A recent article in The National Enquirer declared that Dawn was broke and homeless. Statements such as "The "Gilligan's Island" star is struggling to stay afloat" have confused anyone who knows Ms. Wells. It is a truly odd statement considering she has been active in numerous recent stage productions including Love Letters, Steel Magnolias and off Broadway in Love, Loss & What I Wore.  She has been seen regularly as a spokes woman on the MeTV network, which is re-airing "Gilligan's Island." Last year, Dawn received the Elephant Sanctuary Trumpeting Award for her efforts to support The Elephant Sanctuary, founded in 1995 and is the nation's largest natural habitat refuge developed specifically for African and Asian elephants.

There is so much more to Dawn Wells than Mary Ann of GILLIGAN'S ISLAND (the longest running sitcom still showing worldwide in over 30 languages!) A native of Reno, Ms. Wells represented Nevada in the Miss America pageant in 1959. She found success in Hollywood immediately afterward, appearing in such shows as 77 Sunset Strip, Maverick, Bonanza, and Hawaiian Eye. She was later cast in the role of a lifetime as Mary Ann in Gilligan’s Island, beating out 350 other actresses, including Raquel Welch. She's an actress, producer, author, spokesperson, journalist, motivational speaker, teacher, and humanitarian. She has starred in over 150 tv shows, and 7 motion pictures, and has starred in 60+ theatrical productions across the country and on The Great White Way.

here for book jacket)

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the unexpected hit series "Gilligan's Island." Dawn Wells (who portrayed the lovable farm girl next door, Mary Ann Sommers), released "A Guide To Life: What Would Mary Ann Do?" through Taylor Trade Publishing and Rowman and Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc.

Dawn wrote about the meaning of the Mary Ann character and observes the cultural shifts that have occurred since she was on the island. From the get-go, the Mary Ann character was different. She wasn't a Hollywood creation. She was molded by Dawn, from Dawn. The Character that was originally listed as "And the rest" on the credits became the fan favorite, garnering more fan mail that even the title character. With over 100,000 fans on her FaceBook page and fan clubs across the U.S., her following has remained faithful.

Dawn says that Mary Ann fits today just as she fit two generations ago, because she is timeless. In a world where the industry and society has been celebrating their "Bad girls," Mary Ann continues to be, for many, the breathe of fresh air as the “Good Girl.”

Pop culture is too powerful and too pervasive to be controlled by parents, siblings or colleagues. It can be confused with reality. This leaves young people in a vulnerable position - they have to make decisions that are normally beyond their maturity. Dawn discusses decisions we make in life and even goes straight to the BIG DECISION and delivers her concept of the meaning of sex.

In a world of participation trophies, easy praise, and entitlement attitudes, how do you define achievement? Dawn describes it as a journey of failure and learning and tenacity that requires a constant personal re-examination of what success really means.

Sample topics:

  • Regarding men? She loves them! "I don't think of men as the enemy," says Dawn. "You have to learn to talk to and with men. Enough with the gripes about how he doesn't listen! Maybe you should try saying it in a listenable way. If you have a target and you miss every time you throw something at it, you need to work on your throw, not the target." Adding, "If you look for handsome, you'll find it, but that might be all you find."
  • Manners? Although she lists some Do's and Don'ts, an says that "Manners aren't silk stockings and lifted pinkies. It's about being selfless. Etiquette is not political correctness…and vice versa. In fact, Manners and etiquette are nothing more than self-censorship."
  • Optimism for Dawn is a way of life, and this chapter is a prescription for optimism for the reader. Dawn uses a powerful personal story of a close friend - his lifelong, steadfast dedication to overcoming a handicap - to bring her attitudes about optimism to life. "Your optimism, or lack of it, shows. Your little brain and your Big Brain are both optimists. There's a difference. One is a wishing brain. The other is a working brain."
  • Fame and Gossip? Dawn discusses the subjects, with cautionary advice about both. "The wrong people are famous today. Fame without accomplishment is empty," suggests Dawn. Adding, "The only upside about being the target of gossip is that it means you are the interesting one. Although, I can't imagine a daily routine, a daily pastime, that depends upon what other people do."
  • The allure of being alluring: Dawn offers useful and down-to-earth tips on developing a personal style along with heartfelt advice about what beauty really is. "Good makeup lets the real you shine through. Remember, what is trendy is very different from what is fashionable and there are some things that should never, ever come near spandex.
  • Family & Friendship: Dawn explores the meaning of friends and family using her own life and her TV life with the Gilligan's Island castaways as models. "First of all, your mother is not always wrong and the very essence of stupid is experience without learning. If you are in a room and everybody in the room is in total agreement with you, you are probably in the wrong room."
  • They call it The Work Ethic, NOT The Work Theory: Dawn shares her views on the joy of working by asking the reader to imagine herself as a business and then applying the business principles that lead to success to herself. "Lets just say that you are the president, chief executive officer, chief financial officer, maintenance department, advertising director, production department and chief cook and bottle washer at Myself, Inc.
  • Show Business: Dawn pulls back the curtain and talks about breaking into show business. She stories and offers tips to novices and then delves into the Gilligan's Island work week as an example. "The reason they call it show business is because it is a business. If you want to be in the business, treat it like a business."
  • Aging: Most people loathe aging. Dating at any age. Getting married. Getting remarried. "Age is a pre-existing condition, I don't think you can live every minute when you are young.
  • Thats a wrap: Dawn ends the book with a discussion about self-renewal. It's an uplifting message of optimism and opportunity. She wraps it up by imagining what Mary Ann would be today after coming off the island. "Without gratitude, you can't stand in awe of the gift of life. Without gratitude, you can't marvel at the world, the universe that surrounds you. Without gratitude, you might start believing those blessings you count are created by . . . you. Oh, what a mistake."
  • In addition, the Photo Album: Pages of rarely seen shots from Dawn's personal life, from her long entertainment career, and from the set of Gilligan's Island are included throughout the book.

Official Website and Facebook (direct all fan / autograph requests here)



If you would like to receive an advance copy of the book or to speak with Ms. Wells, or you require high res photos and updated biography please send an email to harlan@bhbpr.com or call 626.296.3757