Check in with Mary Ann and the others on "Gilligan's Island"
Do a web search on “youthful exuberance” and you’ll likely find a photo of Dawn Wells.
Yes, the actress who will forever be remembered as wholesome Midwestern castaway Mary Ann Summers in the 1964-67 CBS sitcom “Gilligan’s Island” is locked in our collective consciousness as someone blessed with eternal youth, which made her death last month at age 82 from COVID-19 all the more shocking
As Mary Ann, she evoked a perky, down-to-earth charm and was certainly more approachable than the more glamorous movie star Ginger Grant (Tina Louise). And she was also quite handy as she could cook, garden and do an assortment of other tasks. No wonder the Professor (Russell Johnson) and Gilligan (Bob Denver) gravitated to her.
And Wells embraced the persona. A fixture at autograph signings, she relished being recognized in public as the character and even penned the 2014 book “What Would Mary Ann Do? A Guide to Life” to coincide with the series’ 50th anniversary.
Fans who want to check in with Mary Ann and the others can dial up “Gilligan’s Island” on MeTV on Sunday afternoons.