'Gilligan's Island' Star Dawn Wells' Last Will and Testament Revealed

Dawn Wells, the late actress who played the girl-next-door castaway Mary Ann on the CBS comedy series Gilligan's Island, left all of her personal belongings to family and friends. More than nine months after Wells died in December of causes related to COVID-19, her last will and testament were revealed, showing how the actress requested her personal items be split following her passing.

Wells' final wishes were revealed in legal documents obtained by The Blast and published on Monday, Oct. 4. Dated January 28, 2015, and filed with the court on an unspecified date to probate the case and ensure the actress's final wishes were completed, Wells requested in the will that in the case of her death, her "wishes are here in this document to be carried out by my Executors." The will added the request that Wells' belongings "be divided and by a list provided by heirs request and supervised by my Executors. I am requesting same heirs are to be decided by Executors." The document went on to specify how Wells wished her personal items be divided. Noting that she had "no property or monetary estate" and "no children or spouse," the document requested that what belongings she did have be divided amongst Wells' remaining family and friends.

"I have requested via email, from friends and family to state what possessions of mine they would like to have. If two or more request the same item, my Executors will decide," Wells continued in the document. "List to be provided of potential heirs (friends and family) to receive what has been designated. The Executors will divide as stated."

Wells, who died in December 2020 at the age of 82, also laid out plans for her funeral and burial in the document, which read in part that her "funeral and burial expenses will be provided by my Unions; Screen Actors Guild. AFTRA, Actors' Equity Association, and Social Security." Wells said she would "be buried in Mountain View Cemetery" in Reno, Nevada and the plot and headstone were "already purchased and in place."


Born in Reno in 1938, Wells, who was Miss Nevada in the 1959 Miss America pageant, was best known for her portrayal of Mary Ann on Gilligan's Island. She beat out 350 actresses to land the role, which she held for the show's entire run from 1964 until 1967. At the time of her passing, she was one of two surviving members of the original Gilligan's Island cast, with her former co-star Tina Louise saying in a statement at the time, "I will always remember her kindness to me. We shared in creating a cultural landmark that has continued to bring comfort and smiles to people during this difficult time. I hope that people will remember her the way that I do — always with a smile on her face." In addition to Gilligan's Island, Wells also appeared in Bonanza, Alf, Rosanne, Baywatch and many others, including several Gilligan's Island TV movies such as Rescue from Gilligan's Island, The Castaways on Gilligan's Island and The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island.