‘Gilligan’s Island’ Burning Question of ‘Ginger or Mary Anne?’: Fan Mail May Answer Who is The Real Favorite

by Matthew Wilson
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Most “Gilligan’s Island” fans have long fallen into two camps on the show. They’re either on Team Ginger or Team Mary Anne. It’s a question that’s plagued fans for decades. Should Gilligan end up with Ginger or Marry Anne on his tropical paradise prison?

Both women have their fare share of supporters. But there can only be one answer.

Fan mail and online polls may hold the answer to this “Gilligan’s Island” burning question. It turns out Dawn Wells, who played Mary Anne, received more fan letters. In fact, she received twice as many fan letters as her co-star Tina Louise, who played Ginger.

Online Fan Polls

Additionally, Wells usually ranked higher in online polls than her co-star. For instance, in a 2014 survey by NBC, 84 percent of participants chose Mary Anne over Ginger as the overall choice. In other similar online polls, Mary Anne often ranked over Ginger, so clearly there’s a lot of Mary Anne fans out there.

You can even count Russell Johnson, who played the Professor on “Gilligan’s Island, among your rank. In an interview, Johnson made it clear that the question was a no-brainer. “Mary Ann, of course.”

Complicating matters a little, Mary Anne was more popular among young boys, who would often write Wells. Meanwhile, a larger portion of men would write Louse about Ginger.

Wells told the Today Show, “She either would have been the girlfriend, (or) she’d have been your best friend. I wouldn’t have tried to take your boyfriend away from you. I’d have gone to the prom. I cook, I clean — I do it all.”

Rivalry on ‘Gilligan’s Island’

While their characters were the subject of an intense rivalry, Wells and Louse got along for the most part while on set. Wells certainly wouldn’t describe their relationship as a rivalry. Both women remained cordial and professional to each other on “Gilligan’s Island,” even though Louse had certain hangups that annoyed Wells.

“I learned a lot from Tina,” Wells told Archive of American Television. “I learned about camera angles and about makeup, I learned a lot. Because I was brand new. Tina knew she knew. She knew what would make her look beautiful, what angles looked good on her. We had a little problem sometimes because she always wanted to be shot from the left. Always from the left side. But she’s beautiful from both sides, so it’s kind of silly.”

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