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 Mary Ann Summers was a fictional Winfield, Kansasmarker farm girl who is a character in the television sitcom Gilligan's Island which ran on the CBS network from 1964 to 1967, and has run more or less continuously since in reruns.


Role

Mary Ann was portrayed by actress Dawn Wells. She was an ingenue and a foil, as well as a friend, to glamorous Hollywoodmarker star Ginger Grant, played by Tina Louise. She is apparently regarded with some desire by both the title character Gilligan (Bob Denver) and The Professor (Russell Johnson), but this is never allowed to develop into anything beyond mild flirtation. In addition, her practical domestic skills make her an indispensable member of the group.

She was traveling alone on the "three-hour tour" that was lost at sea, and was in her late teens to early twenties -- an age which she pigeon-holes in the episode "V for Vitamins" when she says, "Women and children first, so I get two votes."

As with the rest of the cast, not much was ever learned about her life prior to being marooned on the island, but she mentioned having dated a boy named Horace Higgenbotham from Horners Corners, Kansas.

In popular culture

The question "Ginger or Mary Ann?" is regarded to be a classic pop-psychological question when given to Americanmarker men of a certain age as an insight into their characters, or at least their desires as regarding certain female stereotypes. Typically, men who choose Ginger prefer more superficial qualities in women, such as looks, whereas those who choose Mary Ann prefer a more stereotypical "girl next door."

Pop-punk band Squirtgun released a love song about the character in 1996, titled "Mary Ann" on an EP of the same name. Dawn Wells appears in the music video for the song.


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