‘Gilligan’s Island’: Dawn Wells Revealed Why Bob Denver Was ‘Very Private’

by Joe Rutland
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Actor Bob Denver lived a “very private” life away from the world surrounding “Gilligan’s Island,” according to costar Dawn Wells.

Wells, who played Mary Ann on the 1960s CBS sitcom, talked a little bit about Denver from her perspective and how she saw her costars. She opens up about them all in an interview with Kevin Renick.

“Bob (Denver) was very private,” Wells said of the main star of “Gilligan’s Island.” “Very private. He had a lot of children, and he’d come in looking exhausted. There was a childlike soul in Bob. I was one of the few people he allowed in his home.

“Um, ‘allowed’ is not the right word,” she said.

‘Gilligan’s Island’ Costar Talks About Her Time With Others From Show

Wells, who died in December 2020, also talked about her “Gilligan’s Island” costars Alan Hale Jr., Natalie Schafer, Jim Backus, Tina Louise, and Russell Johnson. Out of the original cast, only Louise remains alive.

“Alan was the same size as my dad,” she said. “So, every time Alan hugged me, he picked me up half off the floor. So there was this big robust, jovial human being there. And he was a good cook.

“And Natalie and I were very close, especially in later years,” Wells said. “I was the least close, probably, to Jim. I think Jim and Tina were very close, I think they both had that kind of movie star/Hollywood life, which I never did.

Wells, Johnson Had Running Gag About Being Termed ‘…And The Rest’

“But Natalie didn’t have any children, and towards the end, she confided a lot of things to me,” Wells said of Schafer, who played “Lovey” Howell on “Gilligan’s Island.” “We really were a tight-knit cast, though, and I think that shows. I think the charm of the show was that you could kind of tell we all liked each other.”

Oh, what about Johnson? Well, it appears Wells and Johnson had a running gag about being termed “and the rest” in the show’s theme song.

“I think we did, too,” Wells says when asked about getting along with Johnson. “And we always laughed in that first year about ‘…and the rest’ (the theme song for the show the first year said that instead of crediting Wells and Johnson). We’d send each other cards saying ‘Love, the Rest’ for Christmas and birthdays, stuff like that.”

“Gilligan’s Island” only ran for three seasons on CBS, yet it’s been a syndication TV staple for four-plus decades. Mary Ann and the other castaways continue to bring joy to new generations.

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