Dawn Wells, beloved as Mary Ann on the sitcom Gilligan’s Island and who later in life appeared on The Bold and the Beautiful, has died from causes related to COVID-19. She was 82.
Dawn Wells Passes Away
Numerous outlets are reporting her passing. Wells was a native of Reno, Nevada and in addition to Gilligan’s Island, her credits include 77 Sunset Strip, Maverick, The Joey Bishop Show, Hawaiian Eye, and Bonanza.
In 2016, Wells guested on The Bold and the Beautiful as Alice, a buyer for Forrester Creations, who shared screen-time with John McCook (Eric). That same year, Wells presented at the 43rd Annual Daytime Emmy Creative Arts Awards along with Anson Williams (Happy Days).
“The cast & crew of #BoldandBeautiful mourn the passing of #DawnWells,” read a post from BB’s official Twitter account. “A talented actress and kind human, Ms. Wells portrayed ‘Alice,’ a Forrester Creations buyer in 2016. Rest in Peace”
“I was sad to learn of Dawn’s passing,” shared former Gilligan’s Island co-star Tina Louise, who played Ginger, in a statement. “I will always remember her kindness to me. We shared in creating a cultural landmark that has continued to bring comfort and smiles to people during this difficult time. I hope that people will remember her the way that I do – always with a smile on her face.”
Wells was Miss Nevada in 1959 and had planned on a career in medicine when the acting bug bit her. She graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in theater. After moving to Hollywood, she landed the role of Mary Ann Summers on Gilligan’s Island, which debuted in 1964.
Originally, the show’s opening theme lyrics made no mention of Mary Ann as it did most of the other castaways. Later, the lyric “and the rest” was changed to “the Professor (Russell Johnson) and Mary Ann!” Wells also appeared in over 65 theatrical productions.
She worked as an interviewer for the Australian news show Midday, interviewing such folks as Eddie Murphy, Tom Hanks, Julia Child, and others. Wells toured with the play Love Letters with actor Adam West, best known to TV viewers as Batman.
Her role on BB was a bit serendipitous as Wells had her own clothing line — Wishing Wells Collections — for people who are physically challenged. She also had a skincare line called Classic Beauty.
Wells is survived by stepsister Weslee Wells. In her memory, donations can be made to the following: the Elephant Sanctuary, Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum, or the Shambala Preserve.
Soap Hub sends sincere condolences to Weslee and Wells’ friends and loved ones at this difficult time. The Bold and the Beautiful airs weekdays on CBS. Check local listings for airtimes.
The cast & crew of #BoldandBeautiful mourn the passing of #DawnWells. A talented actress and kind human, Ms. Wells portrayed “Alice,” a Forrester Creations buyer in 2016. Rest in Peace. @BandB_CBS #GilligansIsland @CBS pic.twitter.com/lnU96tLIjx
— BoldInsider (@boldinsider) December 30, 2020