I posted an incredible video a month or so ago when it first went up — of over 900 stars who (1) appeared on The Love Boat, and who (2) were promoted in the opening credits with either a goofy photo in a porthole graphic OR (Season 1 only) with just their names.
The list in the video is very thorough, but is missing several stars that I've accounted for here. Am I missing any who were giving porthole-opening-credits treatment?!
Again, my list does not include every single actor who appeared on The Love Boat, just the ones whose appearances were underscored at the opening of each episode. (For example, Corey Feldman cruised, but was too new to get the porthole treatment.)
Shockingly, by my count, exactly 462 are still alive and exactly 462 have passed away, with 4 others I couldn't find info on, 6 animals and 1 robot.
To refresh your memory, here is that video:
What I loved about The Love Boat was not its outstanding writing or unparalleled acting (though it did have its moments, usually in earlier seasons and/or out of nowhere!), it was the shameless collection of stars past, present and future, the giddy '70s/'80s clothes (or lack thereof) and its frequent excursions into jaw-dropping camp.
First, there was a 1976 pilot. Its opening-credits stars were: Don Adams, Tom Bosley, Florence Henderson, Gabe Kaplan, Harvey Korman, Cloris Leachman, Hal Linden and Karen Valentine. Other stars were: Jimmy Baio, Joyce Jameson and Beverly Sanders. Of them all, only Jameson and Sanders never sailed on the series in any capacity. Its main cast members (all replaced) were: Ted Hamilton (captain), Dick Van Patten (doctor), Theodore Wilson (bartender), Sandy Helberg (purser), Joseph Sicari (steward), Kathryn Ish & Richard Stahl (entertainers), Terri O'Mara (cruise director). Of them, only Van Patten returned as a passenger.
Kopell talked about the pilot situation here.
The second pilot, in 1977, featured: Ken Berry, Diana Canova, Bert Convy, Celeste Holm, Hope Lange, Kristy McNichol, Robert Reed, Craig Stevens, Marcia Strassman and Lyle Waggoner. The crew was Quinn K. Redeker (captain), Sandy Stilwell (cruise director Sandy Summers), Candice Azzara (lounge singer), Bernie Kopell (Doc), Ted Lange (Isaac the bartender), Fred Grandy (Gopher the purser). All of the actors cruised on the series, and of the crew members who were replaced, Azzara came back as a guest, too.
The third pilot aka The New Love Boat, also in 1977, featured: Georgia Engel, Gary Frank, Pat Harrington, Audra Lindley, Melanie Mayron, Phil Silvers and Stella Stevens. Only Mayron never returned for the series proper, and the entire crew was the same for the series.
And now, because I am insane — and because you are, too — here is a list of every star who was ever given the porthole-opening-credits treatment, along with their birth and death dates so you can see who's still with us and who has gone on to that vast Lido Deck in the sky. I am only counting stars who appeared on regular episodes, I count two-hour episodes as one episode and I did not factor in the rebooted series that came later.
Willie Aames (b. July 15, 1960) — Played Doc's horny nephew who hits on Doc's squeeze du jour (Michelle Phillips).
Sharon Acker (b. April 2, 1935) — "Victim" of Billy Crystal's kissing bandit.
Bettye Ackerman (1914-2006) — Paired with real-life hubby Sam Jaffe
Deborah Adair (b. May 23, 1952) — Two appearances, including on the two-parter "Egyptian Cruise" (1986), when she's being pursued to play Cleopatra, and a sensitive appearance as a divorcée trying to learn to trust again after experiencing rape.
Don Adams (1923-2005) — He was in the 1976 TV movie. He otherwise made five appearances: as one half of a divorced couple (with Nanette Fabray) of entertainers, one half of a bickering couple (with Juliet Mills) working on a screenplay, a safety inspector, a temp agency head masquerading as a secretary for a busy magazine editor (Fannie Flagg) and a novelties salesman in love with a business contact (Audrey Meadows).
Edie Adams (1927-2008) — Appeared on the two-parter "Marooned" as a woman considering separation from her hubby (Avery Schreiber).
Mason Adams (1919-2005) — Played the father of Randi Oakes, with the timely character name of "Richard Simmons."
Iris Adrian (1912-1994) — First cruised in 1978 as a magician's (Vincent Price) fangirl, and her second trip was her final performance ever, in 1986. She played one of a group of biddies enamored of a klutzy tour guide (Teri Copley) in a part that didn't even merit porthole-credit treatment. Looked lovely in her last screen performance.
Charlie Aiken (b. 1967) — Child actor with only four credits before he vanished, but his very next role after cruising in 1978 was the short-lived ABC series Friends ... with future Love Boat cast member Jill Whelan.
Claude Akins (1926-1994) — Cruised twice, once playing a Col. Parker-esque country-music manager.
Eddie Albert (1906-2005) — Played a stuffed-shirt dean who wouldn't allow a student to take a makeup test in order to graduate.
Edward Albert (1951-2006) — His storyline involved parents, but his real dad Eddie Albert didn't get the part of his TV dad, which called for a little person (paging Billy Barty).
Robert Alda (1914-1986) — His character's love story with Nanette Fabray's character led to the breakup of a bridge club.
Algae the seal — credited as Shirley the seal (b. ?) — One of only six animals to get porthole-credit treatment.
Ana Alicia (b. December 12, 1956) — Played the daughter of Lilli Palmer (42 years her senior), who was playing a novelist.
Debbie Allen (b. January 16, 1950) — Cruised twice ... and guess which cast member was her love interest twice? Yup, Isaac.
Jonelle Allen (b. July 18, 1944) — Scandalous storyline involving her affair with a married man (Antonio Fargas).
Phylicia Ayers Allen aka Phylicia Rashad (b. June 19, 1948) — She played one of Isaac's exes.
Steve Allen (1921-2000) — Two appearances, including one playing himself with wife Jayne Meadows playing herself.
Kirstie Alley (b. January 12, 1951) — She and new hubby Parker Stevenson played newlyweds!
June Allyson (1917-2006) — Reunited with silver-screen partner Van Johnson for a 1978 episode on which she ably played a blind woman, returned for a second cruise as a gift shop attendant.
Don Ameche (1908-1993) — Oscar winner (1 of 31, or 32 if you count non-guest star Tim Robbins, b. October 16, 1958; not counting any honorary Oscar recipients).
John Amos (b. December 27, 1939) — Played a football star having a fling (with Jayne Kennedy).
Morey Amsterdam (1908-1996) — First of two appearances paired him with his Dick Van Dyke Show sidekick Rose Marie as his wife.
Barbara Anderson (b. November 27, 1945) — I loved her appearance as Julie McCoy's old pal, a model who has what is mortified by what is supposed to be a disfiguring scar ... but she still looks like Barbara Anderson, and at 33, her '70s modeling career was over anyway!
Daryl Anderson (b. July 1, 1951) — Played a character with a future-relevant name: Michael Scott.
Loni Anderson (b. August 5, 1945) — Three appearances, including one two-parter and the famous cross-pollination stunt that found Loni Anderson taking The Love Boat to Fantasy Island (1980)! On that one, she played a movie star disguised as her own (English) secretary, wearing a historically bad wig.
Melissa Sue Anderson (b. September 26, 1962) — Four appearances, including a two-parter, and her debut was as a character named Chubs who is Gopher's kid sis who's shed her baby fat and is now hot for Doc (she was 16, he was 45).
Richard Anderson (1926-2017) — As Doc's old mentor, Anderson's part has one of my favorite descriptions: "a bitter amputee."
Richard Dean Anderson (b. January 23, 1950) — Played Julie McCoy's cousin, a cad who wants out of his engagement because his fiancée, Linda Blair in an image-tweaking role, is "too nice."
Ursula Andress (b. March 19, 1936) — Not long after starring as Aphrodite in Clash of the Titans (1981) and immediately after appearing on Manimal (1983), she showed up on a two-parter as a mysterious woman ... then next played Marie Antoinette in a French film (1985); Andress has the most eclectice résumé.
Anthony Andrews (b. January 12, 1948) — He was Tony, Julie McCoy's zoologist fiancé who abruptly left her at the altar upon discovering he was dying.
Dana Andrews (1909-1992) — For the fourth-to-last performance of his career, Andrews' on-screen wife was Janet Blair.
Edward Andrews (1914-1985) — Played the leader of a seniors' group on what was only the third episode.
Susan Anton (b. October 12, 1950) — One of Doc's many flings.
Eve Arden (1908-1990) — Fifty years after her screen debut, she was playing a novelist spying on a family of hicks she thought would make good characters for a book.
Adam Arkin (b. August 19, 1956) — On his first of two cruises, Arkin's character bets a character played by Richard Gilliland (Jean Smart's late husband) he can get a date with Julie McCoy first, and the wager is ... some pizza.
Pedro Armendáriz Jr. (1940-2011) — In a rare English-language role, he played one of Juliet Mills's clueless fiancés, the other being Gary Conway.
Bess Armstrong (b. December 11, 1953) — Was the wife of a military man (Grant Goodeve) from whom she's been apart for two years; where was this guy serving in 1978 that kept him from his wife for TWO YEARS?!
Desi Arnaz Jr. (b. January 19, 1953) — Desi played a man who bumps into an old flame (Stephanie Zimbalist) from a blind school, and had to keep from her the bittersweet news that he has regained his sight.
Alison Arngrim (b. January 18, 1962) — Only moonlighted on The Love Boat and Fantasy Island (both 1981) during her long run on Little House on the Prairie (1974-1982), and did so to play an actress who embarrasses Vicki when she turns out to be a stealth bad seed (complete with the platinum pigtails).
Elizabeth Ashley (b. August 30, 1939) — One of Doc's many ex-wives.
John Astin (b. March 30, 1930) — In his two appearances, he played a loopy hermit who holds Captain Stubing and other passengers captive and a producer trying to film another version of Cleopatra.
Patty Duke Astin aka Patty Duke (1946-2016) — Oscar winner who played, in her first of three appearances, the spinster granddaughter of fellow Oscar winner Ruth Gordon.
Jean-Pierre Aumont wrongly credited as Jean Pierre Aumont (1911-2001) — Dashing as a man separated from his wife (Jane Wyatt) in WWII who reunites with her on the high seas.
Frankie Avalon (b. September 18, 1940) — Played the then-risqué part of a computer-dating service operator, and one whose algorithm was: Julie McCoy.
Leah Ayres (b. May 28, 1957) — In her first of two cruises, she was a gambling-addict newlywed with on-screen hubby Shea Farrell.
Lew Ayres (1908-1996) — Played a man chagrined by his wife's (Janet Gaynor) admission she had been sneaking money from her allowance to build a sizable nest egg.
Candy Azzara aka Candice Azzara (b. May 18, 1941) — In one of the oddest casting choices ever, Candice (who is very Italian), played the sister of Meredith Baxter (who is very not Italian) and the daughter of straight-from-Italy parents played by son of Italian immigrants Ernest Borgnine and Jewish, yet hammy, Shelley Winters.
Hermione Baddeley (1906-1986) — God help her, she played Scott Baio's granny.
Catherine Bach (b. March 1, 1954) — She was on twice, the second time with the meaty part of "a woman [who] thinks that a dog, belonging to another passenger (Dirk Benedict), is the dog she lost some time ago" Better was her turn as a woman in protective custody (of Larry Wilcox).
Henny Backus (1911-2004) — The fab wife of Jim Backus (who played her on-screen husband) gave her last-ever performance as a society lady whose jewelry is nabbed by a burglar Michael Zaslow.
Jim Backus (1913-1989) — He cruised twice, first as a man suspected of being a secret ship's inspector.
Pearl Bailey (1918-1990) — People forget how rarely the stage star did TV, and The Love Boat was only her second episodic-TV guest spot — and she was Isaac's mom.
