Dawn Wells was apparently a very nice person in real life. For someone who got her big break by winning the “Miss Nevada” pageant, and diving into acting soon after, she managed to not be afflicted by her celebrity status.
I too felt that Mary Ann was the most human of the characters on “the island.” She was nice, she worked hard, and she always seemed to treat everyone else equally. Sort of a wholesome, female “everyman” character.
What really sucks, though, is not that Dawn “only” made it to age 82, but that she died from COVID complications. Every day I find a new reason to deeply hate this disease. Every. Single. Day.