Mary Ann and Ginger were the two most popular female characters from the 1960s sitcom Gilligan’s Island. The show ran from 1964 to 1967, but it is still popular even today. Even though the show ended decades ago, Gilligan’s Island is still airing reruns on some television channels. The show is filled with nostalgia for many, and it’s the kind of timeless entertainment that even children today can easily enjoy!
While the show mostly focuses on the wild antics of the main character, Gilligan, every character in the ensemble cast is endearing and fun to watch. Still, there is a decades-long debate between the characters Mary Ann and Ginger. Both of these characters are charming in their own ways, but there’s no denying how wildly different they are from each other.
In today’s video, we’re going to end the decades-long debate between Ginger and Mary Ann once and for all. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, of course, but we strongly believe that Mary Ann is simply the better choice. And if you agree, be sure to check out our custom Mary Ann shirts below this video!
And make sure you stick around until the end of this video, where we’ll show you just how much support the actor for Mary Ann received from her fans after she was struck by tragedy.
Facts Verse Presents: Why We Love Mary Ann More Than Ginger (Gilligan’s Island)
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Mary Ann and Ginger Were Completely Different
Many popular sitcoms capitalize on the chemistry of an ensemble cast. Gilligan’s Island was ingenious because it took that idea to the extreme. The premise of the show is that seven wildly different characters ended up on a boat tour together across the ocean. However, nobody was expecting it to crash into a distant island after a wild storm!
This left all seven castaways marooned on an island together. Throughout the show, they had to learn to get along despite their extreme personalities.
The biggest character difference, however, can be found between Mary Ann and Ginger. Mary Ann is an innocent farm girl from Kansas. Her signature pigtails and modest outfits evoke images of the humble girl-next-door.
Meanwhile, Ginger is all about the glitz and glam. This Hollywood starlet knows her worth, and she isn’t afraid to swing her hips around to get what she wants.
These two characters were written as foils; characters who are meant to highlight each other’s opposing traits. In other words, they could not be more different from each other. In every episode, we get to see yet again just how opposite these two characters are from each other.
Perhaps this is why there is so much debate between the two. The arguments tend to become polarized as different fans take extreme opinions on who they prefer: Mary Ann or Ginger?
If you still haven’t decided who you prefer yet, don’t worry! We’re going to do our best to show you why Mary Ann deserves all the love.
Mary Ann is More Practical
Sure, Ginger is a fun character. After all, who wouldn’t want to become friends with a Hollywood star? However, the circumstances in which you would want to meet that Hollywood star are very important. A high-maintenance diva is the last person you would want to be marooned on an island with.
Mary Ann, with her sensible farm girl ways, proves time and time again that she is more practical and resourceful than her counterpart. While Ginger spends much of her time complaining about the conditions she has to live in, Mary Ann proves herself as an invaluable team member with her wit. Also, she doesn’t have any qualms about getting dirty!
When it comes to usefulness to the team of marooned characters, Mary Ann is the obvious choice. If you would rather be marooned on an island with Mary Ann than Ginger, click the like button to let us know! Better yet, by one of our Mary Ann t-shirts so that everyone knows where you stand in regards to this debate.
Mary Ann is More Realistic
One of the elements that the show touches on subtly is that Ginger is unattainable. All of the single men in the show lust after Ginger, but in a distant manner. Even though they live on the same island as her throughout the show, they know that Ginger is nothing more than a fantasy. She’s beautiful and glamorous, but is she relationship material? Probably not.
Mary Ann, meanwhile, is innocent and pure, as well as surprisingly tough. She’s humble, sweet, and beautiful in her own way. When it comes to romance, Mary Ann is a more realistic choice. Who wouldn’t want to marry a sweet, gorgeous farm girl like Mary Ann?
Even though the show was a sitcom, Gilligan’s s Island wasn’t afraid to touch on some subtle and serious themes. Many times, the “girl-next-door” is overlooked in favor of a glamorous but unattainable diva. When it comes to romance, Mary Ann wins yet again!