Conrad Bain (1923-2013) — Played different characters named "Les" twice in his three appearances.
Jimmy Baio (b. March 15, 1962) — Was a first love for a tomboy named "Rocky" (Melissa Gilbert).
Scott Baio (b. September 22, 1960) — Though an ABC star, Baio made his first and only appearance less than a month after he began his long run on Happy Days (1977-1984), and did it in a puppy-love situation with fellow teen idol Kristy McNichol.
Diane Baker (b. February 25, 1938) — Played a businesswoman about to be tricked out of her holdings thanks to a Japanese buyer (Pat Morita) and an associate behaving like a gigolo (Gary Collins).
Kaye Ballard (1925-2019) — Cruised three times, memorably as part of a gang made up of herself, Jesse White and Jack Gilford that planned to knock over the ship's vault.
Jack Bannon (1940-2017) — Doc's brother on an episode that also established Elaine Joyce as his sister.
Adrienne Barbeau (b. June 11, 1945) — I actually found Ms. Barbeau quite good in what could've been a typical bimbo part: she was the mistress of an older man (Dan Rowan) who was forced to take his wife (Juliet Mills) on the trip when the wife found the cruise tickets.
Priscilla Barnes (b. December 7, 1954) — She was on three times, including on a double of two-parters; in her third appearance, she temporarily succeeds in luring Gopher from his job.
Cyb Barnstable (b. May 23, 1951) & Trish Barnstable (b. May 23, 1951) — These twins you've never heard of with almost no acting credits played twins who decide to (you guessed it) trade husbands.
Douglas Barr credited as Doug Barr (b. May 1, 1949) — He said of his two trips (one a two-parter): "I did The Love Boat a few times. Fred Grandy, like me, was from Iowa, and after the leaving show, he successfully ran for Congress and was a remarkably capable representative. He and the rest of the cast made that show really fun to work on. I think I played a jewel thief in one episode, if I’m not mistaken."
Gene Barry (1919-2009) — He surprisingly cruised three times, once as a cuckolded publisher, once as a gambling-addict pal of Capt. Stubing's and, best for last, once as a man whose fiancée (40-years-younger Connie Needham) turns out to be the daughter of his ex-girlfriend (Betsy Palmer).
Peter Barton (b. July 19, 1956) — Somebody has to ask Peter what it was like playing the son of Colleen Dewhurst and Trevor Howard!
Billy Barty (1924-2000) — One of just two little people (the other played his wife on the episode, Patty Maloney) featured in porthole credits on the show.
Richard Basehart (1914-1984) — Famous as sea captains Ishmael in Moby Dick (1956) and on TV's Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1964-1968), on The Love Boat he was a ship that passed Joan Fontaine in the night, via wheelchair.
Kathy Bates (b. June 28, 1948) — Future Oscar winner who, on Season 1, was paired with future Tony winner John Rubinstein as cute-as-buttons newlyweds who never seem to be able to connect, due to sunburn, allergies and a series of other incidents.
Jaime Lyn Bauer (b. March 9, 1949) — In one of her two appearances — which occurred in the same calendar year — she was in the trailblazing role of a young woman with anorexia (who was pursued by Doc and Capt. Stubing).
Anne Baxter (1923-1985) — Oscar winner who appeared on two episodes, and whose last performance on the series was, along with her work on Hotel (1983-1986), one of her last performances. Also, in that final appearance, she played the mom of Timothy Patrick Murphy, with whom she'd worked twice the year before on Hotel.
Meredith Baxter credited as Meredith Baxter-Birney (b. June 21, 1947) — She cruised twice, but her first was her best — and it was the premier episode! On it, she embody-ody-odyied one of the series' common tropes of women with indecent pasts (in her case, she was a nude model, gasp!) laboring to fool new mates (Shelly Novack, playing a congressman). In the episode, Julie McCoy buys up every issue of Kitten Magazine to help the desperate passenger, who posed nude to put herself through law school.
Stephanie Beacham (b. February 28, 1947) — Played the mother of a character played by swimmer Steve Lundquist, who was only 14 years her junior.
Orson Bean (1928-2020) — The popular game-show guest played a man hoping to hook up with a movie star (Rhonda Fleming) he lusted after in his youth. (And in real life, both wound up being personally very, very conservative.)
Geoffrey Beene (1924-2004) — Fashion designer who played himself on the legendary "fashion festival" episode.
Noah Beery (1913-1994) — Appeared twice, with his second appearance becoming the last thing he ever filmed.
Ed Begley Jr. (b. September 16, 1949) — He played a self-described "strike-out king" to whom Isaac promised a "home run" but who was willing to settle for "a single." It was all very Stephen Sondheim, no?
Shari Belafonte credited as Shari Belafonte-Harper (b. September 22, 1954) — She was the object of Isaac's affection, and also of a blind rival (LeVar Burton).
Ralph Bellamy (1904-1991) — Am I crazy, or is it crazy that Ralph Bellamy sailed twice?! He played a grumpy boss once and a reporter in search of Amelia Earhart the other time.
Pamela Bellwood (b. June 26, 1951) — The Dynasty diva played the new wife of a man (Robert Reed) who bumps into his ex-wife (Loretta Swit) and her new hubby (Richard Mulligan).
Dirk Benedict (b. March 1, 1945) — On one of two trips, Dirk was a playboy who a young stowaway (Meeno Peluce) opportunistically claims is his real dad — and guess what happens in the end?
Brenda Benét (1945-1982) — She played a tennis pro who bumps into a columnist (Bill Bixby) who defamed her in print. In real life, Benét was wed to Bixby at the time. They divorced in 1980, and their son died in 1981. Benét took her own life in 1982 after being romantically involved with a 17-year-old girl who grew up to be ... ex-liberal, currently far-right commentator Tammy Bruce, who has been accused many times of racism.
Lucille Benson (1914-1984) — The Bosom Buddies (1980-1981) star was one part of a floating bridge club in her single appearance.
Barbi Benton (b. January 28, 1950) — The Playboy Playmate and ubiquitous '70s personality made a big five appearances on the show, including a two-parter. In 1979, she played a woman trying to push her slutty BF (Dack Rambo) to propose so he fakes having a terminal disease — and winds up with ALS for real. More interestingly, her 1987 episode represented her final acting gig so far.
John Beradino (1917-1996) — Best known as Dr. Steve Hardy on General Hospital (1963-1996), he also played a doctor on his one and only cruise.
Polly Bergen (1930-2014) — On her second of two appearances, Bergen was a woman who buys an expensive diamond and, along with her husband (Mike Connors), becomes a mark for thieves (Harvey Korman and Nancy Dussault).
Lee Bergere (1918-2007) — He played a snobby wine-competition judge.
Richard Bergman (b. ?) — One of Julie McCoy's short-lived boyfriends.
Milton Berle (1908-2002) — The King of TV made six appearances on the series. Among his wives: Audra Lindley, Sheila MacRae and Martha Raye.
Crystal Bernard (b. September 30, 1961) — On her second of two cruises, she played a girl hot for Gopher who was competing for his affections with her own mom (Mary Ann Mobley).
Ken Berry (1933-2018) — Made not only an appearance on the series, but was also in the second TV movie (from 1977) that preceded the launch of the show.
Barbara Billingsley (1915-2010) — Appeared twice, including playing the mother of Michael J. Fox.
David Birney (b. April 23, 1939) — Appeared twice, both two-parters; in one, he was ludicrously cast as an Italian playboy opposite then-wife Meredith Baxter.
Bix aka Robby the Robot (b. July 1, 1955) — Peter Marshall plays an inventor of a robot, and the robot is THE Robby the Robot of Forbidden Planet (1956).
Bill Bixby (1934-1993) — Only appeared once, and it was with his then-wife Brenda Benét.
Vivian Blaine (1921-1995) — The Broadway legend hysterically plays a judgey parishioner who's upset her pastor (Peter Graves) has a hot girlfriend (who casts Roz Kelly as the love interest of Peter Graves?!)
Janet Blair (1921-2007) — The perky Old Hollywood star's final three performances were on Fantasy Island (1980), The Love Boat (1982) and Murder, She Wrote (1991), a perfect trifecta of shows featuring past notables bidding adieu to show biz!
Linda Blair (b. January 22, 1959) — How great is it that the only time Linda The Exorcist Blair is on The Love Boat, her character's name is "Muffy"?!
Amanda Blake (1929-1989) — Paired with Barry Sullivan romantically, Blake's storyline with him was described as being about "seniors" in love ... and she had just turned 50 in real life.
Ronee Blakley (b. August 24, 1945) — God help the actresses condemned to play love interests to Sonny Bono.
Susan Blanchard (b. December 11, 1944 or 1948) — Worked with her husband (since 1977, still wed) on her second of two appearances.
Joan Blondell (1906-1979) — In an early power-coupling, Blondell fetchingly played the fiancée of Vincent Price, who was appearing as magician "The Amazing Alonzo."
Lloyd Bochner (1924-2005) — The handsome "To Serve Man"/The Twilight Zone (1962) smoothie was on twice. On his first cruise, his character and his character's son (Kevin Brophy) picked up chicks together.
Heidi Bohay (b. December 14, 1959) — The Hotel (1983-1987) star cruised three times, and was romantically involved with Sal Viscuso, William R. Moses and ... of course, if you appear that many times, the third time you're ending up with Doc! In this case, on her third cruise, Bohay was playing Jerry Sullivan Bricker, Doc's new bride. She was 26.
Ray Bolger (1904-1987) — The Scarecrow was on twice. My favorite was his first cruise, when he and Harriet Nelson were playing Titanic survivors (it went down in 1912!) thought to be cursed.
Frank Bonner (1942-2021) — Herb Tarlick sailed twice, once playing a veterinarian after Randi Oakes, and once playing a man pretending to be in love with Shelley Fabares ... but who was really after a her prize-winning foxhound.
Sonny Bono (1935-1998) — Sonny sailed four times (including a two-parter). The one that sticks out for me is when he played a man feigning an injury in order to sue the cruise line, but who falls for a hot girl (très chère Judy Landers) and eventually comes clean.
Sorrell Booke (1930-1994) — In 1980, Boss Hogg made his one and only voyage as a Puerto Rico-based, Sidney Greenstreet-style mystery man seemingly involved in the hunt for a missing person — with big bucks at stake.
Linwood Boomer (b. October 9, 1955) — In a rare acting role, this hottie was cast in 1982 in one of the series' ickiest, most dated storylines, as a man who is ignored by women (why?!) so pretend to have been sexually assaulted by a woman ... in order to generate interest! The whole thing is reminiscent of the infamous Too Close for Comfort male rape episode from 1985 — an in a twist, the hot chick Boomer's character is after is that show's Lydia Cornell! Watch for Gopher drooling over the man's account, jokes about men lining up to be assaulted next and plenty of other references to the ridiculousness of the idea that a man would ever object to sexual assault.
Ernest Borgnine (1917-2012) — Oscar winner was one of several Poseidon (1972) passengers who wound up on the Pacific Princess.
Tom Bosley (1927-2010) — Bosley was in the original 1976 TV movie, then sailed another four times (including a two-parter). He was paired with Priscilla Barnes on one cruise, falling for her while sailing with his estranged wife (Michele Lee).
Clark Brandon (b. December 13, 1958) — In one of the sexiest familial stories, Geoffrey Scott plays Brandon's dad (they're like 16 years apart in age) as they both fall for the same woman (Markie Post). Lot of pretty people in the mix.
Bart Braverman (b. February 1, 1946) — He sailed once (on a two-parter), as a man engaged to a woman (Lani O'Grady) who believes Julie McCoy is trying to steal his heart.
Rosanno Brazzi (1916-1994) — The Italian icon was, of course, on the big, star-studded voyage-to-Italy episode.
