LOS ANGELES, Dec. 30 (UPI/Gephardt Daily) — Dawn Wells, an actress best known for her role as Mary Ann in 1960s sitcom Gilligan’s Island, died Wednesday in Los Angeles of causes related to COVID-19, her publicist announced. She was 82.
Wells was reportedly living in an assisted-living facility in Woodland Hills at the time of her passing.
Wells, who played Mary Ann in the 1964-67 sitcom and three made-for-TV sequel movies that aired between 1978 and 1982, represented Nevada in the 1959 Miss America pageant and was also known for roles in 77 Sunset Strip, Maverick, Bonanza, The Joey Bishop Show, Hawaiian Eye, The Wild Wild West and ALF.
On Christmas Eve, Wells appeared on social media with a short video about her holiday plans and celebrations.
“I had fun with friends from a safe distance being goofy and recording a Christmas greeting,” Wells wrote. “Keep your heart light and share a few laughs and conversation with someone near of far. Be well. Be safe. And have a Merry Christmas!”
The actress created Wishing Wells Collections in the early 2000s to create clothes for elderly people with limited mobility. Wells founded the nonprofit Idaho Film and Television Institute and was an active member of The Denver Foundation, which was founded by Bob Denver, the actor who played the titular Gilligan on the classic sitcom.
Publicist Harlan Boll said donations can be made in Wells’ name to The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tenn., the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum or The Shambala Preserve outside Los Angeles.
Wells is survived by her step-sister, Weslee Wells. Her death leaves Tina Louise, 86, who played Ginger on Gilligan’s Island, as the last surviving member of the original cast.