Dawn Wells, the actress known for her role in the 1960s sitcom Gilligan’s Island, has died at the age of 82.
Wells’ reps confirmed that she died on Tuesday in Los Angeles from COVID-19 infection-related health issues, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Wells experienced health issues and a financial crisis some years before she eventually died due to the coronavirus-related issues.
In 2018, her friend Dugg Kirkpatrick started a GoFundMe campaign to pay her medical bills.
The campaign was able to raise more than $200,000.
Dawn Wells receives tributes on Twitter
Fans have been paying tribute on Twitter since the news of Wells’ death broker earlier today.
Public figures and celebs who posted tributes on Twitter included actor Jon Cryer and ABC7 reporter George Pennacchio,
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. #RIPDawnWells https://t.co/7pGCPhM798
— Jon Cryer (@MrJonCryer) December 30, 2020
#BREAKING – Actress Dawn Wells, best known as “Mary Ann” on TV’s “Gilligan’s Island,” has died at the age of 82. It was a result of complications due to COVID-19.
She was a positive spirit in the show biz world.
May this kind, lovely star R.I.P. pic.twitter.com/5qELBxusPA
— George Pennacchio (@abc7george) December 30, 2020
Wells’ death comes after country music legend Charley Pride also died at 86 from COVID-19 complications.
Monsters and Critics also reported that Steel Magnolias and Queen Sugar actress Carol Sutton died earlier in the month from COVID-19 complications.
Dawn Wells bio
Wells was born in Reno, Nevada in October 1938. Her father, a real estate developer, and her mother divorced when she was only four years old.
She attended the University of Washington and graduated with a degree in drama.
Dawn Wells is best known for portraying Mary Ann Summers in the CBS sitcom Gilligan’s Island.
Wells and Tina Louise — who played Ginger on the popular sitcom — were the last two surviving members of the main cast of Gilligan’s Island.
Louise is now the only surviving member of the main cast of the show.
Gilligan’s Island, produced by Sherwood Schwartz, aired on CBS for three seasons from September 1964 to April 1967.
Wells starred in the series, alongside Bob Denver as Gilligan, Alan Hale Jr. as The Skipper, Jim Backus as Thurston Howell III, Natalie Schafer as Lovey, Tina Louise as Ginger, and Russell Johnson as Professor Roy Hinkley.
The sitcom followed the comic adventures of a group of people struggling to survive on a deserted island after a shipwreck.
Wells later reprised her role as Mary Ann in the Gilligan’s Island-inspired TV movies, Rescue from Gilligan’s Island (1978), The Castaways on Gilligan’s Island (1979), and The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan’s Island (1981).
Wells played roles on many other popular TV shows, including Bonanza, The Wild Wild West, Wagon Train, The Love Boat, and Baywatch.
She also appeared in movies such as Silent But Deadly and Forever for Now.
Before her acting career, she participated in beauty pageants. In 1959, when she was 20 years old, she won the Miss Nevada beauty pageant. She also competed in the 1959 Miss America contest.
Wells was the founder of Spud Film Institute established in Idaho to assist aspiring filmmakers.
In 1962, she married the talent agent Larry Rosen. The couple divorced in 1967.