Larry Breeding (1946-1982) — Though he was dead by 1982, Breeding made two voyages, including playing a crew member on one. In life, Breeding was a busy TV actor, making guest appearances and starring on the short-lived series Who's Watching the Kids (1978-1979) and The Last Resort (1979-1980) and in a pilot for another before dying in a car crash on his 36th birthday. He had been romantically involved with Penny Marshall (1943-2018) at the time.
Eileen Brennan (1932-2013) — The gifted actress sailed once, playing the wife of a man (Pat Harrington Jr.) who finds out his mistress (Teri Copley) is also on the cruise. They decide to — GULP — share.
Dori Brenner (1946-2000) — Played a woman who discovers her long-lost dad is a ship's steward (Bob Crane).
Jeremy Brett (1933-1995) — Running out of storylines, the show cooked up one involving Brett playing the family stewart of ship's photographer Ace (Ted McGinley) who is sent to work for him on board ... which, of course, embarrasses Ace.
Lloyd Bridges (1913-1998) — The Hollywood legend sailed once, playing a man deciding who will be in his will.
Todd Bridges (b. May 27, 1965) — The Diff'rent Strokes (1978-1986) star played the neglected son of successful musicians (Billy Davis Jr. and Marilyn McCoo) on his solo cruise.
Danielle Brisebois (b. June 28, 1969) — Played a girl taken on her first cruise by a dad (William Christopher) who seeks to reconnect.
Morgan Brittany (b. December 5, 1951) — One of the show's frequent cruisers, Brittany appeared on six episodes (including a two-parter). In one, she was one half of a married couple convinced the world was ending, and in another plays a woman whose ex-fiancé (Richard Kline) tries to entice her back by feigning he is a victim of that great plague of '70s and '80s sitcoms: amnesia. She was also a romance novelist who envisions passengers in (TERRIBLE) Regency costumes as she tries to dream up her next novel.
James Broderick (1927-1982) — On his only cruise, Broderick is a professor who hooks up with a widow (Florence Henderson) who obsessively wants to make him more like her dead husband.
Kevin Brophy (b. November 1, 1953) — Just a few years earlier, he was the teen-stud star of the series Lucan (1977-1978) and was in all the teen mags. On The Love Boat, he was placed behind a pair of glasses and cast as a nerd awkwardly attempting to seduce a girl to impress his lothario pop.
Dr. Joyce Brothers (1927-2013) — The ubiquitous personality made a cameo appearance on the show as a satisfied customer who praised Capt. Stubing in front of a superior.
Olivia Brown (b. April 10, 1960) — Played an unwed, pregnant stowaway who gets some discreet help from Isaac.
Philip Brown (b. December 16, 1991) — His buddy (Vincent Van Patten) develops a crush on his mom (Samantha Eggar).
Woody Brown (b. February 26, 1956) — Plays the son of a ship's captain (Ted Knight) who is a rival to Capt. Stubing, and who betrays his dad by applying for work on the Princess.
Kathie Browne (1930-2003) — This familiar onetime ingénue (remember her as a Scalosian who falls for Kirk on Star Trek on a 1968 episode?) ended her acting career playing the worried mom of a young woman (Erin Moran) who was part of one couple in a 25-couple "Marriage-a-Thon" — with $50,000 prize money at stake. How very The Bachelor of this episode!
Pamela Brull (b. August 25, 1953) — Played an employee (who we only see once) who Ace must fire.
Ellen Bry (b. February 13, 1951) — She sailed three times. On her third trip, she played the cousin of Judy McCoy who was depicted as so picky with men that even Ben Murphy didn't immediately pass muster. That's picky.
Susan Buckner (b. January 28, 1953) — She played a young married whose husband (James MacArthur) has an ex-wife (Joanna Pettet) desperately trying to win him back.
Ray Buktenika (b. August 6, 1943) — Sailed thrice, once playing a tabloid reporter in hot pursuit of a famous woman (Joyce DeWitt) he mistakenly thinks is having an affair.
Gary Burghoff (b. May 24, 1943) — The M*A*S*H (1970 film, 1972-1979 series, 1984 spin-off) veteran actually has surprisingly few other credits, but managed to take two trips with the Pacific Princess. His most bizarre appearance was his first, as a guy trapped in his cabin by a vicious dog on Season 1 ... who proceeds to miss the whole cruise.
Delta Burke (b. July 30, 1956) — Before becoming A-list famous on Designing Women (1986-1991), she cruised three times. On her first voyage, in a strange triangle, she plays a woman ready to wed a rich, boorish guy (Jeffrey Tambor), but whose ex-boyfriend — also her ex-hairdresser! — shows up (Richard Gilliland) to win her back. They wind up pretending to be brother and sister.
Paul Burke (1926-2009) — A three-time cruiser, he was frequently an older man who caught the eye of younger women. Including Julie McCoy!
Raymond Burr (1917-1993) — In his two-part episode, the TV icon played an English teacher with a major drinking problem.
LeVar Burton (b. February 16, 1957) — In his only cruise, in 1984, the Roots (1977) star played a blind man competing with Isaac for a young woman's (Shari Belafonte) heart.
Dean Butler (b. May 20, 1956) — Sailed three times, and was paired with Mary Beth McDonough, Crystal Bernard and Mary Cadorette.
Red Buttons (1919-2006) — While an Oscar winner, he still sailed on the series three times! His first appearance was as Capt. Stubing's handsy uncle with the hots for Julie McCoy.
Ruth Buzzi (b. July 24, 1936) — Buzzi, so often presented as frumpy or wasted in one-dimensional roles, actually landed a juicy part (by Love Boat standards) in one of her two appearances, playing one half of a pair of ventriloquists who are booked to entertain but who must share a cabin in spite of being separated. Seeing her interact with Sid Caesar is a highlight of the show. Comedy legends only!
John Byner (b. June 28, 1938) — For his only cruise (a two-parter), Byner tackled the dark part of a suicidal comic playing Santa Claus for the Christmas cruise. Sounds like a lost Jerry Lewis movie! Adding to the weirdness, he became convinced Julie McCoy had a crush on him.
Edd Byrnes (1932-2020) — In a plotline involving three divorced men who decided to swear off women, casting former teenybopper idols Byrnes, Bobby Sherman and Fabian was the gimmick.
Mary Cadorette (b. March 3, 1957) — The Three's a Crowd (1984-1985) star played a newlywed convinced her hubby (Dean Butler) was being pursued romantically by cruise director Judy McCoy.
Sid Caesar (1922-2014) — Along with playing a ventriloquist married to fellow ventriloquist Ruth Buzzi on one of his two voyages, the comedy legend in 1984 played haberdasher Bert Multon, whose wife (Rose Marie) brings a picture of her aunt who used to mock him. Odd thing to bring along on a cruise! But go with it.
Charlie Callas (1927-2011) — Callas played a man married to an old pal of Doc's (Jill St. John), who is insecure about whether he really loves her.
Michael Callan (1955-1993) — Played a sad widower who finds love with another sad widow (Annette Funicello).
Cab Calloway (1907-1994) — The iconic bandleader made a relatively rare acting appearance as a businessman who tries to force Isaac's mom (Della Reese) to marry him by promising he'll make Isaac an exec.
Joseph Campanella (1924-2018) — The veteran character actor, who was Italian, played Egyptian on a special Nile cruise.
Diana Canova (b. June 1, 1953) — Canova was in the TV movie The Love Boat II (1977) the same year she began a three-year run on Soap. She went on to sail on the Pacific Princess three times. Or four, if you take into consideration that her first trip found her playing twins Helen and Ellen Edwards pretending to be the same girl so they can cruise on one ticket. Even though she was 24 at the time, one of the twins was of course hot for Doc.
Judy Canova (1913-1983) — Canova played a crew member who Capt. Stubing's dad (Phil Silvers) falls for in what became her final acting role before her 1983 death. Canova and Silvers had appeared on Broadway together in 1939's Yokel Boy.
Leslie Caron (b. July 1, 1931) — Not at all the funny, awkward girl we knew in Gigi (1958), Caron was Mrs. Duvall on the show's 1986 Christmas cruise. She and her real-life, look-alike daughter Jennifer Caron Hall were playing cunning card sharks.
Patricia Carr (b. December 6, 1937) — Played a nurse helping a sick man (real-life husband Tom Bosley) who refused to get well so he could spend more time with her.
Diahann Carroll (1935-2019) — Early on Season 1, Carroll uplifted the proceedings as fictional stahhhhr Roxy Blue. Fanboy Isaac got more than her autograph.
Pat Carroll (b. May 5, 1927) — The voice of Ursula was wasted as a busybody without a large storyline.
Jack Carter (1922-2015) — Rarely has a performer been better cast than brash stand-up Carter as a former hooker's (Caren Kaye) demanding client.
Angela Cartwright (b. September 9, 1952) — In a forward-thinking plot for 1982, Cartwright plays a surrogate. Sadly for the actual mom-to-be (Donna Pescow), her hubby (Grant Goodeve) seems interested in getting lost in the surrogate's private space.
Randall Carver (b. May 25, 1946) — Played the fiancé of an, ahem, hillbilly (Loni Anderson). He would've been a great Jethro.
Peggy Cass (1924-1999) — The Oscar nominee played a woman trying to liven up her marriage (to Gordon Jump), but who asks Capt. Stubing upon arriving when the ship would hit really deep water. Red flag!
David Cassidy (1950-2017) — Though he was the biggest teen idol imaginable 10 years earlier, by 1980, Cassidy was relegated to playing a minor role as an oil man's assistant. For those of you who notice such things, his slacks left little to the imagination in his introductory scene.
Joanna Cassidy (b. August 2, 1945) — Cassidy sailed twice, once playing sisters with Jaye P. Morgan and the other time playing a shrink who has to try to expose a man (Dick Shawn) who faked mental illness for his pension.
Patrick Cassidy (b. January 4, 1962) — Played a shady love interest for Vicki.
Carol Channing (1921-2019) — Channing deserved a Pacific Princess pension, she sailed so often: six times (including a two-parter)! She was Julie and Judy's auntie on every appearance, a rarity! Usually, the stars playing cast members' relatives were swapped out without any concern for continuity.
Cyd Charisse (1921-2008) — The leggy legend was perfectly cast as a former USO performer who is reunited with a smitten veteran (Craig Stevens).
Charo (b. January 15, 1941/1951) — Madonna is the Queen of Pop. Mariah Carey is the Queen of Christmas. Aretha Franklin is the Queen of Soul. And so, Charo is the Queen of The Love Boat. With a knockout 10 appearances, she is also closely associated with the show for playing the same character, bubbly performer April Lopez, and gifting the series with many fun musical performances, all after starting out as a stowaway in a laundry hamper.
William Christopher (1932-2016) — Father Mulcahy sailed three times. My favorite was when he and his estranged wife (Toni Tennille) had to share a cabin and performed a sort of Felix & Oscar routine.
Jan Clayton (1917-1983) — The Lassie (1954-1957) star gave her last performance as a member of a floating bridge game.
James Coco (1930-1987) — Larger than life and born with his tongue firmly in his cheek, Coco was perfect for the show, so of course sailed multiple (three) times. On one, he played a businessman (whose partner was David Doyle) who has to fake his own death in order to use the insurance money to pay off loan sharks.
Dennis Cole (1940-2009) — Cole sailed three times. On his first voyage, he played a P.I. charged with following a woman (real-life — for a real short time — wife Jaclyn Smith) on the cruise to avoid the pressures of married life. Hint: Never hire a former physique model to tail your wife.
Michael Cole (b. July 3, 1940) — Played a football star now in a wheelchair in a rare reference to the then-recent Vietnam War.
