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What Happened To The Cast Of The Love Boat?

As an hour-long sitcom with a laugh track featuring new guest stars every week and multiple storylines per episode, The Love Boat is a bit of an odd beast, even today. That said, it's hard to deny its success: The series ran for well over 200 episodes, from 1977 to 1987. That's not even counting multiple made-for-TV movies, nor the spinoff series, Love Boat: The Next Wave. The world just couldn't spend enough time aboard the SS Pacific Princess. Fascinatingly, The Love Boat was actually based on a nonfiction book by an actual cruise director. Just how many of the show's high-seas hijinks were based on true events, however, is left up to the fans' imagination.

Though waves of new guest stars arrived every week, the core cast of The Love Boat remained intact, giving viewers steady footing as they sailed the stormy seas. Let's take a closer look at that beloved cast, and discover what they've gotten up to since the show came to an end. Set a course for adventure, and your mind on a new romance: This is the cast of The Love Boat.

Gavin MacLeod -- Captain Merrill Stubing

Actor Gavin MacLeod was already a well-known television star before becoming the captain of the Pacific Princess on The Love Boat. It wasn't even his first tour at sea: He co-starred on McHale's Navy with Ernest Borgnine in the 1960s, as Happy Haines. His charming attitude proved to be a perfect fit for Captain Stubing on The Love Boat.

The series was MacLeod's last major role, though he continued to appear in guest spots on television series up until about 2014. Some more recent shows MacLeod appeared on include That 70s Show, JAG, Oz, King of Queens, Touched By an Angel, and Murder, She Wrote. His last on-screen appearance came in 2014, on an episode of The Comeback Kids. MacLeod isn't resting on his laurels, however. A devout Christian, he has appeared in a few Christian films from director Rich Christiano, and written a couple of books, including his memoir, This is Your Captain Speaking: My Fantastic Voyage through Hollywood, Faith and Life.

Bernie Kopell -- Adam "Doc" Bricker

Bernie Kopell had experience in the actual Navy prior to becoming an actor, so he was a natural fit on The Love Boat. He was a well-known television talent prior to being cast on the series as well: He'd had previous roles on shows like Bewitched, When Things Were Rotten, and Get Smart. He even landed a cameo in the 2008 film remake of Get Smart, due to his role in the original series.

Despite being born in 1933, Kopell continues to stay busy acting in film and television. Recently, he appeared in The Last Sharknado: It's About Time, and a plethora of guest roles on TV. Some of those small-but-mighty roles have come on shows like Arrested Development, Raising Hope, Superstore, Silicon Valley, and Monk. Essentially, if you've watched television over the last few decades, you've probably seen Kopell pop up more than once.

Outside of acting, Kopell has been married since 1997 to Catrina Honadle. They have two children together.

Fred Grandy -- Burl "Gopher" Smith

Fred Grandy wasn't quite the known commodity that some of the other stars of The Love Boat were when he was cast as Gopher Smith. Yet neither was he a total nobody. Grandy had appeared on several television series prior to the show, including starring on Monster Squad. After The Love Boat concluded, Grandy took a long break from acting, to pursue his original ambition: politics.

Before going into acting, Grandy served as an aide to Representative Wiley Mayne. Once The Love Boat pulled into harbor for the last time, Grandy ran for an open seat in Congress for his home state of Iowa. He won that election, and served from 1987 to 1995. His Congressional career ended when he ran for governor of Iowa in 1994. He lost that election, and has not returned to elected office. Instead, Grandy returned to acting. He's had a few guest roles on a variety of series, and also had a recurring role on The Mindy Project as Dr. Ledreau. His most recent credit came in 2020, in the final episode of the Netflix miniseries Hollywood.

Ted Lange -- Isaac Washington

Ted Lange's striking mustache is recognizable from a (nautical) mile away, and viewers will forever associate it with bartender Isaac Washington, one of The Love Boat's most memorable characters. Lange continues to act in both movies and television, but he might be better known now as a director than a performer.

