Welcome Aboard ‘The Love Boat’ — 42 Years Later!

Forty-two years ago today, The Love Boat first set sail — as a TV movie.

Korman & O'Mara on the first Love Boat movie pilot (Image via ABC)

The TV movie had many of the same ingredients as the eventual TV series, including television stalwarts like Cloris Leachman (b. 1926), Hal Linden (b. 1931), Harvey Korman (1927-2008), Tom Bosley (1927-2010) and Florence Henderson (1934-2016) as passengers, but it did have key differences.

The first Love Boat crew! (Image via ABC)

For one thing, the original TV movie had an entirely different crew!

Ted Hamilton (b. 1937) played the captain, Dick Van Patten (1928-2015) as the ship's doctor, Theodore Wilson (1943-1991) as the bartender, Sandy Helberg (b. 1949) as Gopher, Joseph Sicari (b. 1939) as a steward and Terri aka Terry O'Mara (b. 1945) as the cruise director.

The pilot movie did not lead to a series — immediately. Instead, two more TV movie pilots were made before the show was launched on a 13-year voyage.

The rest is his-and-herstory!

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