Dabney Coleman (b. January 3, 1932) — Always so good at being so bad, Coleman played a fraudster trying to trick three gullible pals (Rue McClanahan, Dave Madden and Dena Dietrich) out of their investment money.
Jack Coleman (b. February 21, 1958) — On a 1985 ep, the former Steven Carrington played a biker who has retired (and is married to Lisa Whelchel) but whose coach (Harry Morgan) wants him back on the banana seat.
Gary Collins (1938-2012) — Collins sailed twice in 1978, the second time playing opposite real-life wife Mary Ann Mobley.
Joan Collins (b. May 23, 1933) — ABC was very good to the movie-turned-TV star. In 1983, early on in Alexis hysteria, she was not exactly asked to stretch by playing a movie star who Capt. Stubing fawned over. But why did such a reinvigorated star do The Love Boat? She admitted to an interviewer, "It was in my contract for Dynasty that I had to do it."
Jeff Conaway (1950-2011) — Played a pro golfer and heart transplant recipient. There is a "hole in one" joke to be made somewhere.
Didi Conn (b. July 13, 1951) — Frenchie sailed twice, once playing a woman upset that her ex-boyfriend has become engaged to someone else (Wendy Schaal) — so she stages a protest.
Christopher Connelly (1941-1988) — The handsome star of the TV version of Paper Moon (1974) played "the travel agent's travel agent who tries it with Julie, who is far too concerned with trying to join her crew mates in a nonexistent club they've invented so they can plan her a surprise party.
Chuck Connors (1921-1992) — It took until the final season for the western star — who gamely winked in his porthole intro — to take a cruise. When he did, he did so with Constance Forslund on his arm. In a kinky storyline, he's paying her bills, and she's being pursued by a hottie (Ted McGinley) whose older companion (Vera Miles) is paying his bills.
Mike Connors (1925-2017) — Connors took two, two-part cruises, including getting to go on the fabled fashion cruise.
Hans Conried (1917-1982) — Played Capt. Stubing's boss.
Michael Constantine (1927-2021) — Only sailed once, on the China cruise.
Frank Converse (b. May 22, 1938) — In a typically Season 1 plot, he played a man who stole a million bucks and after confessing to his hook-up (Marcia Strassman), has to deal with the fallout when she admits she's a cop — and, sadly, not a dirty one.
Bert Convy (1933-1991) — I'm such a Bert Convy fan! The Broadway performer and game show host did a fair bit of acting, including four trips on the Pacific Princess (one a two-parter). He was Philip McKeon's dad, Florence Henderson's boyfriend, himself and a man traveling in drag to spy on his wife (Patty Duke).
Gary Conway (b. February 4, 1936) — In his final TV role, Conway plays a cuckolded fiancé to two-timing Juliet Mills.
Carole Cook (b. January 14, 1924) — The TV institution and Lucille Ball (1911-1989) protégée played a star going incognito as Doc's nurse to research a role — but who finds love with a man (Forrest Tucker) who hates Hollywood types!
Jeff Cooper (?-2018) Played a talent scout who Isaac was hoping to impress.
Teri Copley (b. May 10, 1961) — Including a two-parter, the buxom blonde sailed twice, once as a mistress (to Pat Harrington Jr.) and once as a newly hired tour guide who has to deal with a bunch of crotchety old-timers and winds up thrilled that her job doesn't rely on her comely appearance.
Alex Cord (1933-2021) — Sailed twice, playing a coach to an Olympian-wannabe (Nancy McKeon).
Al Corley (b. May 22, 1956) — The Dynasty (1981-1982) dude and singer sailed in 1980, playing one of two brothers (the other being Mark Pinter) sharing the honeymoon suite.
Lydia Cornell (b. July 23, 1953) — The Too Close for Comfort (1980-1985) bombshell sailed five times, though she was not given the porthole treatment on her first voyage, considering her part was Passenger Who Lost Expensive Ring! She had nice chemistry with advertising man Brodie Greer as they worked against each other and on a campaign to impress her mom (Evelyn Keyes) on her second voyage.
Joseph Cotten (1905-1994) — It's hard to believe that the Hollywood legend took a cruise on the Pacific Princess in what became his final TV role. For someone of his stature, his only suitable sailing companion was Olivia de Havilland. Sadly, his frailty was noticeable.
Franklin Cover (1928-2006) — Played a man who winds up promising his wife's (Charlotte Rae) favors to a bookie (Vic Tayback) looking to collect.
Courteney Cox (b. June 15, 1964) — Yes, she goes all the way back to The Love Boat! Cox in 1986 (a very early role for her) played a young woman who challenges a daredevil (Peter Scolari) to give up his dayjob.
Bob Crane (1928-1978) — Second guest star to die, on June 29, 1978. His murder, a death by bludgeoning, became an infamous Hollywood mystery. His final performance was on this show, as a loser steward who faked his death (as a sea hero) years ago and who is faced with having to reveal himself to his adult daughter (Dori Brenner).
Cricket the terrier (b. ?) — One of just six animals given the porthole treatment.
Linda Cristal (1931-2020) — Though she stopped acting after the '80s, she made time for one cruise opposite Alejandro Rey, playing a woman who uses Doc to make her man jealous.
Cathy Lee Crosby (b. December 2, 1944) — Incredibly, she sailed three times. Her most unusual role was her second, as a woman trying to become a ship's captain and the final time
Mary Crosby (b. September 14, 1959) — Sailing three times (including two two-parters), she has the distinction of holding one of the show's nuttiest roles, as a mermaid named Coral who is being taken (as cargo) in the ship's hold. In reality, she is a woman named Cora, and the mermaid bit is just a dream (maybe that's where Dallas got the Bobby Ewing idea?!) dreamt up by a lovelorn nerd (Ed Begley Jr.)
Norm Crosby (1927-2020) — Played goodhearted Wally the bartender.
Murphy Cross (b. June 22, 1950) — Played a pregnant woman whose husband is more worried about the impending birth than she is.
Pat Crowley (b. September 17, 1933) — The star of Please Don't Eat the Daisies (1965-1967) sailed three times, including one trip on which she was the sister of a woman (Marion Ross) who gets jealous when she falls for a guy (Brett Halsey).
Scatman Crothers (1910-1986) — Very busy throughout the '70s and '80s on TV and in the movies, Crothers sailed twice. The episode you have to see is the racially ... awkward ... one on which he plays Virgil "Scattergun" Gibson, a performer who embarrasses a proud Black woman (Vernee Watson). The segment, called "Isaac's History Lesson" — because the woman is put in her place for her views — was written by white Fred Grandy and white Bernie Kopell.
Billy Crystal (b. March 14, 1948) — He was the ship's infamous kissing bandit (this concept has not aged well), but one who falls for a single girl (Laurie Walters).
Robert Culp (1930-2010) — He only sailed once, playing an Air Force major with a submissive Asian wife (Nobo McCarthy) and a dominant ex-flame (Jo Ann Pflug).
Bob Cummings (1910-1990) — The TV institution gave his last performance on The Love Boat, playing Gopher's dad, with Gopher's mom played by Ethel Merman!
Quinn Cummings (b. August 13, 1967) — Big on Family (1978-1980), Cummings gave one of her last performances on a latter-day Love Boat as a teen runaway who meets Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers, and they try to help her. They were running out of storylines.
Jane Curtin (b. September 6, 1947) — In her first-ever non-SNL TV performance, Curtin plays one of three old college galpals (with Joanna Kerns and Susan Heldfond), who decide they'll play Romance Roulette. The object is to try to get a guy to say a buzzword — and then screw him if he says it. Curtin is the most uptight one (reading a book, the professor states, "Tennyson is very good for the soul"). They pick the word "screwdriver" and the not-so-ignorant slut gets a very sexy handyman (Vincent Baggetta) to say it.
Jamie Lee Curtis (b. November 22, 1958) — A year into her acting career, Curtis appeared on a 1977 episode as a newlywed whose divorced parents (her real-life mom Janet Leigh, her real-life NOT dad Conrad Bain) are locked in a cabin while wishing her a bon voyage and rekindle their romance.
Jon Cypher (b. January 13, 1932) — He stole a crush (Barbara Rush) from Capt. Stubing!
Arlene Dahl (b. August 11, 1925-November 29, 2021) — The glam '40s star-turned-lifestyle CEO was within several credits of ending her acting career entirely when she sailed no fewer than four times. Every inch a star, her roles were not particularly juicy (though her character having an affair with ship's mechanic Vic Tayback was a wild pairing), but I love her character names: Monica Cross, Natalie Martin, Ellen Kirkwood and Jessica York.
Bill Daily (1927-2018) — The Bob Newhart Show (1972-1978) veteran only sailed one time, in 1979 (a two-parter). His part is super dated — a single man who needs to show his boss (John Hillerman) that he is a family man, so he hires a fake wife (Roz Kelly), mother (Patsy Kelly) and son (Jackie Earle Haley). That phony family was like IMDb soup!
Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders (NA) — The '70s pop-cultural sensations were aboard for a 1979 cruise that found some of them interacting with none other than grande dame Ginger Rogers! One of them plays the Dina Merrill's daughter (Gaye Carter), whom Dina suspects is scamming on her man (William Wyndom).
Abby Dalton (1932-2020) — Dalton played the love-starved wife of a successful, but plagiarizing, author (Tom Poston) who is being blackmailed by his assistant (Leslie Easterbrook).
Cathryn Damon (1930-1987) — The Soap (1977-1981) star cruised twice. Once, she was traveling with galpals (Jo Ann Pflug and Brett Somers), all of whom were hit on by a womanizer (David Doyle) who had no idea they knew each other. Terribly '70s!
Starr Danias (b. March 18, 1949) — In only her second of five acting credits, she played half of a dance team (with John Meehan) who gets jealous when his ex, Carol Lawrence, tries to meddle in their, uh, affairs.
Cesare Danova (1926-1992) — Played a 55-year-old gigolo traveling with a socialite (Marti Stevens) who, by the way, was actually younger than him.
Tony Danza (b. April 21, 1951) — As Taxi (1978-1983) was stalling out, Danza took a cruise to Japan. In his storyline, the Italian-American is playing the son of Japanese star James Shigeta. A photographer (Heather Thomas) whose dad was maimed in WWII falls for Tony, who isn't immediately aware that she hates the Japanese because of her father's misfortune.
Kim Darby (b. July 8, 1947) — Darby played a woman invited to take a free high-school reunion cruise by an anonymous admirer, and on her second cruise played a woman pursuing a single dad (Lawrence Pressman) ... who isn't a dad, so he hires a kid (Louanne) to play the party. Lots of rent-a-family plots on this show.
Jennifer Darling (b. June 19, 1946) — Played the mom of a kid (Ronnie Scribner) hitting it off with Vicki.
James Darren (b. June 8, 1936) — "Can I get a list of all the single girls on the ship?" That's his opening line as an Encyclopedia of World Records rep traveling with a nerd (Ron Palillo) who intends to break the world record for "makin' love."
John Davidson (b. December 13, 1941) — Played an oily suntan VP looking for a Scandinavian girl to pose as the company's spokesmodel on a 1985 episode.
Ann B. Davis (1926-2014) — The TV veteran took a brief break from revisiting her role as Alice to play, well, an Alice type traveling with her friend (Jane Withers). Though the friend wants to be sure no parties are going on near their room, Davis's character urges Gopher to arrange some! Still hard up from her coy-Sam days.
Clifton Davis (b. October 4, 1945) — Played the jock husband of a supermodel (Bern'Nadette Stanis), an old flame of Isaac's.
Phyllis Davis (1940-2013) — The Vega$ (1978-1981) actress was born to play a swimsuit lovely on this show. My proof: she sailed four times! Interestingly, the bombshell was romantically paired with Peter Marshall, Arte Johnson (who her character was pursuing), Dick Martin (who her character was pursuing) and ... Sam Groom. That's more like it!
