‘Gilligan’s Island’ Star Dawn Wells Almost Wasn’t Cast As Mary Ann Because She Was ‘Too Smart’

by Gwendolyn Plummer
Gwen is a writer, reader, hockey fan, concert goer, and lunchtime enthusiast.

There were lots of things that made Gilligan’s Island great, and the cast is definitely one of them.

The show wouldn’t have been the same without any of the characters, but Dawn Wells, who played Mary Ann, admitted that the show’s producers almost didn’t even let her audition.

When Dawn went out for the role of Mary Ann, she first met with producer Sherwood Schwartz. As she was getting ready to test for the role, her agent called Sherwood and asked what he thought of Dawn. He answered, “I think she’s too smart to play Mary Ann.”

While Dawn’s agent tried to convince Sherwood that she could “act dumb,” it was Dawn herself who saved the audition. She said, “Mary Ann’s not dumb. She’s not experienced, she’s kind of naive, but she’s not dumb.”

Thanks to Dawn’s insistence, her agent was able to talk Sherwood into allowing her to audition for Mary Ann. I can barely imagine what Gilligan’s Island would have been like without Dawn as Mary Ann!

Dawn also revealed that no one ever expected Gilligan’s Island to do so well. In fact, Sherwood didn’t even think the show would get a second season, or ever end up in color.

Thankfully, CBS took a chance on the show, and it became an instant classic.

Check out the video below to hear more from Dawn about her time on Gilligan’s Island, and please SHARE this story on Facebook!

Thumbnail Photos: OWN — Where Are They Now? // Facebook / Gilligan’s Island

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