Dawn Wells, the 81-year-old star of the classic TV sitcom Gilligan’s Island, is reportedly suffering from dementia.
The dementia diagnosis comes amid the news that the actress, who played pretty castaway Mary Ann Summers on the iconic Sherwood Schwartz sitcom, has been dealing with harassment from an obsessed fan. In court documents filed by her manager, it was revealed that the actress is suffering from the memory disorder, TMZ reported.
Legal documents filed by Wells’ manager, Leonard Carter, stated that a man named Frank Bennett has been bombarding the actress with phone calls and letters. Carter claimed that Wells is suffering from “great mental angst” from the “artful manipulator” who has allegedly been poaching her for her personal information.
The court documents also state that Bennett has repeatedly professed his love for the TV and stage star despite the fact that she has turned down his advances. The Ohio man has also turned up at the Los Angeles area assisted living facility where Wells resides, but a judge has now granted a restraining order that will bar him from coming within 100 yards of her.
Fans know that Wells has been residing in an assisted living facility for the past two years. In 2018, supporters rallied behind Wells to help raise funds for her support after the former TV star found herself in substantial debt after several medical emergencies. It was reported that Wells wanted to move to an assisted living facility that was geared towards helping those in the film and TV industry, but that she was denied due to her massive debt, per Page Six.
At the time, Wells she “didn’t know” how she found herself in such a dire situation after her long and successful career.
“I thought I was taking all the proper steps to ensure my golden years,” the Gilligan’s Island beauty said at the time.
“Now, here I am, no family, no husband, no kids, and no money.”
Despite her now-revealed dementia diagnosis, Wells continues to keep herself busy by doing things that she loves, and she continues to attend fan events. In March, she told the Palm Beach Post that she enjoys fly fishing, oil painting, ice skating, cooking, and traveling — and that she still does “at least one play a year.”
Wells and her co-star Tina Louise are the only two living cast members from Gilligan’s Island. The series aired from 1964 to 1967 on CBS and also starred Bob Denver, Alan Hale Jr., Jim Backus, Russell Johnson, and Natalie Schaffer.