There are some horror stories out there about the paparazzi and members of the media being pushy — especially when they shouldn’t be. And Gilligan’s Island star Dawn Wells explained one scenario she remembers that fits the bill.
There’s no doubt about it — Dawn Wells is best known for her time on Gilligan’s Island. In the show, Wells played Mary Ann Summers — the cute girl next door character that fans fell in love with. She took what would end up being her signature role back in 1964.
She also reprised her character in the numerous Gilligan’s Island reunion specials. These include the reunion cartoon spin-off Gilligan’s Planet and three reunion movies: Rescue from Gilligan’s Island, The Castaways on Gilligan’s Island, and The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan’s Island.
With all of that time spent with her fellow cast and co-stars over the years, she grew undeniably close to many of those around her. One of those people was Alan Hale Jr. You might remember him from the show as Captain Jonas Grumby or “The Skipper”.
Hale Jr., unfortunately, passed away in 1990 at 68 after a battle with thymus cancer. His body was cremated, and his ashes were sent off into the Pacific Ocean. Dawn Wells represented the surviving members of the cast at his funeral. She told Herbie J. Pilato during a 2015 interview that it was a “very private” gathering.
“Alan’s [funeral] was very private,” Wells explained. “And he wanted the privacy.”
But she wasn’t very happy with the way everything went down. In fact, she said that the paparazzi was relentless.
“The damn news helicopters just hovered over us,” the Gilligan’s Island star said. “Even while they were trying to drop his ashes. I kept saying, ‘just go away, let us have the privacy’ and they wouldn’t.”
‘Gilligan’s Island’ Star Dawn Wells Passed Away in 2020
It is hard to imagine that just five years after sitting down for an interview with Herbie J. Pilato that Dawn Wells would no longer be with us. But that’s exactly where we are today.
The Gilligan’s Island star passed away on December 30, 2020, at the age of 82 years old. Well’s manager at the time said that she had been suffering from dementia. However, her official cause of death is listed as causes related to the COVID-19 virus.
As for Wells’ final resting place, she now shares a headstone and a grave with her mom, Evelyn. As the only child, the two were extremely close and even shared the same October 18th birthday. Now they share a gravesite together that’s located at the Mountain View Cemetery in Reno, Nevada.
And even though we don’t have an insider with knowledge of what happened at Wells‘ funeral, we can only hope that she was given the respectful and peaceful sending-off that she so very much deserves.