'Gilligan's Island' star Dawn Wells dies, COVID-19 cited

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dawn Wells, who played the wholesome Mary Ann on the 1960s sitcom "Gilligan's Island," has died.

Her publicist says Wells died Wednesday morning in Los Angeles of causes related to COVID-19. Besides TV, film and stage acting credits, her other real-life roles included teacher and motivational speaker.

Born in Reno, Nevada, Wells represented her state in the 1959 Miss America pageant and quickly pivoted to an acting career.

Her early TV roles came on shows including "77 Sunset Strip," "Maverick" and "Bonanza."

Then came "Gilligan's Island," a goofy, good-natured show that became an unlikely but indelible part of popular culture.  

Dawn Wells was 82 years old.

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