To a Summers day

In 2014, Russell Johnson — the Professor — died, leaving only two survivors from Gilligan’s Island: Ginger Grant (Tina Louise) and Mary Ann Summers (Dawn Wells). Back in the Sixties, Ginger vs. Mary Ann was as serious a topic for debate as Ford vs. Chevy, and it’s just about as persistent today. I declared for Mary Ann early on, mostly because she (along with the Professor) was given short shrift in the theme song: they mention “a movie star,” of course, but then it was “and the rest.” This was corrected in subsequent seasons, but I am not one to be forgiving in such matters.

That said, non-Gilligan-related photos of Dawn Wells, who was, after all, Miss Nevada in the 1960 Miss America pageant, are drowned out by three-hour tour guides and such. We try harder:

Dawn Wells at the entrance

Dawn Wells takes a seat

Dawn Wells at the window

A bit of weirdness: in 1982-83, CBS aired something cartoonoid called Gilligan’s Planet, featuring all the original Gilligan cast except one. Tina Louise was otherwise occupied, and so Ginger was voiced by, um, Dawn Wells. Maybe the two of them were more interchangeable than we thought.

Oh, and today is Dawn’s 78th birthday.



  1. Bill Peschel »

    18 October 2016 · 11:36 am

    Dawn was recently on Gilbert Gottfried’s podcast (an excellent interview program for those of us who remember people like Chuck McCann, Lee Grant, Jack Carter, et al). She mentioned that it was in Tina Louise’s contract to have her credit at the end, so they wrote the song that way. After a couple of seasons, John Denver decided to right the wrong and used his influence to get the song changed.

  2. CGHill »

    18 October 2016 · 11:48 am

    Except that it was Bob Denver, but yeah, that sounds about right.

  3. Dick Stanley »

    18 October 2016 · 1:35 pm

    You are the ultimate celebrity hound, sir. I can honestly say I never saw a single episode of this flicker and have no idea what you are talking about.

  4. Roger O Green »

    18 October 2016 · 3:02 pm

    Mary Ann. From the start.

  5. McG »

    18 October 2016 · 6:12 pm

    I was always attracted to girl-next-door types, which frequently got on the nerves of the actual girl(s) next door.

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