I grew up watching Gilligan's Island every day after school. One of the favorite characters on that show was Mary Ann played by actress Dawn Wells. If you were one of Mary Ann's fans, you should say thank you to Missouri and I'll explain why.

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As IMDb documents, Dawn Wells was born October 18, 1938 in Reno, Nevada. She eventually decided she wanted to be an actress and got her big break in 1964 when she was cast as Mary Ann Summers on Gilligan's Island. It would become one of the biggest hits on television and aired through 1968.

So why is Missouri being thanked for Mary Ann on Gilligan's Island?

As shared by the Columbia Missourian, Dawn Wells attended Stephens College for 2 years and said it was her time there that directly led to her being cast as Mary Ann on Gilligan's Island. They also documented Dawn's return to Stephen's College in Columbia back in 2013 when she was celebrating the 50th anniversary of the show.

Even decades after Gilligan's Island ended its run on TV, Dawn Wells never forgot her ties to Stephens College and Missouri as a whole.

We would sadly lose Dawn Wells on December 30, 2020.

Thanks to syndication and the availability of Gilligan's Island through streaming services like Tubi, Dawn's work as Mary Ann will always be with us. If you were a fan like many were, you can thank Missouri and Stephens College in particular as both played a huge part in her becoming an iconic part of Gilligan's Island.

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