “Maverick.”

Dawn Wells Sold Original Outfit

Back in 2005, Wells sold the classic gingham blouse and cut-off jean shorts that her character became famously known for.

According to The Times, her dress was sold for $20,700 to the Beverly Hills auction house. According to ShowBiz Cheat Sheet, they are currently being displayed at The Hollywood Museum lobby.

While the outfit was nowhere near as valuable as a Hepburn or Monroe dress, it’s also not an amount to treat lightly.

Wells Talked About Wardrobe

When “Gilligan’s Island” premiered in 1964, the wardrobe was a careful consideration.

Dawn Wells said that there was concern of showing off the appropriate amount of skin.

“There were network censors back on those days, and they were really strict. They had to make sure that Ginger wasn’t showing too much cleavage and that I wasn’t showing too much belly button,” Wells told People.

She said that producers told her to tie her shirt up. However, she then had to pull up her shorts to cover her navel. She joked that it was because “sex sells.”

Despite being objectified, Wells still said she felt respected on the show and that it was “ahead of its time.”

Dawn Wells Medical Debt

Unfortunately, Dawn Wells had some perceived financial issues prior to her death in 2020.

In fact, a friend of Wells even started a GoFundMe page to help her pay medical bills as well as a huge $200,000 in unpaid taxes.

Despite the page being made in good spirit, Wells was not happy. After being hospitalized for months due to a severe infection she had gotten a pile of medical bills. However, she was confident she could pay off the bills just fine on her own.

“I am not dead broke. There are people out there trying to feed their children. And somebody says, ‘go fund, Dawn.’ I can handle it! I can get a job and go to work,” she told Inside Edition.