Richard Dawson (1932-2012) — The ultimate game show host gave his second-to-last performance playing a character other than himself on a 1978 cruise. He was a songwriter who bumps into his estranged old partner (Robert Goulet).
Laraine Day (1920-2007) — The MGM star ably played the birth mother of a woman (Donna Mills) hunting her down. Day makes a grand entrance in a stunning caftan, and gets some tear-jerking scenes when it turns out her son (David Birney) has been shtupping her daughter ... but don't worry! The son is a stepson. Whew.
Gloria DeHaven (1925-2016) — Another MGM star, she passed through twice. The second time around, she was a woman competing for her husband's (Donald O'Connor) attention with his orangutan.
Olivia de Havilland (1916-2020) — Double Oscar winner (one of three double Oscar winners who cruised) played Julie McCoy's Aunt Hilly, whose latest mate is a colonel (Joseph Cotten).
Richard Deacon (1921-1984) — Hilarious as a group therapist whose group pursues him on his cruise in search of continuous treatment.
Rosemary DeCamp (1910-2001) — Played a stuffy matron who urges her ad-man hubby (Don DeFore) to fight dirty to keep his client, a soap baron (David White) when another ad man (Bruce Solomon) — a poseur — shows up ready to poach him.
Don DeFore (1913-1993) — In an unusual twist, DeFore's cruise is described DeRectly above, in DeCamp's entry!
Delvene Delaney (b. August 26, 1951) — Played a cruise director Gopher and Doc both fell for.
Sandy Dennis (1937-1992) — The Oscar winner was slumming it in 1985 as a former teacher who gets her hopes up when a rich guy (Harvey Korman) swears he will fulfill her dreams.
Bob Denver (1935-2005) — You'd think that Gilligan would not be allowed anywhere near a ship, but he sailed twice. One time, he was a buddy of Doc's whose wife (Brianne Leary) threw him out for what she assumed was cheating.
Colleen Dewhurst (1924-1991) — On a two-parter, played a woman traveling with her son (Peter Barton) who finds herself reunited with her husband, an actor (Trevor Howard).
Joyce DeWitt (b. April 23, 1949) — DeWitt hasn't done as much TV as you'd think, but she did — in 1979 — squeeze in a cruise! It was a fun role as a glamorous celeb ducking a tabloid reporter (Ray Buktenica). DeWitt and Buktenica were romantically involved in real life at the time. They didn't work together, but her Three's Company castmate Richard Kline was on the same episode.
Dena Dietrich (1928-2020) — It's not nice to fool Mother Nature, but that's what Dabney Coleman (playing a fraudster) tried to do on a 1978 episode!
Phyllis Diller (1917-2012) — The stand-up legend played, of all things, an IRS agent on one trip, albeit one Capt. Stubing accidentally gets revved up. In a very Phyllis Diller follow-up cruise, she plays an old classmate of Stubing's who raves about his youthful looks ... leading to him desperately trying to conceal his baldness from her. (He should look good to her — he was 14 years her junior!)
Bradford Dillman (1930-2018) — The handsome movie actor played a prick of a VP romancing a woman from payroll (Cristina Raines), already a no-no, and who must deal with his assistant (Mark Harmon) going for the same girl.
Donna Dixon (b. July 20, 1957) — Mrs. Dan Aykroyd was recently employed on Bosom Buddies (1980-1982) when she set sail for Australia in 1981, making it only her second job. She was playing a Marilyn Monroe-esque anthropologist whose colleague (Gary Frank) was also her wannabe-fiancé. In one of those questionable episodes, she was trying to protect a "Mongola" (Patrick Ward), an evolutionary missing link. (Albeit a hoax.) Lots of "native" scenes.
Elinor Donahue (b. April 19, 1937) — She sailed four times! In one of the show's odder casting jobs of a family, she played the sister of Warren Berlinger, and they were the children of Minnie Pearl and Arthur Godfrey! Even Ryan Murphy wouldn't go this far.
Troy Donahue (1936-2001) — On his 1980 voyage, Donahue and wife Terry Moore were trying to marry off their son, played by Lorenzo Lamas.
Mike Douglas (1920-2006) — The talk-show titan's last-ever TV acting gig was as the head of a lodge called the Rhinos, of which Capt. Stubing is a member. Alas, when they ask Stubing to pick a speaker and the picks Isaac, Douglas's character reveals himself to be a racist — which is no good when the Pacific Princess promises something for everyone.
Tony Dow (b. April 13, 1945) — He sailed twice, once reprising his role as Wally Cleaver, and, on an earlier voyage, playing a bow-tied nerd pursuing an unmarried mom (Jeannie Wilson).
David Doyle (1929-1997) — Bosley was on the series a half-dozen times, playing a womanizer, a man romancing a married lady (Betty White), a bragging dad, a lecherous boss, a desperately-in-debt businessman and — in a cameo — a repairman.
Ja’Net DuBois (1932-2020) — The Good Times (1974-1979) gal was seeking a good time on a 1980 cruise, but her son (Mark James) kept trying to get her back together with her ex (Cleavon Little).
Howard Duff (1913-1990) — In a classic Love Boat revisitation of Old Hollywood, Duff played a gambler who meets a possible psychic (Greer Garson) and tries to use her to beat the stock market.
Julia Duffy (b. June 27, 1951) — Duffy sailed twice (including a two-parter). In her last episode, she played a young woman trying to get her jewel-thief uncle (Patrick Macnee) to give up his dirty business.
Patrick Duffy (b. March 17, 1949) — I am wondering how ABC got CBS star Patrick Duffy to take a cruise right when he was hot as fire on Dallas (1979-1991), but he did just that in 1981, as a SEXY but GASP illiterate man who is the target of both Michelle Phillips and Jenilee Harrison. Maybe because it gave him a shot at showing off his New Zealand accent?
Sandy Duncan (b. February 20, 1946) — The Broadway trouper played a grieving mom who seeks to replace her dead son by befriending a kid (James Bond III, a real name) who has used his paper-route money to take his parents (J. Jay Saunders and Marilyn Coleman) on a cruise.
Nancy Dussault (b. June 30, 1936) — Dussault cruised three times (including a two-parter). Playing hicks her first two trips,
Leslie Easterbrook (b. July 29, 1949) — Rhonddddda from Laverne & Shirley (1980-1983) sailed twice, once as a ship's chef making the head chef (Jay Johnson) jelly, and later as a scheming, blackmailing bitch.
Herb Edelman (1933-1996) — Hi. It was Stan. Edelman sailed three times (including a two-parter). On his second voyage, he played the husband of a shopaholic played by Brenda Vaccaro, who would also show up on The Golden Girls (1985-1992 for Herb, 1990 for Brenda).
Samantha Eggar (b. March 5, 1939) — The acclaimed actress played a fake fortune teller who catches Capt. Stubing's eye on one episode, and a sort of Mrs. Robinson for a youngster (Vincent Van Patten) on her second voyage.
Britt Ekland (b. October 6, 1942) — The blonde bombshell sailed twice. First, she played a bad driver who broke a guy's (Alan Feinstein) leg, only to encounter him aboard. On her second trip, she played the object of Don Adams's affection when he played a paranoid safety inspector.
Elizabeth, the Koala — One of six animal credits.
Ron Ely (b. June 21, 1938) — TV's Tarzan (1966-1968) was quite a swinger, taking three voyages. He played a TV star who fails to live up to Vicki's expectations, a philanderer (with Jill St. John) and a potential philanderer who bumps into a married, golf-widow ex-flame (Stella Stevens).
Georgia Engel (1948-2019) — Georgette from Mary Tyler Moore (1972-1977) cruised three times after appearing on the 1977 TV movie. Charmingly, on one visit, she competed with a trained seal for the affections of an animal trainer (Donald O'Connor).
Devon Ericson (b. December 21, 1952) — Played a brownie magnate trying to lure an ex-sorority sis (Jan Smithers) into a job over the concerns of her consumer advocate hubby (Ray Buktenica).
Erik Estrada (b. March 16, 1949) — Early on, he played a musician, Jimmy Lawrence, who was an old flame of an up-and-coming businesswoman (Mackenzie Phillips) cruising with her dad (Allen Ludden).
Denny Evans (b. April 15, 1946) — Played a bookworm mismatched by a computer dating service with Carole Ita White, and who ends up with Shelley Long.
Linda Evans (b. November 18, 1942) — Sailed on three two-parters. On one, she plays a woman who attracts rich suitors who is traveling with bestie Jessica Walter — the plan being that she'll land her friend's rich uncle (Lloyd Bridges) and then funnel some of the cash over to her friend.
Maurice Evans (1901-1989) — In his final episodic-TV performance, Evans played a man whose sister's (Mildred Natwick) friend (Helen Hayes) is considering marrying him to take the pressure off her nephew (James MacArthur) so he can focus on his own relationship. Natwick and Hayes were, of course, Snoop Sisters (1972) co-stars, while Hayes and MacArthur were real-life mother and son.
Chad Everett (1937-2012) — He sailed on the two-part Egyptian cruise in 1986, playing a tabloid journalist romancing a starlet (Deborah Adair) he has recently savaged in a damaging interview.
Shelley Fabares (b. January 19, 1944) — She sailed three times, including in as a lawyer in a May-December romance with a younger colleague (David Hasselhoff). Okay, they're only eight years apart, but for this show, a woman older than a man is automatically old enough to be his mom.
Fabian (b. February 6, 1943) — In a teen-idol reunion of sorts, the "Turn Me Loose" singer teamed with Edd Byrnes and Bobby Sherman to play three buddies with high alimony payments who have sworn off women ... until a lady (Annette Funicello) threatens to distract each and every one of them.
Nanette Fabray (1920-2018) — The veteran sailed three times (same number as her niece, Shelley Fabares). Perhaps most entertainingly, her first voyage found her playing Mitzy Monroe, a performer divorced from fellow performer Lenny Carmen (Don Adams) yet hired by Julie to put on a show. She also played a 58-year-old woman who finds out she's pregnant.
Douglas Fairbanks Jr. (1909-2000) — The dapper member of Hollywood royalty (his dad was even more famous than Meghan McCain's!) played two different men, both named Elliott, on two episodes. His first appearance was on a 1979 two-parter, and his last came in 1981. The 1979 episode found him reteamed with his co-star from the 1938 film Having Wonderful Time, Miss Ginger Rogers, a real show-biz great who was playing fictional show-biz great Stella Logan.
Morgan Fairchild (b. February 3, 1950) — That's it, that's the cruise ticket! Gorgeous Fairchild cruised in 1981, playing the grandniece of a rich man (Lloyd Bridges) deciding how his will is going to shake out. Because he frowns on breakups, she is sailing with her ex (Grant Goodeve), much to the chagrin of her fiancé (Alan Fletcher).
Lola Falana (b. September 11, 1942) — Multi-talented entertainer Falana was very near to retiring from acting when she sailed as ravishing Mara Carroll, a passenger who has a fling with Isaac ... without knowing he is the ship's bartender. She had only four more acting gigs after this, endured MS and has become a religious motivational speaker.
Stephanie Faracy (b. January 1, 1952) — Played the girlfriend of a bookie (James Sloyan) who finds herself in the crosshairs of an undercover FBI agent (Jack Riley) trying to put the bookie behind bars.
Antonio Fargas (b. August 14, 1946) — He played a cad going on a cruise with his mistress (Jonelle Allen).
Jamie Farr (b. July 1, 1934) — Sailing three times, Farr wasn't required to don any dresses. On Season 1's Valentine's cruise, he plays Seymour, a commodity trader pushing for alone-time with a (fake) French babe (Susan Silo). He later played an Interpol inspector on a two-parter. Most outrageously, his final cruise was a Four Seasons situation, with an older couple (Louis Nye and Charlotte Rae) and their divorced friend (Farr) having to deal with the divorced dude's young babe of a GF (Heather Locklear).
