Dawn Wells might have been a television star, but her “first love” was always the theatre

The actress returned to the stage after ''Gilligan’s Island'' ended.

There are several different avenues that an actor might be able to find success in, each of them unique and different. Decades ago, there was some healthy debate over whether television was as impressive a medium as film, but recent series within the last number of years have decidedly put that to rest. Plus, with the rise of animation in both film and television, voice actors have countless opportunities to find success and acclaim,

But one avenue for actors that has endured throughout time is the theatre, and more often than not, it proves to be the favorite of creatives. Take Dawn Wells, for example, an actress who achieved an almost unheard level of fame from her role as Mary Ann in Gilligan’s Island. But in an interview with The Miami Herald, Wells revealed an interesting truth: that stage acting was always closest to her heart.

Wells explained, “I’ve done an awful love of theater. It’s my first love. As an artist, I’d like you to see me as being in Night of the Iguana as well as Gilligan’s Island.” Wells returned to acting after Gilligan’s Island was canceled, primarily out of love but also out of a desire to shed her image as the character so many viewers had grown to love.

In an interview with the Calgary Herald, Wells stated, “I tried very hard in the beginning to break the image. I went and did classical theatre and characters that were completely removed from Mary Ann.”

Still, Wells learned that it was in her best interest to realize that she was bonded to Mary Ann for life, and there wasn’t anything wrong with that. She said, “You just finally say, ‘Wait a minute. You’re not going to get away from it! It’s on the air every single day, it has never been off since 1964. You can’t fight that. You may as well go for it.”

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6 Comments

George58 1 month ago
Loved her Mary Ann character on the show. R.I.P. Dawn Wells.
Runeshaper 1 month ago
It’s good that Wells did what she enjoyed after the show ended 🙂
MrsPhilHarris 1 month ago
Loved the Mary Ann character. Apparently she got the most fan mail and it came from men, women and children.
And many teen-age boys! She was something else! Oct. 18, 1938 - Dec. 30, 2020. Gone 3 years now at 82, hard to believe.
Snickers 1 month ago
Dawn Wells will always be remembered as Mary Ann.
cperrynaples Snickers 1 month ago
Yep, anybody notice her as a Native American on Bonanza? MeTV just showed it! And yes, she did host a Summer of MeTV before her death!
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