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EXCLUSIVE: “Gilligan’s Island” star Dawn Wells has plenty of reasons to be thankful in 2020.
“At a time when it feels like everything is bad news, the good still outweighs the bad,” the actress told Fox News. “So even in tough times, we can and should be grateful for everything around us. I wake up and I am grateful to have another day. I am grateful to feel a seasonal cool morning through my patio door. I am grateful for those who take the time to say ‘hi’ if to simply show that you matter.”
The 82-year-old famously played Mary Ann Summers, an unapologetic “good girl” who was stranded on an island with six other castaways. “Gilligan’s Island” ran from 1964 to 1967 – for three seasons – and yet it has never gone off the air. It continues to be screened in over 30 languages.
Wells, a Reno native, represented Nevada in the Miss America pageant in 1959 before taking on the iconic role. For the role of Mary Ann, she beat out 350 other actresses, including Raquel Welch.
Dawn Wells portrays Mary Ann Summers in the CBS television program "Gilligan’s Island."
(CBS via Getty Images)
These days, Wells is keeping busy. The sitcom star revealed she’s gearing up to star in a fly fishing TV show titled “Dawn Wells Reel Adventures,” which will be available on Amazon Prime at the end of the year.
“I am grateful for my life and career and the comforts it allows me at this time when the world wrestles with new challenges and uncertainties,” she shared. “I am grateful for our resilience as human beings and the God-given talents that lead to innovations for the better good.”
Wells said she’s grateful for the opportunity to entertain her beloved fans during a difficult year. She revealed everyday Americans willing to offer a helping hand with no hesitation during tough times continue to inspire her.
“I am grateful and proud to be an American,” Wells explained. “When I see Americans go into action to heal, serve and protect, or to lend a hand to a neighbor or community, it makes me proud to be living in America. I don’t want people to be disillusioned by the petty infighting that seems to dominate news cycles.”
Actress Dawn Wells visits Hallmark Channel’s "Home & Family" at Universal Studios Hollywood on Sept. 30, 2019, in Universal City, Calif.
(Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)
“America is great,” she continued. “You may fight or disagree with your mother, but you will always love her and do what you can for her. And so we should for each other. This is the country I love. This is my home. I am thankful.”
Back in 2017, Wells told Fox News she was still happily meeting fans of Mary Ann, whom she described as timeless.
“She pitched in and helped, never complained about anything and helped cook and clean,” said Wells at the time. “She was concerned about the other people on the island. No jealousy with Ginger… and she’s very in tune with Gilligan and his mistakes. I think she represents the core of what’s good.”
“I’ve had soldiers tell me, ‘I carried your picture in my helmet,’” she recalled. “I had families say, ‘The only way we ever got along was when we were watching your show.’ It had an impact that was far more than just 30 minutes.”
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