We all know her best as Mary Ann Summers, stranded on Gilligan’s Island from September 26, 1964, to April 17, 1967. She was born in Reno, Nevada October 18, 1938, and in 1959 would be crowned Miss Nevada and compete for Miss America in 1960. She made her acting debut on ABC’s The Roaring ’20s and the movie The New Interns.
Before taking the role of Mary Ann on Gilligan’s Island she appeared in such shows as The Joey Bishop Show, 77 Sunset Strip, Cheyenne, Maverick, and Bonanza. She also appeared in the cartoon Gilligan’s Planet and three reunion movies:
Rescue from Gilligan’s Island, The Castaways on Gilligan’s Island, and The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan’s Island. She also made appearances in other shows like Wagon Train, Tales of Wells Fargo, The Detectives, It’s a Man’s World, Laramie, Burke’s Law, The Invaders, The Wild Wild West, The F.B.I., Vega$, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Matt Houston, ALF, Herman’s Head, Three Sisters, Pastor Greg, and Roseanne.
Dawn also had a one-woman show at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas in 1985. In 2014 she released her book, “What Would Mary Ann Do? A Guide to Life”. In May of 2016, she promoted Gilligan’s Island on MeTV.
Dawn Wells died, in Los Angeles, December 30, 2020, from causes related to Covid-19 at the age of 82. All my life I remember people asking “Ginger or Mary Ann?” My answer is always Mary Ann.