Remembering The Love Boat

Former cast members from The Love Boat (from left to right) Fred Grandy and Ted Lange pose for a photo at the Prince Albert Inn on Wednesday. © Herald photo by Jason Kerr.

Cast members recollect fond memories of hit T.V. show during stop in Prince Albert

When actors Ted Lange and Fred Grandy auditioned for roles in a new television series called The Love Boat, they were just hoping to land a job.

They had no idea they had a hit on their hands.

Grandy, who played the role of Bill “Gopher” Smith, and Lange, starred as bartender Isaac Washington, were in Prince Albert on Wednesday to meet with fans.

The show ended its nearly 10 year television run in 1986, but both actors said it continues to hold a place in popular culture they never thought it would.

“This is now an icon that is spanning generations and I don’t think any of us thought that,” Grandy said. “We were kind of hoping it would be a hit because we were out of work and needed money, but it became not just a successful show. It became a cultural phenomenon.”

The show followed the trials, tribulations and antics of the crew of the Pacific Princess, a cruise liner with Princess Cruises. The show gained a foothold with audiences despite some stiff competition in their time slot, and the ire of television executives, agents and critics.

“We made three pilots,” Grandy remembered. “We couldn’t get this show on the air until (producer) Aaron Spelling finally said, ‘alright, I’m going to clutch this show to my bosom and it’s going to become a hit.’”

The show eventually became a hit, and attracted a variety of talented actors and celebrities who appeared as guests on the cruise ship.

Lange said audiences fell in love with the shows formula, which eventually caused cruises to become so popular that it forced the real life Princess Cruises cruise line to make some changes.

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