Immortalized in American popular culture as the epitome of small town wholesomeness after playing shipwrecked farm girl Mary Ann Summers for three years on the popular sitcom "Gilligan's Island" (CBS, 1964-1967), Dawn Wells was an entertainment industry lifer who continued to work for 50 years. The great-granddaughter of an old West stagecoach driver and first-born child of a Las Vegas real estate mogul, Wells ditched her pre-med studies at Missouri's Stevens College when she discovered the campus drama department. While obtaining a theatre degree at the University of Washington in Seattle, Wells won the 1959 Miss Nevada competition. Denied the Miss America crown in 1960, the diminutive but determined Hollywood hopeful headed west, securing paying work in less than two months. A cultural icon by the age of 30, Wells returned to the role of her lifetime 10 years after the cancellation of "Gilligan's Island" for a run of made-for-TV reunion movies. A vivacious entrepreneur, spokesperson, acting coach, film festival founder and philanthropist, not even a 2007 arrest for marijuana possession could tarnish Dawn Wells' enduring reputation as the ultimate girl next door.