Shea Farrell (b. October 21, 1957) — Farrell, of Hotel (1983-1986), sailed twice in 1984, playing a newlywed with a gambling-addicted wife (Leah Ayres) and later playing a pal of Ace's.
Alice Faye (1915-1998) — In 1980, she played Betty Layton, the wife of a man (Noah Beery Jr.) who gets a li'l carried away giving her presents after life-saving surgery. It was the Old Hollywood superstar's final performance.
Alan Feinstein (b. September 8, 1941) — Played a man whose leg is in a cast, and who meets the woman (Britt Ekland) who put it there.
Tovah Feldshuh (b. December 27, 1952) — She sailed twice, including on only the second episode as the roomie of a woman ... who is actually John Ritter in drag.
Norman Fell (1924-1998) — Mr. Roper sailed in 1978, playing Julie's dad, with Betty Garrett playing her mom.
Cristina Ferrare (b. February 18, 1950) — The ex of John DeLorean (1925-2005) acting sparingly from 1966-2005, racking up just a baker's dozen of parts. On a two-parter, she played the imaginatively named Melissa Monday on the faboosh Fashion Cruise.
Conchata Ferrell (1943-2020) — In a fairly early role for the future star of Two and a Half Men (2003-2015), Ferrell in 1977 appeared on a two-parter about a high school reunion as Bitsy Sheldon, whose yearbook pic (which is not a pic of Ferrell) has Doc salivating ... until she shows up and is as big as a house. In fact, Ferrell is not that heavy, but it's a huge deal. Ferrell herself makes humiliating jokes about her weight, and Gopher says, "Dreamboat? Looks like the whole fleet is in!" When she goes out with Doc, she gets the impression that Gopher "saves" him, so plays hard to get. Doc, proving a point (including to himself), continues to pursue the "sensational fat lady." The get it on, and Doc even proposes they fly to San Francisco after the trip!
José Ferrer (1912-1992) — Oscar winner sailed twice, once as a disgraced scientist who pays a guy (Patrick Ward) to pretend he's the missing link. On the second-to-last season, he was seen scolding necking audience members (Vicki Lawrence and David Spielberg) for distracting him from the movie — which is his own Cyrano de Bergerac (1950) Oscar-winning performance!
Mel Ferrer (1917-2008) — The lame puppeteer from Lili (1953) and an accomplished producer and director sailed on the German cruise in 1985, playing a businesswoman's (Alexis Smith) long-ago love.
Irena Ferris (b. September 19, 1958) — Model and actress who was Doc's new bride Tania on one cruise and a secretary whose boss (Bert Convy) and his son (Philip McKeon) both want to give her their dictation.
Pat Finley (b. October 14, 1940) — Sailed as a woman hoping for romance with a TV star (Don Knotts), but (1) the man was simply a look-alike, and (2) her competition was Julie Newmar.
Fannie Flagg (b. September 21, 1944) — The game show staple and future novelist cruised three times, the last of which proved to be her final TV acting gig. On that episode, she was wed to Robert Mandan and played the aunt of a guy (Danny Goldman) who in real life was older than she was!
Rhonda Fleming (1923-2020) — The Queen of Technicolor gave her last episodic-TV performance as, what else, a movie star. As Mona Maxwell, she is pursued by a longtime fan (Orson Bean), but worries she can't live up to the dream. They actually have great chemistry and Fleming is wonderfully vivacious.
Char Fontane (1952-2007) — Played the smitten assistant of an oblivious professor (Dick Martin).
Joan Fontaine (1917-2013) — The glamorous Oscar winner played an old friend of Capt. Stubing's who bumps into another old friend (Richard Basehart), who is ashamed he is confined to a wheelchair. Fontaine's Jennifer Langley says she stays youthful with "vitamin E, hard work and ... hope."
Constance Forslund (b. June 19, 1950) — Sailed twice. On one, she played a pushy pal who notes that her self-described "freak of the modern world" friend (Mary Beth McDonough) is still a virgin at 23, information one doesn't usually reveal to one's cruise director.
John Forsythe (1918-2010) — Charlie took the China cruise in 1983, playing a thwarted love interest for a sick lady (Ursula Andress). Forsythe's character tries to board the ship but gets arrested. Where's Sabrina Duncan when you need her?
Phil Foster (1913-1985) — Cruised on a Season 1 ep as a has-been stand-up who persuades Julie to let him entertain as a way to repay a debt he feels he owes her dad.
Bernard Fox (1927-2016) — He would later sail disastrously on Titanic (1997), but on his 1981 cruise, Dr. Bombay got together with Mrs. Roper (Audra Lindley).
Michael J. Fox (b. June 9, 1961) — Fox was somewhat typecast as a douchebag, already having become famous as Alex P. Keaton. This time, he played the son of a traveling couple (Don Porter and Barbara Billingsley) who insists on harassing a steward (Gregg Henry) to be sure everything is up to snuff, only to randomly discover that the steward is his brother!
Tony Franciosa (1928-2006) — Traveling on the 1986 Christmas cruise, he made quite a pair with Gina Lollobrigida as a couple reunited after many years apart.
Charles Frank (b. April 17, 1947) — Sailed four times, playing Julie's love interest, an incognito movie star's (Loni Anderson) love interest, a soap actor whose evil on-screen persona confuses a fangirl (Jayne Meadows) and a fitness author suffering fainting spells.
Gary Frank (b. October 9, 1950) — Sailing on the 1977 TV movie and once on the regular series, his skills gleaned from working with the Actor's Studio since 1969 weren't required, though he was a good well-intentioned anthropologist on the infamous "Mongala" episode.
Bonnie Franklin (1944-2013) — Bonnie played Capt. Stubing's vindictive ex on the very first proper episode. She was of course now the wife of one of his bosses, so was hellbent on getting revenge.
Pamela Franklin (b. February 3, 1950) — The British actress played a young woman separated from her husband (Robert Urich) who is pregnant with his child — and he has no idea she's on board.
Sheila Frazier (b. November 13, 1948) — Played a knockout trying to pick up Isaac, who is suffering from hearing loss due to a cold.
Penny Fuller (b. July 20, 1940) — Sailed twice, most memorably as the secretary of a chick-magnet rock star (Engelbert Humperdinck) who is actually his secret wife.
Robert Fuller (b. July 29, 1933) — He sailed twice, including as a boss who takes the cruise to convince his female veep (Judy Norton) not to resign in disgrace because of (untrue, at the time ... ) rumors of their having an affair. Interestingly, his second cruise also involved a messy, "work-related" love story — he played a city councilman defeated by a woman (Shelley Fabares) who finds herself falling for him.
Annette Funicello (1942-2013) — Sailed twice, with the last being one of her final episodic-TV perfs. Her first cruise found her playing against type, as a depressed widow
Sharon Gabet (b. January 13, 1952) — The future soap actress made her acting debut as a missionary with the hots for preacher (Robert Pine).
Eva Gabor (1919-1995) — Eva sailed thrice. On Season 1, she was great as Dear Abby type who ignores her hubby (Leslie Nielsen) while catering to her omnipresent fans.
Zsa Zsa Gabor (1917-2016) — The other Gabor sailed only once, playing the ex-girlfriend of Capt. Stubing's brother (also played by Gavin MacLeod), who is trying to win him back from his new lady (Arlene Dahl), giving, "dahling" a whole new meaning.
John Gabriel (1931-2021) — The soap star sailed once, in 1980, in a small role as the father of a kid (Ronnie Scribner) helping a stowaway (Tony Ramirez).
Teresa Ganzel (b. March 23, 1957) — Early in her career, the actress played one half of a couple (with the late Christopher Mayer) who wants Ace to father their child.
Betty Garrett (1919-2011) — Sailed as Julie McCoy's mom, who announces she and Julie's dad (Norman Fell) are getting a divorce.
Greer Garson (1904-1996) — The Oscar winner gave her first performance in several years on a 1982 voyage, which turned out to be her last in any medium. She played a fake clairvoyant whose love interest (Howard Duff) plans to use her to beat the stock market.
The Gatlin Brothers — Rudy Gatlin (b. August 20, 1952), Steve Gatlin (b. April 4, 1951), Larry Gatlin (b. May 2, 1948) — The country group sailed once, in 1986, on an episode that found Larry (playing himself) trying to help a runaway (Quinn Cummings).
Dick Gautier (1931-2017) — Was there ever an actor more suited to this show?! Gautier was notoriously flirty and in his forties, so was ripe for two cruises. On "Musical Cabins," he played a male chauvinist pig, and on "Making the Grade," he played a kid's (Johnny Timko) teacher who romances his widowed mom (Jessica Walter).
John Gavin (1931-2018) — The Hitchcock hottie did not end his acting career with this show ... he saved that for a 1981 Fantasy Island. On a Season 1 episode, Gavin played an ex-con who meets his law partner — whose crime sent him to prison — and plots revenge. Can Donna Mills stop him?
Janet Gaynor (1906-1984) — The very first to win the Oscar for Best Actress gave her first TV acting appearance in 22 years when she appeared as Violet Hooper on a 1981 episode. The cute storyline found her playing a secretly frugal wife who has amassed a nest egg, but whose husband (Lew Ayres) resents her doing it behind his back.
Will Geer (1902-1978) — First guest to die, on April 22, 1978. His episode aired on Christmas Eve 1977, meaning he died less than four months after.
Christopher George (1931-1983) — Sailed three times (including a two-parter) in quick succession. On one, he was with a young woman (Caren Kaye) who was, unbeknownst to him, a former call girl. On the high school reunion episode, he was Ross Randall, the school thesp who has become a TV star. But most interestingly, on his last voyage, he played a sexist sportscaster whose colleague (real-life wife Lynda Day George) challenges him to a Billie Jean King/Bobby Riggs-style contest.
Lynda Day George (b. December 11, 1944) — George made three voyages. Along with working opposite her hubby, Christopher George (see above), she played a woman trying to convince her older partner (Leslie Nielsen) that age ain't nothin' but a number. I liked her has the mother of a hyperactive child (Corey Feldman, not well enough known to get the porthole intro). She is trying to experience love with John Phillip Law, but her son's behavior puts a topical damper on it.
Marla Gibbs (b. June 14, 1931) — Played a woman whose ex (Flip Wilson!) comes on board threatening suicide. Comedy gold, right?
Henry Gibson (1935-2009) — Played a thief (with partner Keenan Wynn) who is transporting stolen gold on the Pacific Princess.
Melissa Gilbert (b. May 8, 1964) — From prairie schooner to ocean liner! Gilbert played a tomboy named Rocky having her first romance with a boy (Jimmy Baio).
Jack Gilford (1908-1990) — This familiar face sailed twice, in back-to-back seasons (1981 and 1982), as a member of an old-time gang and as an old newlywed worried if he'll be able to perform on his honeymoon with his old wife (played by NOT OLD Nancy Walker, who wasn't even 60 yet). Golden Girls fan? Nancy would go on to play Sofia's sister (1987), and Jack would go on to play her husband (1988).
Richard Gilliland (1950-2021) — He had that Love Boat look, sailing four times (including a two-parter). First, he bets a buddy (Adam Arkin) he can nail Julie first. The stakes: a pizza. Next, he and his wife (Debra Clinger) spent the cruise looking for lost designer duds and trying to hide their union from their boss (Dick Shawn), her pop. He was most endearing pursuing his ex (Delta Burke), who had moved on with a richie (Jeffrey Tambor). And as was common on the show, he was part of a fake fam — posing as a newlywed with Erin Moran in order to share a suite.
