Meet Dawn Wells' Life Details

A young fine lady from the countryside made her way to Hollywood. From being a frustrated ballerina to entering med school, Dawn Wells has gone through a series of calm and storms in life that lead her to be one of Hollywood's precious gems.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain/Photo of Dawn Wells as Mary Ann from the television program Gilligan's Island.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain/Photo of Dawn Wells as Mary Ann from the television program Gilligan's Island.


MARY ANN SUMMERS

She became popular in 1964 as Mary Ann Summers on CBS's Gilligan’s Island. There’s more to her than that role but since Gilligan’s Island, her Hollywood career gave her spotlight and dollars. As the last surviving cast member of the show, she still strives for her life even without a husband and any kid.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain/Wells 1975 press release

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain/Wells 1975 press release


HERE COMES THE DAWN

On October 18, 1938, Dawn Elberta Wells was born in Reno, Nevada, USA. There she also lived a happy countryside life with her parents. Her father was a real estate developer while her mother spent time growing fruits and vegetables in their garden.

Image Source: Getty Images/Photo of Dawn Wells

Image Source: Getty Images/Photo of Dawn Wells


SHE’S A DOCTOR WANNA-BE

Besides her innocent and charming looks, Dawn’s other asset is her brain. She mixed arts and Science. When she was still a college student at the University of Washington in Seattle, she had double majors which are theater and pre-med. She wanted to be a doctor but things happened so she gave up on her dream and dived to another career.

Image Source: Getty Images/Paul Archuleta/Actress Dawn Wells visits Hallmark Channel's "Home & Family" at Universal Studios Hollywood on September 30, 2019 in Universal City, California

Image Source: Getty Images/Paul Archuleta/Actress Dawn Wells visits Hallmark Channel's "Home & Family" at Universal Studios Hollywood on September 30, 2019 in Universal City, California


AND A LEGIT PAGEANT QUEEN

Her green eyes sparkled as she was crowned as Miss Nevada in 1959. She may not be able to wear a doctor’s robe, at least she had the crown that earned her a $1000 worth of scholarship sponsored by Pepsi-Cola. As Miss Nevada, she was set to represent her hometown in Miss America 1960.

Image Source: Getty Images/Film Favorites/Dawn Wells, 1950s

Image Source: Getty Images/Film Favorites/Dawn Wells, 1950s


SHE KNEW SHE WAS GOING TO BE A HOLLYWOOD STAR

After she finished her university studies and quite gained popularity as Miss Nevada,  she moved to Hollywood. Yes, it was a decision and not another “accidentally discovered by a producer” story. With her looks, talent and guts, she semi-effortlessly first appeared in the film “The Roaring 20’s” in 1960.

Image Source: Getty Images/CBS Photo Archive/Dawn Wells portrays Mary Ann Summers in the CBS television program "Gilligan's Island." Image dated: July 15, 1965 Hollywood, CA

Image Source: Getty Images/CBS Photo Archive/Dawn Wells portrays Mary Ann Summers in the CBS television program "Gilligan's Island." Image dated: July 15, 1965 Hollywood, CA


BEFORE THE BREAKTHROUGH

Dawn Wells appeared in several television shows before she had her biggest break in Hollywood. She was in the television series 77 Sunset Trip (1961), Surfside 6 (1962), The Third Man (1963) among many others. And 1964 came and everything started to change for her.

Image Source: Getty Images/CBS Photo Archive/Gilligan's Island cast member, Dawn Wells (as Mary Ann Summers, as flower seller) in the episode: "And Then There Were None." Image dated October 19, 1966

Image Source: Getty Images/CBS Photo Archive/Gilligan's Island cast member, Dawn Wells (as Mary Ann Summers, as flower seller) in the episode: "And Then There Were None." Image dated October 19, 1966


DAWN WELLS AT GILLIGAN’S ISLAND 

Gilligan’s Islands was a 1964 sitcom that tells the story of how the ladies and gentlemen of different roots survived the shipwreck of S.S. Minnow and how they got along as they were stranded in the tropical island. Sounds fun, right?