Since The Love Boat ended, Lange hasn't had many starring roles. He has, however, had several guest appearances on series like Family Matters, Martin, Psych, Drake & Josh and Scrubs. But Lange hasn't been completely out of the spotlight: He's just shifted to directing. He was behind the camera for over half the episodes of the series The First Family, 25 episodes of Players at the Poker Palace, and 23 episodes of Mr. Box Office, among others. His most recent directorial effort was a 2020 episode of the television series The Myth of Control. Lange doesn't just direct TV, either – he directed and starred in a 1989 production of Othello, and a number of TV movies.

Lauren Tewes -- Julie McCoy

Lauren Tewes played Cruise Director Julie McCoy on The Love Boat, and was relatively unknown prior to her casting. She had made a few small appearances on various shows and in advertisements, but The Love Boat was her first major gig. Happily, since the show ended, she has continued to find success as an actor. Much of Tewes' best-known work is voice acting: You can hear her in a number of video games, including Police Quest: SWAT 2, Freddi Fish 3, Putt-Putt Travels Through Time, Pajama Sam 3, and The X-Files Game. She has also performed in several roles on the radio drama Imagination Theatre.

Tewes does not limit herself to just voice acting, however. After The Love Boat, Tewes appeared in guest roles on shows like Martin, Who's the Boss and My Two Dads. She also appeared in a single episode of the Twin Peaks revival season. When she's not acting, she's pursuing a whole different passion and career: Tewes, who has attended culinary school, is a cheese specialist. Seattle fans, take note — she works as a sous-chef for a catering company near you.

Jill Whelan -- Vicki Stubing

Actress Jill Whelan was first cast on The Love Boat at just 11 years old. Her appearances as Captain Stubing's daughter, Vicki, were originally billed as guest roles, but she later became a series regular. Whelan went on to appear in numerous other television series, including several soap operas and sitcoms. Not long after The Love Boat came to a close, Whelan appeared in guest roles on several shows, including Martin, Diagnosis Murder, and The Young and the Restless. Some of her more recent appearances have come on series like Criminal Minds and The Bold and the Beautiful. Whelan is not just a screen actor, however. She has also appeared in stage performances and hosted a podcast with Brian Phelps. That project, aptly named The Brian and Jill Show, came from Whelan's love of improv comedy.

Her last on-screen role came in 2017. She has also leveraged her role on The Love Boat into becoming a "Celebrations Ambassador" for Princess Cruises.

Ted McGinley -- Ashley Covington Evans

Ted McGinley is one of the few regular cast members from The Love Boat who might be known much more for his other roles. He first gained fame on the television series Happy Days as Roger Phillips, and as the villainous Stan Gable in Revenge of the Nerds before joining The Love Boat for its last few seasons. He continued his career trajectory upward from there.

After The Love Boat, McGinley went on to star on series like Married ... with Children and Hope & Faith. He reprised his role as Stan Gable in a few sequels to Revenge of the Nerds, and has appeared both in person and as a voice actor in numerous other shows and films. Some of his credits include series like Mad Men, Transformers: Robots in Disguise, and Family Guy, and movies like Do You Believe? and Pearl Harbor. Some of his most recent credits include a starring role on The Baxtors and a guest spot on the sitcom Mom.

Outside of acting, McGinley has been married to Gigi Rice since 1991.

Pat Klous -- Judy McCoy

Once Lauren Tewes left the cast of The Love Boat, the show needed a new Cruise Director. Pat Klous was cast and brought on as Judy McCoy, the sister of Tewes' character Julie, and she stayed on the series until it ended a few years later. Klous was the last regular cast member added to the show before it went off the air, unless you count the Love Boat Mermaids ... which we absolutely do not.

Klous was already well-known when she joined the cast of The Love Boat, due to her role on Flying High, another sitcom on around the same time. She had appeared on other series prior to being cast as well, including Fantasy Island and Aloha Paradise. Still, The Love Boat was easily her biggest role. Unfortunately, the show was already on its way out, and only lasted a few more seasons after she joined.

Interestingly, Klous only has one acting credit from after The Love Boat ended: She appeared on a single episode of Murder, She Wrote. She seems to have retired from acting and apparently lives a quiet life out of the spotlight.