Daybreak Wells, the real-life Mary Ann Summers of “Gilligan’s Island,” was simply as sunny and down-to-earth off-screen as she was on-screen, her co-star Tina Louise, the present’s solely surviving forged member, advised The Submit Wednesday.
Louise, who performed the indelible flame-haired Ginger Grant on the CBS present, spoke fondly of Wells, who died at age 82 Wednesday in Los Angeles after battling COVID-19.
“I’m very unhappy,” mentioned Louise, who infamously declined to look in revivals and reboots or focus on the present over the a long time because it led to 1967.
“Daybreak was a really great individual. I need individuals to recollect her as somebody who at all times had a smile on her face,” mentioned Louise, who lives on Manhattan’s East Facet. “Nothing is extra necessary than household and she or he was household. She’s going to at all times be remembered.”
Louise, a permanent magnificence who requested that The Submit not point out her age, was shocked to listen to about her buddy’s loss of life throughout a cellphone name from a Hollywood buddy. “No person needs to get that type of information — particularly that method, with this horrible illness,” she mentioned, including that the health-conscious actress is doing her half to fortify herself. “I’m doing my train and having a vegetarian lunch at this time,” she mentioned, including somberly, “The whole lot’s difficult now.”
The beloved present, which ran for 3 seasons from 1964 till 1967, and adopted a shipwrecked group of stranded strangers residing on an island, is as enduring as ever — particularly throughout the lockdown, when new generations found its endearing charms.
“We had been a part of the great present that everybody loves and has been an important supply of consolation, particularly throughout these instances,” mentioned Louise.
Whereas she notoriously declined to look within the 1978 TV film “Rescue from Gilligan’s Island,” 2001’s “Surviving Gilligan’s Island” and varied different revivals, she bristles at longtime rumors that she resented the position and present.
“By no means true — I beloved doing my half, particularly after they actually began writing for my character, initially billed as a ‘Marilyn Monroe’ kind of character,” Louise advised The Submit. “A unique director took over and actually began to write down for my character,” she added, admitting she initially considered quitting. “I actually beloved my character.”
She additionally waved off any comparisons between the beloved girl-next-door Mary Ann and her less-inhibited film star roommate, Ginger. “There’s a personality for each individual. Everybody can establish with a special individual,” she mentioned, noting the tight-knit kinship of the seamless forged. “We had been at all times a household. She had huge followers.”
Whereas she mentioned “Daybreak was great in her half,” she even had particular moments along with her late co-star, recalling her favourite reminiscence when she was invited to Wells’ home circa 1966.
“I had simply gotten married and it was Thanksgiving. I didn’t know tips on how to cook dinner notably. She invited me to her home along with her mother,” mentioned Louise, who realized tips on how to make a potato soufflé recipe that turned a vacation custom. “It turned one thing I did yearly at Thanksgiving,” she mentioned. “I by no means forgot that.”
Louise, who went on to star in “The Stepford Wives,” “The Love Boat” and “Dallas,” mentioned she’s grateful for the outpouring from “Gilligan’s Island” followers these previous a number of months. “We introduced numerous pleasure to individuals and nonetheless do. This present is an escape from so many issues happening,” she mentioned. “Fathers share it with their kids now. I get letters on a regular basis about that.”
Wells, who guest-starred on in style reveals together with “Bonanza” and “Maverick,” would at all times be indelibly linked to her lovable “Gilligan’s Island” character, mentioned Louise. “She ought to at all times be remembered with a smile on her face — she was an individual filled with pleasure, and shared her pleasure with everybody.”
Whereas it had been some time for the reason that two had spoken, Louise mentioned Wells is etched in her coronary heart and followers nonetheless write to inform her they purchased the sequence field set for his or her kids.
“The present will stay without end — and so will she. We’re going to recollect her with a smile.”