Image Source: Getty Images/CBS Photo Archive/GILLIGAN'S ISLAND. Cast posed on ladders in the lagoon. (from left) Jim Backus (as Thurston Howell III); in foreground: Bob Denver (as Gilligan); Dawn Wells (as Mary Ann Summers); Alan Hale, Jr. (as The Skipper, Jonas Grumby); Russell Johnson (as The Professor, Roy Hinkley); Natalie Schafer (as Mrs. Lovey Howell) and Tina Louise (as Ginger Grant)

Image Source: Getty Images/CBS Photo Archive/GILLIGAN'S ISLAND. Cast posed on ladders in the lagoon. (from left) Jim Backus (as Thurston Howell III); in foreground: Bob Denver (as Gilligan); Dawn Wells (as Mary Ann Summers); Alan Hale, Jr. (as The Skipper, Jonas Grumby); Russell Johnson (as The Professor, Roy Hinkley); Natalie Schafer (as Mrs. Lovey Howell) and Tina Louise (as Ginger Grant)

The cast includes Bob Denver, Alan Hale, Jim Backus, Tina Louise, Natalie Schafer, and of course, Dawn Wells as Mary Ann Summers. It was aired from 1964 to 1999, with 99 episodes and several special episodes and films. What a legendary record! What do you think is the secret of its success?

Image Source: Getty Images/CBS/Set of Gilligan's Island

Image Source: Getty Images/CBS/Set of Gilligan's Island


DAWN WELLS AS MARY ANN SUMMERS

When Gilligan’s Island opened the audition for casting, teens and adults lined up. For the role of Mary Ann Summers, an innocent farm lad, there were 300 ladies who auditioned and who would have thought that it was the frustrated doctor Dawn Well who got the role? Well, she did!

Image Source: Getty Images/CBS Photo Archive/Gilligan's Island cast member, at left, Dawn Wells (as Mary Ann Summers) and guest star Sterling Holloway as Burt (the pigeon fancier) in the episode: "The Pigeon." Image dated February 6, 1967

Image Source: Getty Images/CBS Photo Archive/Gilligan's Island cast member, at left, Dawn Wells (as Mary Ann Summers) and guest star Sterling Holloway as Burt (the pigeon fancier) in the episode: "The Pigeon." Image dated February 6, 1967

Her role as Mary Ann in Gilligan’s Island made her climb up as one of the brightest Hollywood stars of all time. From the sitcom, she was earning $700 per week without any residuals but as “Mary Ann”, she became an in-demand actress.

Image Source: Getty Images/CBS Photo Archive/Dawn Wells portrays Mary Ann Summers in the CBS television program "Gilligan's Island." Image dated: July 15, 1965 Hollywood, CA

Image Source: Getty Images/CBS Photo Archive/Dawn Wells portrays Mary Ann Summers in the CBS television program "Gilligan's Island." Image dated: July 15, 1965 Hollywood, CA


THE SUCCESS OF GILLIGAN’S ISLAND CONTINUED IN ITS SPIN OFFS

Except for airing over 90 episodes in three seasons, Gilligan's Island’s success was evident as it had its special episodes, films, and even cartoon spin-offs. So it wasn’t only the teens and adults who made its fan-based a strong one but kids too!

Image Source: Getty Images/Hulton Archive/The cast of the television comedy series, 'Gilligan's Island,' which ran from 1964-1967, listens to a short wave radio outdoors in a promotional portrait

Image Source: Getty Images/Hulton Archive/The cast of the television comedy series, 'Gilligan's Island,' which ran from 1964-1967, listens to a short wave radio outdoors in a promotional portrait

In 1974, the cartoon spin-off The New Adventures of Gilligan was first aired and because it became a hit it lasted for two seasons. Rescue From Gilligan’s Island, The Castaways On Gilligan’s Island, and The Harlem Globetrotters On Gilligan’s Island were the three television movies that reunited the cast and crew. Even these movies were also a big hit, making its cast earn a reputation in their acting career.

Image Source: Getty Images/Bettmann/Ginger (Tina Louise), girl-next-door Mary Ann (Dawn Wells), and millionairess Mrs. Howell (Natalie Schaefer) in a scene from the 1960s television comedy Gilligan's Island

Image Source: Getty Images/Bettmann/Ginger (Tina Louise), girl-next-door Mary Ann (Dawn Wells), and millionairess Mrs. Howell (Natalie Schaefer) in a scene from the 1960s television comedy Gilligan's Island


DID SHE EVER STOP WORKING?

Definitely not. She knows how to rest, for sure. But her career? Nah, it never rested, even after the success of Gilligan’s Island. She worked with many films and TV series including Super Sisters (2001), Forever for Now (2004), Silent But Deadly (2012), and most recently in 2019, The Most Epic Tales of Captain Underpants.

Image Source: Getty Images/Earl Gibson III/Actress Dawn Wells attends the San Pedro International Film Festival at Warner Grand Theatre on October 6, 2017 in San Pedro, California

Image Source: Getty Images/Earl Gibson III/Actress Dawn Wells attends the San Pedro International Film Festival at Warner Grand Theatre on October 6, 2017 in San Pedro, California


HOW ABOUT HER LOVE LIFE?

