The Love Boat cast reunited last week for the unveiling of a special Hollywood Walk of Fame Star plaque, more than 40 years after the series premiered.
Actors Fred Grandy, Ted Lange, Jill Whelan, Gavin MacLeod, Lauren Tewes and Bernie Kopell were joined by Princess Cruises president Jan Swartz on Hollywood Boulevard Thursday for the special event to honor The Love Boat and Princess Cruises.
During her speech, Swartz credited the series with popularizing the idea of a "vacation at sea" and recalled watching the series when it aired, reports the Los Angeles Times. She also praised Jeraldine Saunders, whose book Love Boats was the inspiration for the show. Saunders, now 96, was one of the first women cruise directors and will be publishing a new book called Confessions of a Cruise Director.
Unlike many of the other Hollywood Walk of Fame stars, The Princess/Love Boat star is honorary. It is located on private property, right in front of the Dolby Theatre.
"The Love Boat opened the hearts and minds of millions of television viewers to the adventures of cruise travel by way of the exotic destination our ships visited on the show," Swartz said. "Today, our guests continue to create lasting memories and explore the world on our modern, fleet of 17 premium cruise ships.”
MacLeod, who earned two Golden Globe nominations for playing Captain Merrill Stubing, told Today he instantly knew the show would be a hit after reading the first script.
"We had a reading in the office, just the guys," MacLeod recalled. "And we finished the reading ... and I'm walking down and a guy says, 'Well, I hope this goes well,' and I said, 'I'm telling you we're gonna go at least seven years.'"
"It was romance, at the time there were only cop shows and sitcoms on the air," Grandy, who played 'Gopher' Smith, said. "So, this show filled some kind of need that only Aaron Spelling understood."
MacLeod also recently told Closer Weekly he knew the show was a perfect fit for him, and he knew the show could fight off bad reviews.
"The critics said it was going to be a sinking ship, but not only were we a hit, we also gave a kick-start to the cruise industry," he said.0comments
The Love Boat was never a hit with critics, but it was beloved by its fans and remains in syndication in more than 90 countries. It aired for 10 seasons from 1977 to 1987, earning eight Golden Globe nominations.
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