Gilligan’s Island star Dawn Wells, who played Mary Ann Summers on the hit show from 1964-67, died on Tuesday in Los Angeles. She was 82. Wells’ publicist said that the actress died of causes related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Wells appeared on countless television programs, including Bonanza, The Love Boat, Gilligan’s Planet, Growing Pains, Baywatch, Columbo and Roseanne, among many others. She reprised her character of Mary Ann in the TV movies Rescue from Gilligan’s Island (1978), The Castaways on Gilligan’s Island (1979) and The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan’s Island (1981).
Wells was crowned Miss Nevada in 1959 at age 20 and competed in the Miss America pageant the following year. In 1960, she graduated from the University of Washington with a drama degree. She went on to marry talent agent Larry Rosen in 1962, but they divorced five years later in 1967.
In 2018, Wells’ good friend Dugg Kirkpatrick launched a fundraiser to help the actress pay off medical bills. Wells had been struggling to make ends meet and she allegedly suffered “an unexpected accident that required hospitalization for two months” and needed the funds to “alleviate penalties by the IRS” and cover her hospital costs. The fundraiser raised $205,510.
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