Mary Ann Summers

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Mary Ann Summers
Gilligan's Island character
Dawn Wells Gilligan's Island 1964.jpg
First appearance "Two on a Raft"
Last appearance The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island
Created by Sherwood Schwartz
Portrayed by Dawn Wells
Gender Female
Occupation Farm girl
Relatives Aunt Martha
Uncle George

Mary Ann Summers is a fictional character in the television sitcom Gilligan's Island which ran on the CBS network from 1964 to 1967, and has run more or less continuously since in reruns.

Character summary[edit]

Mary Ann was portrayed by actress Dawn Wells. She was an ingénue, a foil, the typical girl-next-door, as well as a friend to glamorous Hollywood star Ginger Grant, played by Tina Louise. In addition, her practical domestic skills and plain, good common sense make her an indispensable member of the group. She is a Winfield, Kansas farm girl, a reference to Dorothy Gale as played by Judy Garland in the 1939 classic movie The Wizard of Oz (occasionally wearing Dorothy's ubiquitous pigtails and a gingham dress).

She was traveling alone on the "three-hour tour" that was lost at sea, and was in her late teens to early twenties—an age which she pinpoints in the Season 2, Episode 30 "V for Vitamins" when she says, "Women and children first, so I get two votes." She tells the others in Season 2, Episode 18, "The Postman Cometh," that she has a boyfriend named Horace Higgenbotham from Horners Corners, Kansas, so they will think she has someone special waiting for her, but confesses later that he's "a real creep" and not her boyfriend at all. In Rescue from Gilligan's Island it is revealed that she is actually engaged and that her fiance waited fifteen years for her but it turns out that when she was finally rescued they no longer loved each other and he married her best friend instead.

Mary Ann mentions her mother and father in passing only very briefly such as her father going bankrupt before the shipwreck due to a dishonest business partner, but references her Aunt Martha and Uncle George multiple times, leading some to believe that she lived with them and that her parents may be deceased, another connection to The Wizard of Oz. Although, her parents seem to be alive in Rescue from Gilligan's Island.

In the series' broadcast pilot, "Two on a Raft," the Honolulu-based AM radio news reader only states that "the attractive brunette" is "employed at the Winfield General Store."

In Ginger or Mary Ann?[edit]

In a debate to which girl was more attractive out of Ginger and Mary Ann, Mary Ann has continuously outpolled Ginger. Mary Ann's wholesome girl-next-door looks caused her to be more favorable to being a man's dream wife and women's model of themselves. Since the show's debut, Mary Ann has been known as the show's most popular character. Bob Denver (aka Gilligan) admitted he was a Mary Ann man and that Dawn Wells got at least 3–5,000 fan letters a week. Mary Ann's creator Sherwood Schwartz later admitted that he did not see Mary Ann or the Professor as prominent characters during the first few episodes but he later corrected his mistake by giving them larger roles and adding them to the show's opening, at the request of Bob Denver.