‘Gilligan’s Island’ star Tina Louise praises Dawn Wells, the Mary Ann to her Ginger

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Tina Louise, now the last surviving star of the beloved 1960s TV series “Gilligan’s Island,” paid tribute to her late costar Dawn Wells Wednesday.

“I will always remember Dawn’s kindness to me. We shared in creating a cultural landmark that has continued to bring comfort and smiles to people during this difficult time,” said a tweet on the 86-year-old star’s official Twitter account. “I hope that people will remember her the way that I do — always with a smile on her face.”

Louise played redheaded “movie star” Ginger Grant on the CBS sitcom. She was a glamorous foil to Wells’ comely girl-next-door Mary Ann Summers on the uncharted desert isle, where they were marooned with other patrons of the infamous “three-hour tour.” Wells died Wednesday of complications from COVID-19. She was 82.


Speaking to the New York Post, Louise described her costar as a “very wonderful person.”

“Nothing is more important than family and she was family. She will always be remembered,” Louise said.

“Gilligan’s Island” starred Bob Denver as the title character, Alan Hale Jr. (the Skipper), Jim Backus (the Millionaire), Natalie Schafer (his wife), Russell Johnson (the Professor), Wells and Louise. The ensemble situation comedy was reviled by TV critics and aired only from 1964 to 1967. Still, it lived on and grew a cult following in syndication for years thereafter.

“I only spent three years doing it,” Louise told The Times in 1992. The series was so successful, she added, because “everybody played their part right. Everybody wants to be on a deserted island. It covers everybody’s fantasy because there is somebody there for everyone.”

Dawn Wells, who starred as girl-next-door Mary Ann in the 1960s hit TV show “Gilligan’s Island,” died of complications from COVID-19. She was 82.

Dec. 30, 2020