Dawn Elberta Wells was born on October 18, 1938 in Reno, Nevada. Her childhood was a happy and healthy one. She and her mother grew their own fruits and vegetables in their gardens and Dawn rode horses. In her high school years, she was the class treasurer, President of the debate team and an honor rolls student. She was Miss Nevada in 1959 and went on to the Miss America Pageant. Dawn originally wanted to be a doctor, so she enrolled in the elite Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri to study medicine, but then she discovered the Drama Club. She then transferred to the University of Washington, which was known for their Theatre Department, and she graduated with a Degree in Theatre.
Dawn moved to Hollywood and got the role of Mary Ann Summers on CBS's Gilligan's Island (1964). The rest is history. However, there was much more to Dawn than her simple Mary Ann character. Wells refused to be an unemployed actor after the show ended and has never been out of work since the show aired 40 years ago. She has performed in over 66 theatrical productions, including the National Touring Company of They're Playing Our Song! She has done countless voice-overs, commercials and talk shows. She worked for the Australian news show Midday and interviewed such talents as Julia Roberts, Eddie Murphy and Tom Hanks, to name a few. Dawn has also had great success as a producer and has a number of television movies to her credit. She had a new project in the works for release in 2005.
After years of touring and performing in dramas, comedies, and musical theatre, Dawn finally slowed down a bit. In 1998, she founded the Dawn Wells' Film Actors Boot Camp in Driggs, Idaho. The camp is for the already trained actor looking to make the transition from the amateur to the professional actor. In early 2004, Dawn established and founded The Spud Film Institute in Idaho and Wyoming and will hold the first ever Spud Drive in Film and Music Festival in the summer of 2004. She is also the artistic director of the festival. If that is not enough, Ms. Wells also has her own clothing line for the physically challenged called "Wishing Wells Collections" and she recently launched her own skin care line, Classic Beauty.
Dawn Wells continues to contribute to the business she loves so much and constantly gives back to the acting community. She mentors young actors and travels to colleges all across the United States to teach Master Classes. She has served as Artist in Residence at several Universities. Dawn is in constant demand for personal appearances and speaking engagements, yet she never forgets to give back to the Artistic community. She will surely be remembered for all her good work. You can get information about all of Dawn's organizations at her website, www.dawn-wells.com.