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This ‘Gilligan’s Island’ Cast Member Received the Most Fan Mail



The Gilligan’s Island cast rose to fame thanks to the CBS comedy. Every week, viewers tuned in to watch their favorite seven castaways adjust to island life. While all the cast members were famous, one star received more fan mail than their co-stars.

Who was the ‘Gilligan’s Island’ cast?

In September 1964, Sherwood Schwartz’s TV comedy Gilligan’s Island premiered on CBS. The series about a group of seven different castaways became an instant hit. Each week fans tuned in to see if the group would ever be rescued.

The show’s success can be attributed to the cast, which featured a mix of TV, film, and theater stars. The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis star Bon Denver portrayed the clumsy first mate Gilligan. Alan Hale Jr., a former child and theater star, took on the lovable but gruff Skipper role.

Jim Backus and Natalie Schafer had remarkable chemistry as millionaire Thurston Howell III and his wife, Lovey. Film actor Tina Louise was the perfect choice to play the glamorous movie star, Ginger Grant. TV and film star Russell Johnson played everyone’s favorite genius, The Professor. Former beauty pageant winner Dawn Wells landed her big break as Mary Ann Summers.

Dawn Wells was the cast member who received the most fan mail

Many of the Gilligan’s Island cast were already established stars. But the sitcom shot them into further stardom. The cast received hundreds of letters from fans all across the world. Yet, one actor got more than the other castaways.

In an interview with Fox News, Schwartz’s son Lloyd J. Schwartz revealed Wells received the most fan mail. “Dawn Wells, who played Mary Ann, got five times the fan mail than everybody else.” Schwartz said Mary Ann was a girl next door and someone fans identified with.


“The girls loved her because she was like their best friend. And the guys loved her because she was cute and accessible to them. Ginger was a voluptuous movie star. She almost seemed untouchable to mere mortals. But Mary Ann was the cute one who you could easily be friends with.”

Dawn Wells loved playing Mary Ann on ‘Gilligan’s Island’

Gilligan’s Island ran for three seasons before being abruptly cancelled in 1967. Many of the cast continued to act, yet faced typecasting because of the CBS comedy. Wells couldn’t shake her good-girl image and learned to embrace her Mary Ann character.

“She loved what Mary Ann represented and the influence it had on people. She loved how she made people feel years later. And she certainly continued to get fan mail. She adored her fans,” Schwartz explained.

Sadly, Wells died at 88 on Dec. 30, 2020. Wells’ death leaves Louise as the last surviving cast member.

Wells’ legacy as Mary Ann lives on thanks to episodes on the IFC channel and streaming services Google Play and Apple TV.


Source: Cheat Sheet

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