'Gilligan's Island' star Dawn Wells says she is 'grateful' for 'friends and fans who care' while suffering financially

Dawn Wells is still amazed that friends and strangers are willing to throw a life ring her way.

The 79-year-old actress, best known for starring as Mary Ann Summers on “Gilligan’s Island,” told Fox News Friday she’s in awe a GoFundMe page was set up to help her overcome her growing financial woes.

“I am amazed at the kindness and affection I have received from the current outpouring in regards to the GoFundMe page that is grabbing so much attention and want to address it,” Wells wrote to Fox News. “A dear, dear friend of mine with a big heart was trying to help me with some common issues we all understand and must face. He created that page with love… like someone protecting their child.

“In a recent conversation with him, I remarked, ‘Where did the time go?’ I don’t know how this happened. I thought I was taking all the proper steps to ensure my golden years. Now, here I am, no family, no husband, no kids and no money.

Tina Louise (left), Dawn Wells and Natalie Schaefer on "Gilligan's Island."

Tina Louise (left), Dawn Wells and Natalie Schaefer on "Gilligan's Island." (Getty)

"I’m grateful that God has given me so many friends and fans who care, or it would all be too… overwhelming. … 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.”

A rep for Wells added the star has not decided yet whether she will use the generous funds or return them.

As of Friday, the page has raised nearly $140,000.

Wells’ rep previously told Fox News on Thursday that the actress has been going through financial dire straits but was surprised that a GoFundMe page was set up to help pay her bills.

“Although Dawn won’t deny that she is indeed having a rough time she has been keeping her wits about herself and like so many others is doing her best to overcome difficult times,” said the rep.

Dawn Wells found fame as Mary Ann Summers on "Gilligan's Island."

Dawn Wells found fame as Mary Ann Summers on "Gilligan's Island." (Courtesy of Dawn Wells)

“She was caught completely unaware of her well-intended friend’s creation of a GoFundMe page,” he continued. “At this time, it has not yet been decided whether she will return the funds so generously donated by her fans and friends or if it will go into a trust/fund that would also help alleviate the previously mentioned issues.

TMZ reported earlier on Thursday that a close friend of Wells was seeking $200,000 through a GoFundMe page to help the TV icon. The actress is allegedly “desperate” for help following an “unexpected accident that required hospitalization for two months,” according to the crowdsourcing page.

TMZ also reported that the actress wants to be moved to a smaller assisted living facility that is geared toward helping those in the film and TV industry but she was denied due to her debt.

Wells visited Fox News in 2014 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of “Gilligan’s Island” and her book, “What Would Mary Ann Do?”

“I think Mary Ann was – she had been your friend, a companion, there was no bullying, she pitched in and she worked and I think that is what is really necessary today,” she said of her famous TV character and the life lessons she evoked.

The actress went on to talk about her career since starring in the series and how fortunate she was for the experiences she has had in the industry.

“I am active and very busy and I am very lucky to be healthy, I am very lucky to be working,” said Wells at the time. “I have been very, very busy and very happy.”

In 2017, Wells told Fox News she enjoyed playing an unapologetic “good girl” on the beloved series.

“I have been resonating with young boys for 50 years,” she said. “[But] it was wholesome and not risqué. So mom and dad didn’t care what you watched. And I think we raised a good generation because of that… I’ve had soldiers tell me, ‘I carried your picture in my helmet.’ I had families say, ‘The only way we ever got along was when we were watching your show.’ It had an impact that was far more than just 30 minutes.”

Wells also said a part of Mary Ann will always be with her.

“I have them!” she dished on still owning her character's shorts and top. “I have the gingham dress, too. And I really don’t know how I got them. We were picked up for season four. Then we went on vacation. I might have taken them home to check on the sewing. And then we were cancelled, by telephone. So we never went pack to get any of the props or anything. But, I have the shorts!”

Fox News' Morgan Evans contributed to this report.