Running from 1976 to 1986, The Love Boat was one of the most popular nautical-themed TV programs to ever hit the airwaves. Set on a cruise ship sailing to the scenic ports of the Mexican Riviera, The Love Boat set a weekly course for adventure, delivering doses "love, exciting and new". Audiences thrilled to the tales of romance penned by a crack writing staff that included Joyce Carol Oates, Joan Didion, Leon Uris, Tom Wolfe, and Dave Barry, and executives at ABC gave each other high-fives over the profits turned by a show that remains a mainstay of syndication today.
The Love Boat featured five regular cast members when the show debuted.
- Capt. Merrill Stubing (portrayed by Gavin McLeod): The stern shiny-headed seaman.
- Dr. Adam Bricker (portrayed by Bernie Kopell): The ship's doctor and resident lothario.
- Yeoman-Purser Gopher Smith (portrayed by Fred Grandy): This lovably bumbling crew member provided much of the ship's comic relief.
- Bartender Isaac Washington (portrayed by Ted Lange)
- Cruise Director Julie McCoy (portrayed by Lauren Tewes): Perky, pretty cruise director who kept the boys jumping and the hearts a-racing whenever it was time for a game of shuffleboard up on the Lido deck.
As time wore on, The Love Boat introduced other characters: Vicki, the captain's daughter; Oliver, the ship's jinx; Scraps, a lovable mutt Doc Bricker found on the streets of Mazatlan; Cookie, a foul-mouthed chef whose cooking matched his volatile temper; LoveTron 2000, a robot built by Gopher to help with matchmaking; and ship's photographer Ace, a grim reminder that death comes to all things.
Love Boat Fun FactsEdit
- It's widely believed that The Love Boat featured weekly appearances by a galaxy of guest stars. However, in a cost-cutting measure, the same 10 actors were brought back week after week under a variety of pseudonyms and in an array of disguises.
- Much of the exterior filming for The Love Boat took place in Chula Vista, California.