Los Angeles, Ca., On December 30, 2020, I received two sad phone calls.
The first was from Hollywood producer Gelinathat telling me that my favorite Hollywood actress DAWN WELLS had died of coronavirus.
Wells starred in the TV hit Gilligan’s Island that ran from 1664-1967. Though it lasted only 3 years, it was a cultural phenomenon. The premise — Gilligan, the skipper, et al. hopped onto a boat for a 3-hour tour but it was shipwrecked on a deserted island. The show was all about the hijinks of survival and the interaction with the hilarious characters, including Professor Roy and a very rich couple, Lovey and Thurston Howell III.
After ‘Gilligan’s’ Wells appeared in various TV shows, including “The Wild Wild West” and “Bonanza.” In all, she appeared in more than 60 series; she also appeared on Broadway and in movies.
Dawn Wells’ showbiz career actually began with beauty pageants. She was crowned Miss Nevada in the 1959 Miss America pageant. She also established an institute for up-and-coming filmmakers in Idaho called the Spud Film Institute.
Again, I received a phone call, this time from concert producer Claire Flores and Philippines King of Stunt, Producer-Director-Actor Dante Varona informing me that veteran photojournalist, magazine publisher and concert producer CORA PASTRANA had died.
Cora Pastrana, the entertainment reporter, photojournalist and concert producer, married Actor Raymond Bagatsing in Los Angeles in 2008, says she and Raymond love each other and are soul mates despite the tremendous difference in their ages when they married in 2008. Cora was 60 while Raymond was in his 30s. Dawn Wells and Cora Pastrana died on the same day and I am shocked and devastated. I have been searching for 12 hours to find our pictures together with Dawn Wells during Oscar Awards in Hollywood about 10 years ago but I was unable to find it. I still hope to come across those photos sometime to remember this unforgettable actress.