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'Gilligan's Island' star Dawn Wells dies at 82


The actress , who played Mary Ann Summers on the 1960s show, passed away due to complications from COVID-19

CBS via Getty Images

Actress Dawn Wells, best known for her role as Mary Ann Summers in the 1960s sitcom "Gilligan's Island," has died at the age of 82.

What are the details?

Wells' publicist Harlan Boll announced her death in a Facebook post on Wednesday, disclosing that the actress "passed peacefully this morning, in no pain as a result of complications due to Covid."

Boll gave a biography detailing Wells' career, writing:

A native of Reno, Ms. Wells represented Nevada in the Miss America pageant in 1959. She found success in Hollywood immediately afterward, appearing in such shows as 77 SUNSET STRIP, MAVERICK, BONANZA, THE JOEY BISHOP SHOW and HAWAIIAN EYE. She was later cast in the role of a lifetime as Mary Ann in GILLIGAN'S ISLAND, beating out 350 other actresses. Dawn appeared and starred in TV shows, including WILD WILD WEST, THE F.B.I., VEGA$, GROWING PAINS, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL, and BAYWATCH (as Mary Ann Summers).

The New York Times wrote in Wells' obituary that in her role on "Gilligan's Island," she "radiated all-American wholesomeness, Midwestern practicality and a youthful naïve charm."

Beyond her successful television and movie career, Wells "appeared in more than 60 theatrical productions," Fox News reported, noting that she also published a memoir in 2014 titled, "What Would Mary Ann Do?"

According to CBS News, "Gilligan's Island" ran from 1964 to 1967, and remains popular in reruns. The show's setting was a deserted island where seven shipwrecked tour-boat passengers found themselves stranded.

With the passing of Wells, the only remaining cast member of the show alive today is Tina Louise, who played a movie star named Ginger.

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