Born in Reno, Nevada in 1938, Wells got her start at the Miss America 1960 pageant before transitioning to Hollywood. Her debut role came in ABC series The Roaring 20’s in 1961, and she subsequently booked roles in prominent series such as Maverick, Wagon Train, and 77 Sunset Strip.
In 1964, Wells landed the role of a lifetime in Gilligan’s Island, in which she played Kansas farm girl Mary Ann Summers. The actress appeared in all 98 episodes of the beloved sitcom, and after the series ended in 1967, she reprised her role in various reunion specials and a cartoon spinoff. Wells also appeared in three Gilligan’s Island reunion movies, Rescue from Gilligan’s Island, The Castaways on Gilligan’s Island, and The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan’s Island.
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