On Oprah: Where Are They Now? Oprah Winfrey visits actress Dawn Wells. Wells, who was named 1959 Miss Nevada and competed in the 1960 Miss America pageant, is best known for her role as Mary Ann on the popular 1960s sitcom Gilligan’s Island. Mary Ann was the wholesome girl-next-door character. Now 77 years old, Wells tells Oprah about her audition for the part.
Wells says after meeting the producer Sherwood Schwartz, her agent got a call and said Wells was “too smart to play Mary Ann.” Wells says, “My agent said, ‘she can act dumb.’ And I said, ‘Mary Ann’s not dumb.’” Wells explained Mary Ann might be native – she doesn’t have a lot of experience, but she’s not dumb.” Oprah: Where Are They Now? airs Saturdays at 10pm on OWN.