Dawn Elberta Wells (born October 18, 1938 in Reno, Nevada) is an American actress, best known for her television work in the 1960s, particularly her role as Mary Ann Summers on the sitcom Gilligan's Island, which first ran on CBS from 1964-67. Wells attended Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, where she majored in chemistry. She later transferred to the University of Washington in Seattle, where she graduated in 1960 with a degree in theatre. She was a member of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority.
In 1959, Wells was crowned Miss Nevada and represented her state in the 1960 Miss America pageant. After moving to Hollywood, she began appearing in guest roles in such television series as 77 Sunset Strip, Maverick and Bonanza before winning the role of Mary Ann. Her website.