EXCLUSIVE: The wife of the late Bob Denver, Dreama Denver, who famously portrayed Gilligan “on Gilligan’s Island”, is remembering her dear friend Don Wells, who died Wednesday for COVID-19 related reasons.
Denver and Wales’ friendship lasted four decades. The two were close for years, as Wells played the role of Mary Ann Summers on “Gilligan’s Island” opposite Bob, who died in 2005.
Wells, a Reno native who represented Nevada at the Miss America Pageant in 1959, died Wednesday morning in Los Angeles for reasons related to COVID-19 before taking the prestigious television role in the Castaway series, her publicist According to. She was 82 years old.
Denver noted that her bond with Wales only strengthened over time, with the pair becoming particularly close in recent years. Part of his visits to Wales over the years included stops at Dreama’s home in West Virginia, where he helped support the Denver Foundation. The final trip to Wales took place in February 2019, where “America’s Sweetheart” and Denver served as co-owners of the ceremony. The event helped fund the Denver Foundation’s “Always Free Honor Flight” on behalf of veterans.
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In an interview with Fox News on Thursday, Denver recalled his favorite memories he had spent with Wales, the last time he spoke, and America’s Sweetheart rose to fame when the prestigious Castaway series brought him along.
Fox News: What is one of your favorite memories with Don Wells over the many years you’ve spent?
Dreama Denver: Every memory is very special, but I think our time together on the road stands for me. Often, we used to share a room and sit overnight “girl talk.” In 2015, we did a book tour in Missouri and visited her alma mater, Stephens College. It was truly special to see the reception she received, to feel the love directed at her for Stephens’ support.
Fox News: You have noted that your bond with Don grew stronger over time. how so? And how did the two of you stay in touch?
Denver: As soon as we lost the cast, the rest of the crew became closer. First, Jim, Natalie and Alan, then Bob several years later and more recently Russell. After Bob’s death, I stepped in to represent him in public and that’s when Don and I beat up Mary and Mrs. Gilligan on the street. We both had a lot of pairings and fans thought that we would both enjoy it together. Over the last 15 years, our performances were together in how we kept in touch, and during the months, there was always the phone. Long conversation!
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Fox News: Don is known for her iconic role in “Gilligan’s Island” opposite her husband Bob Denver. Did he ever reflect fame with his role?
Denver: Don loved and was always grateful to “Gilligan’s Island” and brought it fame. She never complained about being known for the show. As a matter of fact, she was very protective of Mary Ann, realizing that her character was a role model for young girls everywhere, who treated Mary Ann with a lot of TLC. Don had a lot in that character. Apparently, the sweet nature, physical beauty (the woman never aged) and the nurturing qualities of Mary Ann.
Dawn was a nurturer for family, friends and fans. She was always kind and generous with her time. In addition, she has never failed to do what she believes has worked for me and with the Denver Foundation and Always Free Honor Flight. I will need it. She would come. Who was she
Fox News: When was the last time you saw Don? How did she feel
Denver: The last time I saw Don was in February 2019, when he came with me to West Virginia for a Denver Foundation fundraiser. She loved supporting our veterans, so when I needed her for my “Valentines for Veterans” concert, she was there. She stayed at my house and we were enjoying it so much that she extended her trip for an additional two days, giving us five consecutive days. In light of 2020 and our inability to see each other for this entire year, I am very grateful that this was our last visit, this last memory. We last spoke in October on her 82nd birthday and she was in great spirits. The plan was to be touched again in January to celebrate the fact that 2020 finally came to an end. Sadly, we never got that chance.
Fox News: Is there anything about Dawn that you know fans don’t already know?
Denver: Two things that may not be common knowledge – Don defeated Raquel Welch for the part of Mary Ann, something that never ceased to amaze her. And, of course, he and the rest of the cast were the only people on earth who called Bob, Bobby. Whenever we talked about her, she used to talk about how much she loves our Bobby.
Wells starred as the unreleased “Good Girl”, trapped on an island with six other actors. “Gilligan’s Island” ran from 1964 to 1967 – three seasons.
“There’s a lot more to Don Wells” than the “Gillig’s Island” character that brought his fame, his representative said in a statement.
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“Before Gilligan’s Island,” Wales had several shows including “77 Sunset Strip,” “Maverick” and “Bonanza”. Throughout his career, he starred in over 150 shows and seven motion pictures such as “Winterhawk,” “The Town That Dreaded Sundown” and “Super Sucker”. She has also appeared in more than 60 theatrical productions.
In 2014, Wells released the comic memoir “What Will You Do Mary Ann?” Published. Most recently, Wells starred in the 2017 web series “Life Interrupted”, where she reviewed fellow TV icon Alison Erngrim’s mother.
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Outside her life, she was a teacher and motivational speaker, her publicist said.
Following the news of Wells’ passing, his “Gilligan’s Island” co-star Tina Lewis spoke. Lewis, 86, is the original artist yet remaining. Lewis portrayed Glitzy Ginger Grant.
Lewis said, “I will always remember his kindness.” “We shared in creating a cultural landmark that continues to provide people with comfort and a smile during this difficult time. I hope people remember her the way I do – always with a smile on her face.”
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“Gilligan’s Island” is displayed worldwide in more than 30 languages. In addition to Lewis, Wells and Denver, it appeared as Alan Hale Jr.; Jim Backus and Natalie Sheaffer as Thurston and Lavi Howell as wealthy travelers, and Russell Johnson as professor.