Everybody Loved Dawn Wells
Mary Ann was played by beautiful and talented actress Dawn Wells. In 1959, she won a beauty pageant competition and was crowned Miss Nevada! Even though Mary Ann might look a bit plain in comparison to the glitz and glamour of Ginger, there’s no denying how gorgeous she is.
Many viewers at the time agreed. Poor Dawn Wells was swamped with fan letters, mostly from men. Some asked her out on dates, while others even went as far as to propose to her! Furthermore, she was ranked on TV Guide’s list “50 Sexiest Stars of All Time” in 2005.
Mary Ann’s simple yet signature outfit consisted of short shorts and a red gingham blouse. The look was so iconic that during a Beverly Hills auction, the outfit was sold for a total of $20,700. Clearly Mary Ann was a popular character.
Aside from her beauty, Dawn Wells was also an accomplished actress, both before and after her time on Gilligan’s Island. Before landing the role of Mary Ann, she acted in the film The New Interns and appeared on a variety of television shows, including Bonanza and 77 Sunset Strip. After Gilligan’s Island, Dawn Wells continued her passion for acting and appeared in films such as Super Sucker and Cyber Meltdown.
Dawn Wells Worked Hard to Land the Role
True to the hardworking fashion of Mary Ann, Dawn Wells had to put in a lot of effort to win the role. Auditioning for a television show is an arduous and nerve-wracking process, but Dawn Wells kept her cool, even though she was competing against some amazingly talented actors. Both Raquel Welch and Pat Priest auditioned for the role of Mary Ann, but it was Dawn Wells who succeeded in playing her on Gilligan’s Island.
Mary Ann Is a Consistent Favorite
If you don’t believe our reasons for preferring Mary Ann to Ginger, then take a look at the facts! Online polls all over the Internet have consistently come up with the same results; fans almost always choose Mary Ann over Ginger. But why?
Something about Mary Ann’s sweet and innocent farm girl charm seems to best Ginger’s high-maintenance personality every single time. Even decades after the show ended, Mary Ann seems to remain in the fans’ hearts. Part of Mary Ann’s appeal can likely be attributed to the writing of her character. After all, even though Ginger was especially beautiful, she was written as being arrogant and self-absorbed. Meanwhile, Mary Ann was helpful and friendly. No wonder Mary Ann is a favorite!
Dawn Wells Received Tons of Support From Her Fans
Many people think that television and movie stars are safe from financial burden. However, the truth is, Dawn Wells’ time as a television star is long gone. Even though she guest-starred in several shows and appeared in a few films, she’s not as young as she used to be. And actors have to pay bills and taxes just like the rest of us.
Poor Dawn Wells was greatly impacted by the stock market crash of 2008, and she found herself in financial trouble. Despite her struggles, she continued to work for non-profit organizations to help those less fortunate than herself. However, tragedy struck when Dawn Wells was injured in a horrible accident. She had to undergo a dangerous surgery that could have cost her her life. After the surgery, she was forced to recuperate for two long months.
With the surgery and the stock market crash, Dawn Wells found herself in dire trouble. Fortunately, her close friend Dugg Kirkpatrick knew just how much she was struggling, and he decided to take matters into his own hands. He created a GoFundMe page for his dear friend to raise $180,000. He hoped that people would be willing to pitch in, so that Dawn Wells wouldn’t be as overwhelmed with her medical bills and taxes.
$52,000 For Dawn
Dawn Wells was astonished to find the support that poured out from the community in her favor. Before long, they had raised $52,000, which helped Dawn out immensely. After many long years working for non-profit organizations as a humanitarian, Dawn Wells realized that the world was just as willing to help her out when she found herself in a bind.
On Twitter, she thanked the many people who donated to her GoFundMe, ending the tweet with “I am grateful to any of my fans who are willing to offer support. However, please know that my outlook is positive and I look forward to seeing you all in my travels.” Truly, her fans’ support is a mark of how popular she was and continues to be.
As you can see, there are countless reasons why Mary Ann is consistently viewed as a more popular character than Ginger. Do you prefer Mary Ann or Ginger? If you prefer Mary Ann, don’t forget to check out our Mary Ann t-shirts below. And if you prefer Ginger, defend your choice in the comments! And as always, don’t forget to subscribe to Facts Verse for more videos!