‘Gilligan’s Island’ Star Dawn Wells Dead from COVID-19 at Age 82

by Caroline Bynum

Dawn Wells, who shot to fame for playing Mary Ann on Gilligan’s Island died on Wednesday. She was 82 years old.

Her publicist, Harlan Boll, announced her death on Wednesday, Variety reports.

Wells appeared in the 1960s sitcom after being cast in 1964. The series ended in 1967, but her career had just started. Wells also appears in “Growing Pains,” “Baywatch,” and “Winterhawk.”

Her striking appearance and phenomenal performance in Gilligan’s Island is what fans remember her most for, though. In fact, the gingham dress that Mary Ann wore in the series is proudly displayed in the Hollywood Museum.

Dawn Wells was one of the two last surviving stars of the series, TMZ reports. Tina Louise, the actress of Ginger, is presently the final cast member alive. The two women played foils in the series, as Tina Louise seemed to stand for everything opposite of Mary Ann’s sweetness.

Easy for anyone familiar with the series to admit, Mary Ann may have been the entire country’s cinematic crush in the late 60s.

Wells wrote a book in honor of Gilligan’s Island’s 50th anniversary, titled A Guide to Life: What Would Mary Ann Do? As a “Guide to Life,” the book delivers a heartwarming and inspirational message about living life as a “good girl” like Marry Ann.

She is survived by her step sister, Weslee Wells.

Hollywood Mourns Death of Dawn Wells

Since the news of her passing surfaced, a number of Hollywood stars have taken to social media to share their reaction.

Former ‘Glee’ star and ‘The Weakest Link’ host Jane Lynch posted a touching tribute. “Oh, this [is] so sad. Bon voyage, Mary Ann. Dawn Wells, Mary Ann on ‘Gilligan’s Island,’ dies of Covid-19 complications at 82,” Lynch captions the post.

Also, “Two and a Half Men” star Jon Cryer paid tribute to Wells in a touching post. Read what Cryer had to say here.