Dawn Wells is an American actress who is best known for her role as Mary Ann Summers on the sitcom "Gilligan's Island." She was born in Reno, Nevada and attended Reno High School.
Dawn Wells originally planned to become a ballerina, but she had knee problems that prevented her from pursuing her dream. Despite this setback, she eventually went on to become Miss Nevada and participated in the 1960 Miss America pageant. During her college years, Wells majored in drama studies, though she was originally going to study chemistry. After her graduation, she moved to Hollywood and played parts in a few popular television series, including "Cheyenne," "Maverick" and "Bonanza."
Wells got her most famous role as Mary Ann Summers on "Gilligan's Island" in 1964, after CBS decided to not choose Nancy McCarthy for the role. After "Gilligan's Island" ended its run, Wells later found work in theatre productions and several movies. She also took part in several talk shows that emphasized reunions. In recent years, Dawn Wells has appeared in a popular Western Union commercial that capitalized on her character from Gilligan's Island. She has her own website, dawnwells.com, where users can learn more about her life and work.