As we approach the end of 2020, we’ve lost another iconic performer from another iconic show. This time, it is Dawn Wells from Gilligan’s Island.
The news of Wells’ passing was reported by Variety, and it comes due to complications related to Covid-19. She was 82 years old. Los Angeles County has been experiencing a sudden, devastating surge of virus cases throughout the month of December, and Wells is unfortunately one of many who have been lost. During this difficult time, we implore all of you to do your part to help others and mourn those we have lost.
Wells found fame primarily for her role as Mary Ann on Gilligan’s Island, which aired originally on CBS from 1964 until 1967. The show had a rather unusual run in that it wasn’t actually on the air as long as you would think — it’s similar to the original Star Trek in that it found most of its notoriety after the fact. Many of its cast members, including Wells, went on to reprise their role in various other Gilligan’s Island follow-up series. The show almost pioneered the stranded-on-a-desert-island TV subgenre, which has been used and modified in such shows as Survivor, Lost, and many others over the years.
Ultimately, we still wouldn’t be surprised if there was another version of Gilligan’s Island in the future, but we hope that they find a way to capture what made Wells’ Mary Ann so unique.
While Gilligan’s Island may be Wells’ most iconic role, she also appeared on a number of other notable series including Maverick, Bonanza, Growing Pains, Roseanne, and Columbo. She even appeared as Mary Ann on Baywatch. She was still working as a performer as recently as last year, a sign that she clearly loved every bit of what she did. Even though she was best known as one character, she still found a way to show versatility.
Our thoughts and condolences go out to all of Wells’ family and loved ones during this difficult time. The same goes for all of those who are suffering. (Photo: CBS.)