Story.

Dawn Wells has died of COVID-19  This one hurts.

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This hurts almost as much as losing Chadwick Boseman earlier this year. Not only from the pleasure they provided through their fondly remembered work, but also because by all accounts, they were genuinely good people.

About two years ago, Dawn Wells ran into financial straits thanks to medical bills and IRS penalties, and a fan launched a GoFundMe page that blew past its $180,000 target, raising $205,000.

She posted a Christmas note on her Facebook page that is as charming as she always was, here.

That's heartbreaking and heartwarming in equal measure ...

ClarkKent_DC said:

She posted a Christmas note on her Facebook page that is as charming as she always was, here.

Less than a week ago she thought she was going to be fine.

Sad to see her leave us. As politely as I can put this, I heard the Ginger-Mary Ann debate summed up by one friend as "Ginger you might have fun with, but Mary Ann you can build a life with."

Ironically, Tina Louise is the only surviving cast member left, but she's wanted nothing to do with the show since the series ended.

For old times' sake, here's one of our most classic threads: "The Baron Watches 'Gilligan's Island'"

Lee Houston, Junior said:

Sad to see her leave us. As politely as I can put this, I heard the Ginger-Mary Ann debate summed up by one friend as "Ginger you might have fun with, but Mary Ann you can build a life with."

I expressed a similar sentiment in "The Baron Watches 'Gilligan's Island'":

The Baron said:

The nitpicky nerdboy in me didn't like how the movies seemed to ignore continuity (Mary-Ann having a fiancee waiting for her when it had been established in a episode that she didn't have anyone back home, the existence of Thurston Howell IV, and so on), but on re-watching the series I realized that they didn't pay much attention to "continuity" back then, either.

ClarkKent_DC said:

Regarding Mary Ann and the boyfriend, I posited on the old board that maybe it was an on-again, off-again thing that was off when she went on the three-hour tour. Or, possibly, that they went out a few times but they didn't mutually feel any sparks, and then she was lost at sea and the guy belatedly realized what a good thing he was missing. I mean, for a girlfriend like Mary Ann, wouldn't you wait 15 years?

Her story made the front page of today's Daily News!

The Washington Post ran the Dawn Wells story inside in the obituary section. At least it was a staff-written story this time.*

I like this excerpt:

The Washington Post wrote:

“It’s not my ego talking, but Mary Ann wasn’t just a silly and sweet ingenue,” Ms. Wells observed in her 2014 self-help book, “What Would Mary Ann Do?: A Guide to Life,” written with Steve Stinson. “She was bright, fair-minded and reasonable, and I like to think that’s what I brought to her. . . . Sherwood Schwartz, the show’s producer and creator, was smart enough to put her in short shorts so you wouldn’t think of her as your bossy sister.”

The presence of Ginger and Mary Ann — the first a sexpot, the second a wholesome beauty — gave rise to an ongoing debate over who on the show best represented the male fantasy of womanhood. Ms. Wells embraced the rivalry.

“As a matter of fact, I’ve got a T-shirt that’s a ballot that says ‘Ginger or Mary Ann, the ultimate dilemma,’ ” she told the Vancouver Sun in 2014. “You can go anywhere and say ‘Ginger or Mary Ann?’ You don’t have to say what show it is. Everybody gets it. And I always win.”

* I'm still mad that the Post dropped the ball on Whitney Houston. It ran a wire story from The Associated Press when she died. And it ran a wire story to cover her funeral.

And it didn't run an Appreciation -- a longer-form essay about the life and value of the person -- because that was during the period when some blockhead editor thought those things were redundant. Fortunately, the Post has resumed writing Appreciations.

Even in her early 80s, Dawn Wells was still a very lovely woman. Saddened at her death.

I met her at a convention a couple of years ago, and she was every bit as cool and fun as you'd expect her to be. There are some performers who, even as an adult, you can't not think of as their characters. So despite talking to her about a few things other than Gilligan's island (notably some stories she told on the Gilbert Gottfried podcast), I walked away thinking, "Holy cow, I JUST MET MARY ANN." She was delightful.

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