In little more than a week, a GoFundMe account established for the actress who portrayed Mary Ann Summers on the mythical "Gilligan's Island" has raised more than $139,000.
After reports surfaced that Dawn Wells was broke at age 79 and facing IRS penalties and medical bills totaling $194,000, thousands of donations poured in, many in amounts of $10 or $20.
Longtime friend and hairdresser Dugg Kirkpatrick started the fund, saying the actress had endured an unexpected hospitalization of two months, and like many other Americans of her generation, had lost most of her savings in the mortgage and banking crises.
"Dawn is living one of the greatest fears we Americans have, an uncertain future. Should any of you out there wish to contribute a small some [sic] to help a woman who gave so many people Joy over the years, it would be so appreciated. God Bless," Kirkpatrick wrote on the site.
On her Facebook page, Wells thanked those who have donated. "I thought I was taking all the proper steps to ensure my golden years," she wrote. "Now, here I am, no family no husband, no kids and no money. I'm grateful that God has given me so many friends and fans who care."