Gilligan’s Island fans have banded together to help much-loved actress Dawn Wells get back on her feet after losing almost everything during the global financial crisis.
The star, who is best known for her role of Mary Ann Summers in the hit American sitcom, has gratefully accepted over US$200,000 (AU$282,111) raised through a GoFundMe page to help cover hospital bills and other financial woes.
Adoring fans quickly rushed to help after seeing a GoFundMe page, which was set up by Dawn’s friend Dugg Kirkpatrick in August. According to Dugg, Dawn needed all the help she could get with bills quickly piling up.&
“My dearest friend and YOUR favorite castaway, Dawn Wells (Mary Ann from ‘Gillian’s [sic] Island’) needs YOU!” the post read.
“Dawn was a victim of an unexpected accident that required hospitalization for two months and a very long time to rest and heal.”
Dugg explained Dawn is living one of greatest fears, an uncertain future. He added: “Should any of you out there wish to contribute a small some to help a woman who gave so many people Joy over the years, it would be so appreciated. God Bless.”
Over 5,000 people kindly donated funds to the cause, exceeding the initial target of $194,000, less than a month after the post was shared.
Dugg updated fans of the success, and expressed his thanks for their generosity. “Today, September 13, marks the day that Leonard Carter will be able to withdraw funds on Dawn’s behalf! YAY!” he wrote.
As well as donating funds, many also left touching messages for the star and their memories of the iconic Gilligan’s Island. The show was watched by thousands, if not millions across the world throughout the 1960s. People were brought to tears of laughter as they followed the story of seven people who were left stranded on an island together.
“Thank you Dawn Wells ‘Mary Ann’ for the great memories you have given our family! We wish you good health, financial health, and happiness,” one person commented.
“Dawn always seemed very nice on screen and off. I hope this helps her,” another wrote.
While a third added: “Always my favorite castaway.”