Yes, she had! It’s not only her career that bloomed but her love life as well. She was dated Mr. Gilligan actor Bob Denver but they were better off as colleagues because their relationship didn't end up in marriage. Then, later on, she met Larry Rosen.

Image Source: Getty Images/Robin Marchant/Dawn Wells visits at SiriusXM Studio on September 23, 2016 in New York City

Image Source: Getty Images/Robin Marchant/Dawn Wells visits at SiriusXM Studio on September 23, 2016 in New York City


IS LARRY ROSEN HER “THE ONE”?

As she was (and is) an undeniably famous and talented actress, who wouldn’t be captivated by her charm? As a rising star back then, she came across a talent agent named Larry Rosen. Cliché as it may sound but they fell in love with each other and married in 1962.

Image Source: Getty Images/Todd Williamson/Actress Dawn Wells arrves at the 6th annual "TV Land Awards" held at Barker Hangar on June 8, 2008 in Santa Monica, California

Image Source: Getty Images/Todd Williamson/Actress Dawn Wells arrves at the 6th annual "TV Land Awards" held at Barker Hangar on June 8, 2008 in Santa Monica, California


NO, HE ISN’T.

We can use the hashtag couple goals for Dawn Well and Larry Rosen since they met and worked in the same industry and even got married. However, after five years of ups and downs as a couple, they ended up in divorce in 1967.

Image Source: Getty Images/Alberto E. Rodriguez/Actress Dawn Wells attends a ceremony honoring producer Sherwood Schwartz with a star at the Hollywood Walk of Fame on March 7, 2008 in Hollywood, California

Image Source: Getty Images/Alberto E. Rodriguez/Actress Dawn Wells attends a ceremony honoring producer Sherwood Schwartz with a star at the Hollywood Walk of Fame on March 7, 2008 in Hollywood, California


SHE WAS A WIFE BUT NEVER A MOTHER

Throughout their married life, Dawn and Larry were not able to experience being a mother and a father. The former couple didn’t have any kids together. So unlike most Hollywood stars, they don’t have to experience most of the time heartbreaking fights over custody. She badly wanted to be a mother but sadly, she hasn't become one yet.

Image Source: Getty Images/Manny Hernandez/Dawn Wells at NostalgiaCon at the Anaheim Convention Center at Anaheim, California on September 28, 2019

Image Source: Getty Images/Manny Hernandez/Dawn Wells at NostalgiaCon at the Anaheim Convention Center at Anaheim, California on September 28, 2019


THE ONCE FRUSTRATED DOCTOR BECAME AN AUTHOR

Life goes on but Dawn can’t just get enough of the sitcom that made her a star. In 1993 she published her first book entitled Mary Ann's Gilligan's Island Cookbook, telling island recipes, bittersweet journeys, and photos from Gilligan’s Island. The actress co-authored with Ken Beck and Jim Clark and was Bob Denver (Mr. Gilligan) who gave the foreword.

Image Source: Getty Images/Brian Gove/Dawn Wells and Erin Murphy at Barnes & Noble bookstore at The Grove on September 29, 2014 in Los Angeles, California

Image Source: Getty Images/Brian Gove/Dawn Wells and Erin Murphy at Barnes & Noble bookstore at The Grove on September 29, 2014 in Los Angeles, California


SHE WAS GINGER’S VOICE

In 1980, the legendary Gilligan’s Island also produced an animated series Gilligan's Planet. Most of the original cast played as voice actors except Tina Louise (Ginger) so to save money, they didn’t hire a new cast and it was Dawn who played both the voices of Mary Ann and Ginger.

Image Source: Getty Images/Tibrina Hobson/Dawn Wells attends the opening Nnight of 'Marilyn... MADNESS & ME' at El Portal Theatre on September 26, 2013 in North Hollywood, California

Image Source: Getty Images/Tibrina Hobson/Dawn Wells attends the opening Nnight of 'Marilyn... MADNESS & ME' at El Portal Theatre on September 26, 2013 in North Hollywood, California


“WISHING WELLS”: HER OWN CLOTHING LINE FOR A CAUSE

Throughout her stardom, she managed to open her own clothing line which she called “Wishing Wells”. It wasn't entirely a business for profit but more of a charity cause. Her clothing line aimed to provide clothes and all forms of help to the special and elderly people.