Lillian Gish (1893-1993) — Person with the second earliest birth date to appear as a credited guest. Her episode aired on January 10, 1981, at which time she was 87. She played Isaac's high school teacher (gosh, she would've been in her seventies even then) whose grandson is, random of all random, Reb Brown. P.S. There is something interesting about her being the former high school teacher of a Black man, considering her history as the star of Birth of a Nation (1915).
George Gobel (1919-1991) — Hilariously played a serial bigamist.
Sydney Goldsmith (b. ?) — Played a new love interest for a jaded businessman (Demond Wilson) who is otherwise involved with a steady (Telma Hopkins).
Arlene Golonka (1936-2021) — The bubbly blonde, who sailed twice, was so cute on a Season 3 episode as a free spirit who impulsively asks her cabbie to join her on the cruise.
Grant Goodeve (b. July 6, 1952) — Sailed four times, and was the best I've seen him as a sarcastic ex-husband (of Morgan Fairchild) dragged on the cruise to keep her rich uncle ignorant of their split.
Lynda Goodfriend (October 31, 1953) — Richie Cunningham's girl sailed twice, once getting conned into sharing a cabin with a man (Stephen Shortridge) pretending to be CIA. She was also one half of a newlywed couple (with David Naughton) assigned to a bad-luck cabin.
Dody Goodman (1914-2008) — The delightfully daffy comedienne sailed twice, best of all as the accidental cabin mate of a fellow prude (James Coco) booked with her because his name is Marion.
Michael Goodwin (b. October 9, 1941) — He sailed in 1981 as part of a particularly bonkers storyline involving a couple (his wife played by Tanya Tucker) who get divorced each year as a tax break.
Ruth Gordon (1896-1985) — The inimitable Oscar winner sailed very early on, just the sixth excursion, as the meddling grandma of a young woman (Patty Duke) she reallllly wants to marry off.
Harold Gould (1923-2010) — Sailed once, on one of my fave episodes, as part of a bumbling crew of diamond thieves.
Robert Goulet (1933-2007) — Played a songwriter warring with a former partner (Richard Dawson).
Virginia Graham (1912-1998) — The talk-show pioneer gave one of her few acting performances on a 1979 episode as a lady who owns several fashion boutiques.
Farley Granger (1925-2011) — The Hitchcock leading man sailed twice. Once, he was married to Joan Lorring and playing the father of Melissa Sue Anderson. Next up, he played a cutthroat interior designer hoping to redo the ship — and traveling in the cabin next door to his main rival (Terry Moore).
Stewart Granger (1913-1993) — On the two-part Caribbean cruise in 1985, he had one of the campest parts on the show, as the veddy proper English chaperone of ... Menudo!
Karen Grassle (b. February 25, 1942) — Sailed once, playing the ex-flame of a notorious playboy (Joe Namath).
Peter Graves (1926-2010) — Sailed three times (including a two-parter). On his first trip, he was a man of the cloth set up on a blind date with a woman (Roz Kelly) who turns out to be an exotic dancer.
Erin Gray (b. January 7, 1950) — Interestingly, she played an agent (to a big-for-his-britches celebrity played by Ron Ely), a role Gray has taken on in her later years ... she books stars into autograph shows.
Lorne Greene (1915-1987) — Sailed twice (including a two-parter), once as the father (married to Audra Lindley) of Lisa Hartman, and then as the father (married to Dorothy McGuire) of Wendy Schaal.
James Gregory (1911-2002) — Hilarious as a cantankerous man jealous that every man is after his wife (Jayne Meadows).
Shecky Greene (b. April 8, 1926) — In a quirky Season 1 appearance, he played one half of a couple (the other being Florence Henderson) is fantasizing about divorce.
Brodie Greer (b. October 26, 1949) — The CHiPs stud sailed three times, including his stint as a guy who can't help a girl lose her virginity because she just keeps laughing (Mary Beth McDonough), an ad exec working with his client's (Evelyn Keyes) daughter (Lydia Cornell) behind her back and then gets a meatier role as a man helping a traumatized woman (Deborah Adair) overcome her fear of intimacy following a rape.
Pam Grier — credited as Pamala Grier (b. May 26, 1949) — She played the wife of Richard Roundtree, her fellow Blaxploitation veteran, on a 1980 cruise. The storyline had another couple (Denise Nicholas and Robert Guillaume) involved, with Nicholas' character telling Roundtree's she thought their spouses were having a fling.
Rosey Grier (b. July 14, 1932) — Not much of a stretch when Grier played a dejected football jock who had been cut from the team.
Andy Griffith (1926-2012) — Played a man who, with his wife (Cloris Leachman), searched high and low for a missing rare stamp.
Tammy Grimes (1934-2016) — Her 1979 episode was quite camp, between her bad perm and the storyline that had her throwing herself at her meek boyfriend (Roddy McDowall).
David Groh (1939-2008) — Married to Michele Lee in an episode, he played a man planning his wife's surprise party ... but she thinks he is plotting to kill her.
Robert Guillaume (1927-2017) — Sailed twice, in 1980 (two-parter) and 1981. His love interests were Denise Nicholas and Leslie Uggams.
Shelley Hack (b. July 6, 1947) — Playing Julie's high school friend who is now a professor, Hack was acting dumb to attract men ... only to have a great catch (Kevin Tighe) reject her for being stupid.
Buddy Hackett (1924-2003) — Played a cabbie invited on board by an unpredictable fare (Arlene Golonka) and half of a team of psychic researchers (with Juliet Mills).
Joan Hackett (1934-1983) — Four years before her death from cancer, Hackett cruised in 1979 as a former cruise director friend of Julie's who gave up her career to get married and have a son (Adam Rich).
Alan Hale Jr. (1921-1990) — Luckily, he was kept away from navigation, but the hearty Hale cruised twice, once as an over-the-hill boxer ready to get back into the ring with a sworn enemy (Milton Berle), and once as a famous writer whose niece (Georgia Engel) is the real writing talent.
Jackie Earle Haley (b. July 14, 1961) — Funny to see him playing an actor hired to play a scheming man's (Bill Daily) rent-a-son.
Jennifer Caron Hall (b. September 21, 1958) — Leslie Caron's daughter, she played her scam accomplice on an episode, Sigourney Weaver/Jennifer Love Hewitt-style.
Monty Hall (1921-2017) — In a rare acting gig, Hall played one half of a couple (with Janis Paige) determined not to let their son (Mark Shera) date a woman named Ginger ... who doesn't exist.
Tom Hallick (b. June 13, 1941) — Played a man traveling with his handicapped brother (Patrick Wayne).
Brett Halsey (b. June 20, 1933) — Made one half of a sexy couple with Patricia Crowley, whose sister (Marion Ross) is angry she has found love.
Halston (1932-1990) — Halston's one and only acting credit (well, he played himself) was on the show's 1981 fashion cruise. Upon entering, he bantered with Doc about being surrounded by beautiful babes, as if he had any use for them beyond their modeling talents.
Bernie Hamilton (1928-2008) — In his final performance, he played a man whose daughter (Tracy Reed) disapproves of his shipboard romance (with Esther Rolle).
Nicholas Hammond (b. May 15, 1950) — Play's a waiter who spots a customer from his bistro who doesn't know he's alive, so he pretends he's a much bigger deal to impress her.
Tom Hanks (b. July 9, 1956) — Multi-Oscar winner Tom Hanks appeared on the Season 4 debut of The Love Boat in 1980, only his second credited — and first major — role. He would reflect on it in 2019, saying, "I was on it and for some reason I was cast as an old college fraternity buddy of Gopher who comes on and hits on Julie McCoy. And then, he pretends that they’re — and they almost have a love affair, then they laugh. I drove through the main gates of 20th Century Fox where the set from Hello, Dolly! was still up and I went on stage 24 or 19 or something like that and I was on the freaking Love Boat. When it aired, that night, I can’t tell you what it meant to my world. My fifth grade teacher called me up and said ‘I can’t believe my eyes. Tom, you’re on The Love Boat. It was a big deal.” Lauren Tewes really gives a committed performance, elevator-eyesing Hanks as he strolls in in his slacks, then throwing herself at Gopher to make the guy jealous.
Ty Hardin (1930-2017) — Played the dad (Kathleen Nolan as his wife) of Cindy Simmons (Maureen McCormick), who was dying of leukemia.
Harlem Globetrotters — Jimmy Blacklock (b. 1952), Lou Dunbar (b. August 8, 1953), Billy Ray Hobley (circa 1954-2002), Curley Neal (1942-2020), Gator Rivers (b. ?) — Largely window-dressing on a packed cruise.
Mark Harmon (b. September 2, 1951) — Harmon sailed twice, once in 1979 and again in 1983, just after he began his St. Elsewhere (1983-1986) run. On the Alaska cruise, he was the groom (marrying Lisa Hartman) whose wedding leads to familial discontent — and blond, don't forget blond!
Valerie Harper (1939-2019) — On the 1986 Egyptian cruise, she is married to a busy teacher (James Sloyan) but has eyes for his former student (Grant Show).
Pat Harrington (1929-2016) — Cruised three times (including a two-parter) after appearing on the 1977 TV movie. He played a man from whom Capt. Stubing expected to receive an award, an Arab prince (in brownface) and a guy who is vacationing with his wife (Eileen Brennan) and discovers his mistress (Teri Copley) is on board.
Jo Ann Harris (b. May 27, 1949) — She tried to All About Eve Julie.
Phil Harris (1904-1995) — The Southern-fried orchestra leader and radio sitcom pioneer (not to mention Disney voice actor) gave his second-to-last on-screen performance as a man recovering from heart surgery who isn't allowed to do anything by his wife (Brett Somers).
Ross Harris (b. March 13, 1969) — The boy who Peter Graves once offered to flash in Airplane! (1981) gave an utterly endearing performance on a Season 7 episode as a teen who trades barbs with his granny (Glynis Johns), then thinks she is dying ... but he is the terminal case.
Jenilee Harrison (b. June 12, 1958) — She sailed four times (including a four-parter). One of her trips cast her as a baddie, a woman who intentionally reads a fake breakup note to an illiterate hottie (Patrick Duffy) from his true love (Michelle Phillips). In a classic Love Boat move, her malevolent character flips on a dime in the end and helps get the two lovebirds together.
Mariette Hartley (b. June 21, 1940) — The woman who was not James Garner's wife also was not Japanese, but her character disguised herself as a geisha to fool Capt. Stubing.
Lisa Hartman (b. June 1, 1956) — Sailed three times (including two two-parters). She had a good role as a woman whose hubby Julie was trying to steal, then was the centerpiece of the 1979 Alaska cruise (as Mark Harmon's bride) and ended her run as a woman who is supposed to get roughed up by a loan shark — but her name Toni had led him to believe she'd be a dude. So instead, he falls in love.
Peter Haskell (1934-2010) — He helped a nude sunbather (Barbi Benton) exercise her right to go raw.
David Hasselhoff (b. July 17, 1952) — Sailed twice in a row (1980 and 1981), once as a young lawyer having an affair with an older colleague (Shelley Fabares) and once as Julie's college beau who can't live in the present.
Richard Hatch (1945-2017) — He sailed three times, playing a dad trying to protect his son (Christian Jacobs) from the kid's birth dad (Michael Lembeck), a TV star finally getting to spend time with his new wife (Cristina Raines) six months after their "I dos" and as a love interest for one of the Love Boat Mermaids: Teri Hatcher.
Helen Hayes (1900-1993) — The Oscar winner, one of only two EGOTs (along with Rita Moreno) to ever sail, played a woman ready to marry a man (Maurice Evans) just to free up her overprotective nephew (real-life son James MacArthur).
Robert Hays (b. July 24, 1947) — As a supportive hubby to a young woman (Dori Brenner) searching for her dad (Bob Crane), he had some sweet scenes. And some sweet shirtless scenes.
