HOLLYWOOD — Dressed in their ship-board finest, the original crew of “The Love Boat” reunited on Hollywood Boulevard May 10 as the show and its home cruise line, Princess Cruises, were recognized with an honorary Walk of Fame star plaque.
“Most Hollywood marriages don’t last,” actor Gavin MacLeod, who portrayed “Love Boat” Capt. Merrill Stubing, told the crowd gathered for the event near the Dolby Theatre. “But the marriage between Princess Cruises and ‘The Love Boat’ has been going on for 44 years and there’s no divorce in sight. We’re looking for another 44 years.”
The comedy-romance ran for nearly a decade on ABC, carrying celebrity guests on weekly trips to exotic ports-o-call and putting cruises on vacation wish lists across the country.
The honorary Hollywood Walk of Fame plaque paid homage to the show and Princess Cruises, not only for the line’s place in television history but also for the company’s support of efforts to preserve the Walk of Fame, according to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.
The full “Love Boat” crew gathered for the event, with MacLeod joined by Jill Whelan, the captain’s daughter; Ted Lange, who played bartender Isaac; ship’s doctor Bernie Kopell; Lauren Tewes, who portrayed cruise director Julie; and Fred Grandy, who played ship’s purser Gopher and later was elected to Congress.
“The Love Boat” ran on ABC from 1977 to 1986, and lived on through several TV specials after the show ended its original run.