Dawn Wells, "Gilligan's Island's Mary Ann," Talks Show Salaries--She Made Less Than Ginger

Kimberly RipleyLife

Share this Post

Dawn Wells isn't--nor was she ever--rich from her role as Mary Ann on the beloved TV show Gilligan's Island. In a recent interview with Forbes, the 77-year-old talked about her time on the show, on which seven castaways were stranded on a deserted island, after their ship--the S.S. Minnow--was lost in a storm. Each episode saw the castaways--including Dawn Wells--trying to find their way off the island.

When asked to describe one big myth about Gilligan's Island, Dawn Wells said the biggest is money related.

"A misconception is that we must be wealthy, rolling in the dough, because we got residuals," she explained. "We didn’t really get a dime. I think my salary--of course, I was low on the totem pole, Ginger [Tina Louise] and Thurston [Jim Backus] got more--was $750 a week. Sherwood Schwartz, our producer, reportedly made $90 million on the reruns alone!"

Even though Gilligan's Island ran from 1964 to 1967--more than four decades ago--the salary Dawn Wells received wasn't much.

She went on to explain, however, that it wasn't necessarily all about the money.

"The series was very good for me, for all of us who were there, because we’re known worldwide. And Mary Ann is loved all over the world. It’s amazing," she said.

A pop-culture question that has haunted (amused?) Gilligan's Island fans for decades has yet to be answered. Dawn Wells doesn't answer it here either.

Mary Ann and Ginger? Or Ginger and Mary Ann?

Were you a Gilligan's Island fan? Who was your favorite of the two single ladies on the island--Mary Ann or Ginger?

More importantly--can you believe Dawn Wells is 77?

Kimberly Ripley
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.