Dawn Wells


Dawn Wells was a beloved American actress, best known for her role as Mary Ann Summers on the hit TV show Gilligan’s Island. She passed away on December 30, 2020, at the age of 82. In this blog post, we will remember the life and legacy of Miss Nevada 1959 through rare photos and her obituary.

Early Life

Dawn Wells

Childhood and Education

Dawn Wells was born in Reno, Nevada, on October 18, 1938. She grew up in a loving family and attended Reno High School, where she was active in drama and sports. After graduating, she attended Stephens College in Missouri, where she earned a degree in theater arts.

Miss Nevada 1959

After college, Dawn Wells returned to Nevada and competed in the Miss Nevada pageant, which she won. She went on to represent Nevada in the Miss America pageant, where she won the talent competition and was named Miss Congeniality.


Early Career

After her pageant success, Dawn Wells moved to Hollywood to pursue an acting career. She appeared in several TV shows and movies, including The Roaring 20s and Maverick, before landing her breakout role on Gilligan’s Island.

Gilligan’s Island

Dawn Wells played Mary Ann Summers on Gilligan’s Island from 1964 to 1967. Her sweet and spunky character was a fan favorite and helped make the show a cultural phenomenon. Even after the show ended, Dawn Wells remained close to her co-stars and continued to be a beloved icon for generations of fans.

Personal Life

Marriages and Relationships

Dawn Wells was married twice, first to Larry Rosen from 1962 to 1967, and then to Charles Bollinger from 1967 to 1971. She never had children but was a devoted pet owner and animal rights activist.


Dawn Wells will always be remembered as a talented actress and a kind and generous person. Her legacy lives on through her iconic role on Gilligan’s Island and the many fans who loved her. She will be deeply missed.

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