‘Gilligan’s Island’ Star Dawn Wells Spoke Out on Morality Changing in Television in 2015

by John Jamison

In the mid-1960s, a young Dawn Wells captured the attention of millions as she played the role of Mary Ann Summers on “Gilligan’s Island.” And as recently as a few years ago, the star had even more to offer. She shared a message that people might find valuable in today’s day and age.

Tragically, Dawn Wells passed away in December 2020 from causes related to COVID-19. She was 82 at the time. But even into her old age, the “Gilligan’s Island” star continued giving interviews and offering advice to those who’d heed it.

In 2015, she sat down for an interview with Herbie J. Pilato to talk about her new book. At one point, she discussed how she saw the current state of television. And in a bigger sense, the state of society itself.

“Everybody wants to buy the Louis Vuitton purse, and they want to buy the jeans. And you see these ads on buses with topless girls and it’s all about sex appeal and everything,” Wells said. “It’s okay to stick to your character, it’s okay to be a nice person, it’s okay to have manners.”

Hear that? Dawn Wells was dropping some wisdom on people during this interview. Materialism can only get one so far. For the “Gilligan’s Island” star, real fulfillment came from staying true to who you are. It’s easy to get caught up in trends and chase after surface-level things. But she urged people to pursue things that are meaningful to them. And not solely because they saw it on TV.

Dawn Wells Star Drew A Comparison from Her ‘Gilligan’s Island’ Character

The picture Dawn Wells paints stands in stark contrast to the world Mary Ann and her fellow castaways inhabited on “Gilligan’s Island.”

Of course, the show itself was silly, and the characters always seemed to have everything they’d need. But still, Wells raised a good point. People loved Mary Ann for Mary Ann. They didn’t watch her because she had a designer purse or dress.

“I don’t know that parents have time to tell their children that. And you got all the Paris Hiltons and the Kardashians coming at you from every direction. There still has to be something more to life than that,” Wells continued. “I think Mary Ann has a message. You liked her anyway.”

It’s a shame Dawn isn’t around to continue spreading messages like these. When people who command that much respect say things, people tend to listen.