Gilligan’s Island star Dawn Wells dies at 82 after being diagnosed with Covid-19

Keiran Southern, PA Los Angeles Correspondent
·2-min read

Gilligan’s Island star Dawn Wells has died at the age of 82 after testing positive for Covid-19, a representative said.

Wells, who played Mary Ann on the 1960s castaway sitcom, died on Wednesday “in no pain as a result of complications due to” coronavirus, publicist Harlan Boll said.

The former beauty queen was born in Reno, Nevada, and represented the state in a Miss America pageant in 1959.

Dawn Wells
Actress Dawn Wells, best known for her work on Gilligan’s Island, has died at the age of 82 (Matt Sayles/AP)

Wells then found success in Hollywood, appearing in shows including 77 Sunset Strip, Maverick, Bonanza, The Joey Bishop Shop and Hawaiian Eye.

She was later cast in Gilligan’s Island, with Boll saying she won the role ahead of 350 other hopefuls.

The sitcom ran from 1964 to 1967 and proved hugely popular, especially in the years after its initial run when it found an audience through repeats.

It followed a group of wildly different castaways trying to survive on a desert island after being shipwrecked.

Wells’ Mary Ann was a wholesome farm-girl from Kansas.

Following the actress’ death, tributes were paid on social media.

Two And A Half Men star Jon Cryer said: “It was such a thrill for me to meet Dawn Wells when she came to see Two and a Half Men.

“She could not have been more lovely and gracious.

“I’m so grateful that I got to enjoy the work she loved doing.”

Star Trek actor William Shatner tweeted: “Condolences to the family of Dawn Wells. Very sad.”

And Glee’s Jane Lynch said: “Oh, this so sad. Bon voyage, Mary Ann.”