‘Gilligan's Island’ star Tina Louise pays tribute to Dawn Wells

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Tina Louise is speaking out following the death of her "Gilligan’s Island" co-star Dawn Wells.

Louise, 86, the only remaining original cast member who is still living, said in a statement after the news of Wells death on Wednesday that she was "sad to learn of Dawn’s passing."

"I will always remember her kindness to me, Louise said. "We shared in creating a cultural landmark that has continued to bring comfort and smiles to people during this difficult time. I hope that people will remember her the way that I do – always with a smile on her face."

Wells, who starred as the unapologetic "good girl" Mary Ann Summers, died in Los Angeles from complications related to COVID-19on Wednesday morning, according to her publicist. 

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Louise portrayed the glitzy Ginger Grant alongside Wells in the iconic TV series which aired from 1964 until 1967 and in which Bob Denver played the title character. 

Dawn Wells and Tina Louise appear in ‘Gilligan’s Island’ in 1966. Wells died on Wednesday due to complications from the coronavirus, her publicist told Fox News.

Louise said in a 2019 interview with Closer Weekly that she adored how the sitcom "represented this great escape" in the wake of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the tragic assassination of President John F. Kennedy and in the midst of an escalating Vietnam War.

"When we first aired, our country was in turmoil," Louise reflected, adding, "I think people really needed an escape. Then we lost our beloved Martin Luther King and in a time of uncertainty, ‘Gilligan’s Island represented this great escape."

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Tina Louise, right, and Dawn Wells co-starred on ‘Gilligan’s Island.’
(Photo by SGranitz/WireImage via Getty Images)

"This sweet, silly show provided its fans with calm and joy in a frightening time and has continued to do so," Louise continued.

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"Well done television transports people into a fantasy and no matter what turmoil exists in the world, ‘Gilligan’s Island’ has provided that escape in an enduring way. Considering the state of everything these days, we should all be happy it’s still in reruns!"

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"Gilligan’s Island" continues to be screened across the world in more than 30 languages. In addition to Louise, Wells and Denver, it featured Alan Hale Jr. as the Skipper; Jim Backus and Natalie Schafer as wealthy passengers Thurston and Lovey Howell, and Russell Johnson as the Professor.

Fox News’ Stephanie Nolasco and Melissa Roberto and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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