Dawn Wells, who was best known for playing Mary Ann on the iconic television show “Gilligan’s Island,” has passed away at 82.

Her publicist confirmed to CBS Local that Wells died on Wednesday morning of causes related to COVID-19.

“Truly, at the top of the list of hardest things to do is announce the passing of a friend or family member,” publicist Harlan Boll said. “I feel I lost both this morning with the passing of Dawn Wells – America’s favorite castaway, Dawn Wells, passed peacefully this morning, in no pain as a result of complications due to Covid at the age of 82.”

No further details are available about her death at this time.

Born in Reno, Wells competed as Miss Nevada in the 1959 Miss America pageant. She was cast in “Gilligan’s Island” as Mary Ann in 1964, beating out over 350 other actresses to snag the role, including the famous Raquel Welch.

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Wells would become a household name through “Gilligan’s Island,” which only ran for three seasons but has been on air showing reruns ever since. To this day, it is screened all over the globe in over thirty languages.

With the passing of Wells, the last surviving “Gilligan’s Island” cast member is Tina Louise, who played the “movie star” Ginger Grant.

Just one month ago, Wells gave an interview in which she talked about what she is grateful for in 2020, despite all of the challenges the world has faced this year.

“At a time when it feels like everything is bad news, the good still outweighs the bad,” Wells told Fox News. “So even in tough times, we can and should be grateful for everything around us. I wake up and I am grateful to have another day. I am grateful to feel a seasonal cool morning through my patio door.  I am grateful for those who take the time to say ‘hi’ if to simply show that you matter.”

Wells went on to say that after such a trying year, she was more grateful than ever to be an American.

“I am grateful and proud to be an American,” said Wells. “When I see Americans go into action to heal, serve and protect, or to lend a hand to a neighbor or community, it makes me proud to be living in America. I don’t want people to be disillusioned by the petty infighting that seems to dominate news cycles.”

“America is great,” she added. “You may fight or disagree with your mother, but you will always love her and do what you can for her.  And so we should for each other.  This is the country I love. This is my home. I am thankful.”

This piece originally appeared in UpliftingToday.com and is used by permission.

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