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6 quick things we learned about Dawn Wells from her interview with Gilbert Gottfried

Dawn Wells is one of the most beloved television stars of all time. The charming character of Mary Ann on Gilligan's Island helped the actress win the admiration of generations of fans all over the world. 

When she's not reprising her most famous role, she's working with some of Hollywood's best and brightest in various roles in film and on television.

When Dawn was Gilbert Gottfried's podcast, she shared some insights regarding Gilligan's Island, the castaways, her other famous roles and what she's up to nowadays. 

As always, Wells exudes the warmth, kindness and honesty we've come to expect from her. Here are six quick things we learned about the real Mary Ann from this interview.

You can listen to the whole thing here. Do any of these surprise you? 

1

She kept something special from Natalie Schafer.

When Shafer passed away in 1991, Wells asked her manager if she could have some of her rose bushes before he sold the house. "I dug up three of her roses and they're in my yard," Wells told Gottfried. 

2

Her father owned a famous hotel in Las Vegas.

Mary Ann may have been from Kansas, but Wells was born and bred a Western gal. According to Wells, her roots in the West go way back to the gold rush in the nineteenth century. One hundred years later, her father owned the legendary Thunderbird Hotel in Las Vegas.

Image: University of Nevada, Las Vegas, University Libraries

3

She planned to go to medical school.

Wells double majored in theater and pre-med at the University of Washington at Seattle. During her tenure, she won a scholarship after winning Miss Nevada and competing in the Miss America pageant. After graduating, she decided to give herself two years to try out acting. "I said, 'I'll give myself two years. If I'm not working I'm going back to med school,'" Wells told Gottfried. "And I started working right away."

4

She can't sing.

If there's one thing Wells can't do, it's sing. She admits she can't carry a tune, and was even told by Gilligan's Island creator Sherwood Schwartz to stop singing with the rest of the cast during a scene. "He said, 'You, Dawn, out! Don't sing. You're getting everyone off-key," Wells joked.

5

She had to stand on apple boxes on 'Gilligan's Island.'

To film scenes standing next to Tina Louise, Wells said she had to stand on apple boxes so they could fit together nicely on camera. Wells is 5'4", while Louise is 5'9". 

6

She played Ginger, too.

It's the age-old questions: Ginger or Mary Ann? Well, why not both? Tina Louise didn't reprise her role for the animated series Gilligan's Planet in the 1980s. Instead of hiring another actress for the role of Ginger, producers decided to have Wells voice both women. All the other actors reprised their roles for the series.  

Image: Warner Bros. 

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