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Dawn Wells, Mary Ann actress on ‘Gilligan’s Island,’ has died of COVID-19 complications

The actress passed away Wednesday morning in Los Angeles at the age of 82.

PIC © STEWART COOK 310 403 6131 8-05-02 GILLIGAN’S ISLAND STAR DAWN WELLS ON THE PORCH OF HER RANCH HOME IN IDAHO. For use in Spudfest. (Submission date: 07/27/2004)
Dawn Wells on the porch of her ranch home in Idaho. Wells passed away on Wednesday due to complications of COVID-19 at the age of 82.
Stewart Cook, Stewart Cook

Actress Dawn Wells, who starred as Mary Ann in the television show “Gilligan’s Island,” has passed away at the age of 82 due to COVID-19-related causes, according to USA Today on Wednesday.

Wells passed away “peacefully” from “causes related to COVID” on Wednesday morning, said her publicist, Harlan Boll, according to USA Today.

Born in Reno, Nevada, Wells starred in over 150 television shows, seven films, and 60 theatrical productions over the course of her career, according to CNN.

Her most famous role was as Mary Ann Summers on “Gilligan’s Island,” which premiered on CBS in 1964, according to the New York Times. She remained on the show until it was canceled in 1967, and also returned for three reunion TV movies.

Although “Gilligan’s Island” was only on the air for three seasons, it has maintained a place in pop culture — it still airs around the world today in 30 languages, according to Fox News.

“It was a fun, silly show that made you laugh and didn’t preach to the audience,” Wells told USA Today in 2019. “But there was an awful lot in the character of Mary Ann that kids could learn from today: She was fair, she pitched in to help, she had standards, she wasn’t worried about a $500 purse, and she would be your best friend you could trust.”

Apart from her acting career, Wells was also the author of two books: “Mary Ann’s Gilligan’s Island Cookbook,” which was published in 1993, and “What Would Mary Ann Do? A Guide to Life,” her memoir that was published in 2014, according to the Times.

Wells was also involved in humanitarian work and activism. She was the chairwoman of the Terry Lee Wells Foundation, an organization for women and children in Nevada, and also ran the Film Actors Boot Camp for seven years in Idaho, according to CNN. Wells also received an award for her support of elephant natural habitat sanctuaries.

She is survived by her step sister, Weslee Wells.