Image Source: Getty Images/Paul Warner/Dawn Wells attends day 1 of Motor City Comic Con 2012 at the Suburban Collection Showplace on May 18, 2012 in Novi, Michigan

Image Source: Getty Images/Paul Warner/Dawn Wells attends day 1 of Motor City Comic Con 2012 at the Suburban Collection Showplace on May 18, 2012 in Novi, Michigan


SHE WAS RECOGNIZED AS ONE OF THE SEXIEST STARS

She became a fashion icon with her blue gingham dress in her role as Mary Ann Summers. Decades ago, gingham was a pure classic but with her wearing it, it became pure classic and sexy. Her sexiness never left her, which made TV Guide ranked her 50th on the list of “The 50 Sexiest Stars of All Time” last 2005.

Image Source: Getty Images/ABC Photo Archives/Dawn Wells appearing on Walt Disney Television via Getty Images's 'The FBI' episode 'The Attorney'

Image Source: Getty Images/ABC Photo Archives/Dawn Wells appearing on Walt Disney Television via Getty Images's 'The FBI' episode 'The Attorney'


DOUBLE WIN IN 2014!

Alongside the shows and films she worked with, her writer's heart. In 2014, she published her second book entitled “What Would Mary Ann Do?: A Guide to Life”. She also co-authored the book with Steve Stinson and together they wrote a book that every lady should read.

Image Source: Getty Images/CBS Photo Archive/Dawn Wells, best known for portraying Mary Ann Summers on the television sitcom, Gilligan's Island stars on "TV's All-Time Favorites,"

Image Source: Getty Images/CBS Photo Archive/Dawn Wells, best known for portraying Mary Ann Summers on the television sitcom, Gilligan's Island stars on "TV's All-Time Favorites,"

In exactly the same year, her career as an actress was given an upgrade! She was hired by MeTv as their first-ever marketing ambassador. It could be a tough job but she performed her duty well and even hosted one of the network’s TV shows.

Image Source: Getty Images/Gregg DeGuire/Dawn Wells of "Gilligan's Island"

Image Source: Getty Images/Gregg DeGuire/Dawn Wells of "Gilligan's Island"


HOW’S HER LOVE LIFE NOW?

Well, she’s single. Since the divorce in 1967, she has never remarried. Maybe it was the heartbreak, or it was her busy career that caused her to remain single throughout the years. Whatever her reason is, let’s just hope she’s living the best of her life.

Image Source: Getty Images/Matthew Peyton/Actress Dawn Wells arrives at the "CBS At 75" celebration at the Hammerstein Ballroom November 2, 2003 in New York City

Image Source: Getty Images/Matthew Peyton/Actress Dawn Wells arrives at the "CBS At 75" celebration at the Hammerstein Ballroom November 2, 2003 in New York City


HER CO-STARS PERMANENTLY BID FAREWELL

Dawn Wells is proof that age is just a number. Even at her old age, she continues to inspire us with her works. In her years in the spotlight, she remained strong as she experienced heartaches when her fellow Gilligan’s Island stars slowly went to a permanent peace due to their age and illness.

Image Source: Getty Images/Kevin Winter/Producer Sherwood Schwartz, "Gilligans Island" actress Dawn Wells and "Brady Bunch" actor Barry Williams appear at the First Official TV Land Convention at the Burbank Airport Hilton on August 16, 2003 in Burbank, California

Image Source: Getty Images/Kevin Winter/Producer Sherwood Schwartz, "Gilligans Island" actress Dawn Wells and "Brady Bunch" actor Barry Williams appear at the First Official TV Land Convention at the Burbank Airport Hilton on August 16, 2003 in Burbank, California


BUT THE STRONG ONES STRUGGLE TOO

In 2018, the world was shocked when a GoFundMe page was created by Dawn Well’s friend. The page aimed to gather financial donations for Dawn’s medical fund as she struggled physically and financially. The star said she was grateful for her fans, friends, and family who genuinely care for her.

Image Source: Getty Images/Lee Celano/Dawn Wells during Warner Home Video's "Gilligan's Island" DVD Launch Event at FantaSea Yatch Club in Marina del Rey, California, United States

Image Source: Getty Images/Lee Celano/Dawn Wells during Warner Home Video's "Gilligan's Island" DVD Launch Event at FantaSea Yatch Club in Marina del Rey, California, United States

Dawn Wells wasn’t able to reach her initial dream as a ballerina but she was crowned as Miss Nevada. She didn’t become a doctor but she became an iconic actress. With all these, she considered herself blessed with the bonus of being able to travel the world on Concorde. She is teaching us that it’s all about appreciating what you have.

ⓘ The information in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, and images contained on, or available through this ENG.AMOMAMA.COM is for general information purposes only. ENG.AMOMAMA.COM does not take responsibility for any action taken as a result of reading this article. Before undertaking any course of treatment please consult with your healthcare provider.

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