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Dawn Wells, Mary Ann on ‘Gilligan’s Island,’ dies of Covid-19 complications at 82


#She was 82.

#Tina #Louise portrayed movie star #Ginger #Grant on “#Gilligan’s #Island” and said in a statement to CNN, “I was sad to learn of #Dawn’s passing, 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,” the statement read. “I hope that people will remember her the way that I do — always with a smile on her face.”

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#Born in #Reno, #Nevada, #Wells represented her home state in the #Miss #America pageant in 1959.

#That opened the door for her to start a career in #Hollywood where she appeared in a multitude of television shows, including “77 #Sunset #Strip,” “#Maverick,” “#Bonanza,” “The #Joey #Bishop #Show” and “#Hawaiian #Eye.”

#She beat out 350 other actresses to nab the role of girl-next-door #Mary #Ann on “#Gilligan’s #Island,” which aired on CBS from 1964 to 1967 and later in syndication.

#In a 2016 interview with #Forbes magazine, #Wells revealed that the job was not as lucrative as many people believed.

“A misconception is that we must be wealthy, rolling in the dough, because we got residuals. #We didn’t really get a dime,” she said. “I think my salary — of course, I was low on the totem pole, #Ginger (#Tina #Louise) and #Thurston (#Jim #Backus) got more — was $750 a week. #Sherwood #Schwartz, our producer, reportedly made $90 million on the reruns alone!”

#She starred in more than 150 TV shows, seven motion pictures including “#Winterhawk” (which she also narrated) and more than 60 productions on and off #Broadway.

#Beyond acting, #Wells also served as a producer, author, journalist, motivational speaker, teacher, humanitarian, spokesperson and chairwoman of the #Terry #Lee #Wells #Foundation, an organization for women and children in northern #Nevada, as well as running her #Film #Actors #Boot #Camp for seven years in #Idaho.

#She received the #Elephant #Sanctuary #Trumpeting #Award for her activism in supporting The #Elephant #Sanctuary. The sanctuary, founded in 1995, is the nation’s largest natural habitat refuge developed specifically for #African and #Asian elephants.

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#But it was her pigtail-wearing character on “#Gilligan’s #Island” which made her a beloved star — and she had fun with it.

#Wells acted as the “castaway correspondent” for #Channel 9 in #Sydney, #Australia, where she interviewed actors and directors including #Robin #Williams, #Eddie #Murphy, #Julia #Roberts, #Rene #Russo, #Mel #Gibson, #Ron #Howard, and #Richard #Donner.

#At the premiere of the film “#Gravity,” she presented star #Sandra #Bullock with a coconut cream pie, in honor of their shared experience with being “stranded.”

“#Gilligan’s #Island” was an unexpected hit and in honor of the 50th anniversary of the series, #Wells released “A #Guide #To #Life: #What #Would #Mary #Ann #Do?” in which she wrote about the meaning of the #Mary #Ann character and observed the cultural shifts that have happened since she was on the island.

#Her gingham dress and famous short shorts from “#Gilligan’s #Island” are currently on display in the lobby of The #Hollywood #Museum.

#She is survived by her stepsister, #Weslee #Wells.

#No services have been scheduled at this time and in lieu of flowers, donations are requested to either The #Elephant #Sanctuary, #Terry #Lee #Wells #Nevada #Discovery #Museum or The #Shambala #Preserve.
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[ source link ]
https://edition.cnn.com/2020/12/30/entertainment/dawn-wells-obit/index.html

##Dawn ##Wells ##Mary ##Ann ##Gilligans ##Island #dies ##Covid19 #complications

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