Even when a show runs for decades, sometimes the cast doesn’t quite get along. But this was certainly not the case with “The Love Boat,” since the entire cast and crew got along like family. In an interview years after the show ended, the actor who played the charming bartender Isaac, Ted Lange, explained to the show ‘Breakfast Television’ that he was incredibly grateful for his time on “The Love Boat.”
When asked if he thought that the show would be as successful as it was, he laughed and said, “No, I didn’t that. I thought if I had to wait to cash in the check for the first episode, because I was sure that was it.” Lange further said that “I had done a TV series where everybody in the cast liked each other and protected each other.”
An Entire Line of Merchandise
“The Love Boat” was such a hit from the moment it aired that it became more than just a show. As happens with many successful TV shows, the PR and marketing team set out to create an entire line of merchandise to add to the already growing profit.
In the case of “The Love Boat,” there was an entire line of board games, clothes, bags, souvenirs, action figures, toys, linens, household items, and a soundtrack album with the show’s theme song and other featured songs. For the show’s entire nine seasons, the line of merchandise accounted for a big chunk of the profits. Sales increased steadily right up until the eighth season.
The Real Reason Behind Gopher’s White Gloves
In the first and second episodes of the show’s sixth season, a two-part special titled “Venetian Love Song/Down for the Count/Arrivederci, Gopher/The Arrangement,” the ship’s purser Gopher is wearing white gloves, and the reason wasn’t quite what he explains onscreen. In the episode, the cruise sails to Italy, stopping in Rome, Capri, and Venice, and when Gopher is asked by the crew and passengers why he’s wearing those uncharacteristic white gloves, he answers that it is because of poison ivy.
However, the real reason was that the actor Fred Grandy had burn scars from earlier that year when, during a taxi ride in Turkey, some hydrogen-filled balloons popped and burned him along with three other passengers.
The Cast Remain Friends to This Day
Not only was the cast of “The Love Boat” like a family in real life throughout the duration of the show, but they remain good friends to this day. For instance, decades after the show ended, Jill Whelan asked Ted Lange to shoot a pilot for one of her series, to which he immediately agreed and cleared his schedule.
Conversely, Lange has written plays that he’s asked Bernie Kopell to star in, and the actor has flown across the country as soon as Lange calls to help out. Gavin MacLeod is also close with Ted Lange, as they both live close to Los Angeles, California, and often do work collaborations.
Some Actors Celebrated Important Milestones on the Boat
When “The Love Boat” first aired, all its cast members were quite young, but there was one that was actually a child. Jill Whelan, who played Vicki Stubbing, the captain’s daughter, was 11 years old when the show premiered, and since she stayed on for the nine-season run of the series, she celebrated many milestones while on the show.
In future interviews, Whelan recounts how she celebrated her 16th birthday, her first kiss, her second marriage, and her son’s graduation all onboard the Pacific Princess, surrounded by the cast and crew. She also recounts that she never had any great love interests on “The Love Boat,” because “Tewes got all the good ones.”