Like rest of us, celebrities aren’t immune to falling on hard times. Decades after starring as Mary Ann on Gilligan’s Island, Dawn Wells found herself having trouble making her financial ends meet. Wells explained in a post on her personal Facebook account saying, “In a recent conversation with [a friend] I remarked, ‘Where did the time go?’ I don’t know how this happened. I thought I was taking all the proper steps to ensure my golden years. Now, here I am, no family, no husband, no kids, and no money.”
The actress was already struggling when she suffered another financial setback after an accident landed her in the hospital for two months. Her friend Dugg Kirkpatrick described her medical treatment as including a “life-threatening surgery which came close to killing her.” It’s a shockingly bleak contrast to the bubbly, pig-tailed character we all know from the beloved 60s sitcom. Kirkpatrick wanted to do whatever he could to help, so he set up a GoFundMe page for fans to donate as much as they could. The goal is to raise $180,000 in order to get Wells out of debt and, in just 10 days, the account has already gathered an impressive $137,000.
After such an overwhelming response, Kirkpatrick updated fans, saying Wells is “humbled and flattered” by their kindness. He also revealed that they have already found a “fab” retirement home for the 79-year-old actress in California. Wells shared her gratitude in a statement of her own, thanking both Kirkpatrick and those who are donating their money: “I’m grateful that God has given me so many friends and fans who care, or it would all be too overwhelming. I am grateful to any of my fans who are willing to offer support.” Wells ended her message by adding, “However, please know that my outlook is positive and I look forward to seeing you all in my travels.”
It’s amazing to see how much fans still love the former sitcom star after all these years. Here’s hoping she won’t have reach out for help like this again any time soon, but we’re so glad to know she’s getting a fresh start.