Marla Heasley (b. September 4, 1959) — Played a passenger who helped nurse Ace to health.
Gina Hecht (b. December 6, 1952) — She played a Nebraska girl who meets a dork (Ron Palillo) about to set a record for making love to the most women, stopping him dead in his tracks.
David Hedison (1927-2019) — Cruised six times (including a two-parter). Among his parts, he was an old (literally) flame for Julie and part of one of the only interracial romances, with a blind woman (Leslie Uggams).
Robert Hegyes (1951-2012) — In the midst of his Welcome Back, Kotter (1975-1979), he played a virgin (age 26) whose buddies have bets on whether he'll lose it on the trip. When he meets Maureen McCormick, he has to decide if he wants to win the bet, thus cheapening his first time.
Katherine Helmond (1929-2019) — Cruised twice (including a two-parter). Along with playing a nasty wife of a not-so-nasty scientist (Harry Morgan), she appeared on one of the very last episodes, playing the Kansas City mother (of Cathy Lee Crosby) who so desperately wants her daughter to get married she shows up on the cruise.
Shirley Hemphill (1947-1999) — In a relatively rare episodic-TV appearance, Hemphill played a nurse tasked with giving the crew members their annual physicals. But Isaac needs to avoid her, because he has a congenital condition he fears will cost him his job. He's also catnip to the nurse, setting up a tired man-scared-of-fat-lady storyline.
Sherman Hemsley (1938-2012) — Cruised twice (including a two-parter). His classic appearance was as the husband in a fighting couple (with LaWanda Page) who get trapped in an elevator and are forced to confront their issues.
Florence Henderson (1934-2016) — Appeared on the show a record-setting nine times, plus the 1976 TV movie. Her romantic connections are Shecky Greene, Pat Harrington, James Broderick (she's Julie's widowed aunt in this one), Jeffrey Tambor (she believes she's dying so is trying to set him up with other chicks), James Noble, Bert Convy, Gordon Jump, Peter Mark Richman ... and reprised Carol Brady on the final episode.
Gregg Henry (b. May 6, 1952) — Played a steward egged on by a bratty young man (Michael J. Fox), only to learn the guy is his long-lost kid brother. Henry's initial reaction was pretty unbelievable — no elation, just anger that his brother turned out to be a douche.
Pamela Hensley (b. October 3, 1950) — Took the 1984 Hong Kong (two-part) cruise as a businesswoman, sharing scenes with Donna Reed.
John Hillerman (1932-2017) — Sailed twice (including a two-parter). He was an icky, uptight boss (married to Natalie Schafer, 32 years his senior) and a P.I. investigating a missing passenger.
Hulk Hogan (b. August 11, 1953) — Played himself on Season 9.
Dennis Holahan (b. November 7, 1942) — Traveled as a man whose wife (real-life wife at the time Loretta Swit) doesn't trust him, so she hires a British vixen (Catherine Oxenberg) to try to tempt him.
Jennifer Holliday (b. October 19, 1960) — Played a diet doctor who uses a model (Stephanie Williams) to hide that fact that she's overweight. Randomly, she is asked to save the floorshow by singing, and belts "Good Morning Heartache," which attracts Isaac's attention.
Celeste Holm (1917-2012) — Oscar winner who sailed on the 1977 TV movie ahead of two cruises on regular episodes. On one, she played a wealthy woman having a romance with her driver (John Mills). On the other, she was a society matron whose name was attached to a hospital.
Jennifer Holmes (b. August 23, 1955) — Sailed twice, including as Ace's GF and as a woman whose boyfriend (Tim Rossovich) tries to control her.
Telma Hopkins (b. October 28, 1948) — Hopkins sailed four times. One time, she was paired up with Reggie Jackson as Reggie Jackson. Another time, her rich businessman boyfriend (Demond Wilson) was using his valet (Jimmie Walker) to keep her busy so he could get busy with another (Sydney Goldsmith). They must've hit it off — Hopkins and Walker later played a couple trying to quit smoking. Best of all, I liked her role as a stuffy daughter (to Theresa Merritt) who disapproves of her mom's fling with Raymond St. Jacques.
Lee Horsley (b. May 15, 1955) — Played a two-timer (with Erin Moran and Pat Klous) on the 1983 China cruise.
James Houghton (b. November 7, 1948) — Sailed three times. On one cruise, he was wed to a woman (Morgan Brittany) at war with her mom (Claire Trevor). On another, he hired cruise director Judy to sing in a commercial — sound unheard. Most entertainingly, he and his wife (Melanie Chartoff) played hippies-turned-yuppies confronted with old pals (Larry Wilcox and Carlene Watkins) still stuck in the '60s.
Susan Howard (b. January 28, 1944) — On a very 1980 episode, she played a single mom who wouldn't date any man her infant didn't cotton to.
Trevor Howard (1913-1988) — Played a hifalutin actor named Sir Albert Demerest at odds with his old wife (Colleen Dewhurst).
Beth Howland (1939-2015) — Vera from Alice (1976-1985) sailed four times (including two two-parters). She was really much more versatile than her paltry 25 TV and movie IMDb credits give her, well, credit for. But she has the distinction of having played out one of the series' most ill-conceived and offensive storylines as an army captain who has returned from six months in the Arctic and who kidnaps Gopher for sex and will not release him until he gives it up. The show already has a bizarre fixation on Gopher and Doc being irresistible that this episode reinforces, not to mention the weird trivialization of rape, even for 1983. After keeping Gopher captive all trip, she releases him — only to have him suddenly decide her aggressiveness has turned him on after all! She also played a woman concealing a valuable purchase from her hubby (Ken Kercheval), a second wife (to a widower played by Ken Berry) who's trying to win over his kids (Michele Tobin and Shelly Juttner) and the niece of a richie (Lloyd Bridges).
Hudson Brothers — Bill Hudson (b. October 17, 1949), Mark Hudson (b. August 23, 1951), Brett Hudson (b. January 18, 1953) — The real-life brothers played three out of four (including Nicholas Hammond) regular guys who pretend to be highly successful men to impress chicks.
Barnard Hughes (1915-2006) — Sweet as a retired kiddie-show host who helps a traumatized orphan (David Faustino, who isn't famous enough to have gotten the porthole treatment).
Mary-Margaret Humes (b. April 4, 1954) — In an early (1983) role, she played a magician's (Dick Van Patten) daughter courted by a novice magician (Barry Van Dyke).
Engelbert Humperdinck (b. May 2, 1936) — Appeared in a rare acting role as a sexy singer pretending his wife (Penny Fuller) is just his secretary, all for his image.
Gayle Hunnicutt (b. February 6, 1943) — Wife of a prick (Pernell Roberts) who looks to Doc for some of his bedside manner.
Tab Hunter (1931-2018) — The '50s and '60s teen idol and later gay icon was on board with one of the first half-dozen episodes as the old flame of a single woman (Patty Duke, another former teen idol!) who doesn't impress her fussy granny (Ruth Gordon). It's cuh-lassic watching Gordon, Duke and Hunter trading lines, like when Gordon remembers Hunter as a kid, labeling him as "O.D.D. — old De Soto and dandruff."
Gunilla Hutton (b. May 15, 1944) — The Petticoat Junction (1965-1966) star really had so few acting gigs, it was a pleasure to see her on The Love Boat in 1979 as a soon-to-be-divorcée plotting with her estranged hubby (Larry Linville) to steal $50K in diamonds hidden in a lamp.
Darrow Igus (b. May 12, 1948) — Played a rival to Isaac with passenger Berlinda Tolbert and later played the promoter of the Harlem Globetrotters.
Marty Ingels (1936-2015) — Perfectly cast as Sonny Bono's asshole brother. They were on board to fake injury and sue.
Peter Isacksen (b. December 11, 1954) — Was Capt. Stubing's clumsy nephew, who was on board to train for a ship job.
Janet Jackson (b. May 16, 1966) — Exactly a year (1985) before the release of her career-redefining Control album (1986), Janet Jackson, who was then Penny from Good Times (1977-1979) and/or Charlene from Diff'rent Strokes (1980-1984) and/or Cleo from Fame (1984-1985) boarded for the Scandinavia cruise. Her plot could not have been more ridiculous — she played an actress hired to help a scientist (Telly Savalas) who has created a robot Isaac. She's all of 19 and the real Isaac is 37.
Reggie Jackson (b. May 18, 1946) — Played his horny self.
Richard Jaeckel (1926-1997) — Played the gambling-addicted brother of a society lady (Celeste Holm).
Sam Jaffe (1891-1984) — Person with the earliest birthdate featured as a credited star. He was 92 when his episode aired on April 2, 1983, less than a year before he died.
John James (b. April 18, 1956) — Sailed on two two-parters. On one, he was paired with Marie Osmond. On the other, he was Dr. Skip Van Damme, inventor of Macho Mints (Viagra, anyone?).
Conrad Janis (b. February 11, 1928) — Played an uptight hubby who ruins two sisters' (Joanna Cassidy and Jaye P. Morgan) trip.
Graham Jarvis (1930-2003) — Ran an on-board beauty contest. One of my fave episodes.
Harvey Jason (b. February 29, 1940) — Used a dating manual to try to pick up a young lady (Georgia Engel).
Caitlyn Jenner — credited as Bruce Jenner (b. October 28, 1949) — Many trans people object to being "dead-named," but Caitlyn Jenner, due to her Olympian and celebrity past, is not opposed to having her work as Bruce Jenner remembered. On this episode, she was playing a wrestling adversary to Thomas the Mangler (Tim Rossovich).
Maren Jensen (b. September 23, 1956) — Known as Lt. Athena on Battlestar Galactica (1978-1979), she had only four other TV-series roles, and two of those were Love Boat episodes: she was a waitress who inherited a fortune and is insecure about whether her BF (Dennis Cole) wants her or her cash, and a mystery lady pursuing, of all people, Skip Stephenson.
Ann Jillian (b. January 29, 1950) — One of the faces (and hairdos) of the '80s, Jillian sailed in 1980, playing one of three judges of an on-board contest, along with Dawn Wells and Gopher.
Glynis Johns (b. October 5, 1923) — As I wrote under Ross Harris's entry, Glynis Johns gives one of the show's all-time best performances. She is also, as of this writing, one of the oldest living stars to have sailed on the Pacific Princess.
Arte Johnson (1929-2019) — Comic Johnson was on the cruise an impressive eight times from 1977-1987, proof that the show never ran out of storylines for cutely creepy nerds and mad scientists. Perhaps his finest achievement was donning drag (with Bert Convy) in 1984 as a guy helping his pal tail his wife (Patty Duke) on a special all-girl cruise.
Jay Johnson (b. July 11, 1949) — Fresh off of Soap (1977-1981), he played a head chef angry that another chef (Leslie Easterbrook) has arrived in his kitchen.
Michelle Johnson (b. September 9, 1965) — Played Kim Carlisle, enthusiastic (but inept) intern, on five episodes.
Van Johnson (1916-2008) — The golden oldie actually sailed twice (including a two-parter). On his first cruise, he was charmingly empathetic in a reunion performance with old co-star June Allyson, who is playing blind. He also sailed on the same cruise with Cab Calloway, Della Reese, Ann Miller, Ethel Merman and Carol Channing, one of the series' most Old Hollywood-heavy lineups, as a man whose cruise was paid for by an anonymous benefactor.
Allan Jones (1907-1992) — The operatic singer, remembered for his Marx Brothers movies and Show Boat (1936), had made his last film in 1970 when he boarded the Pacific Princess in 1980. It would be his final acting role (though he sang right up until his death in 1992). His part was that of a singer whose relationship with his singer son (real-life son Jack Jones, who sings the theme) has been sour for years.
Carolyn Jones (1930-1983) — Morticia sailed in 1979, four years before her death from cancer. Her role was great fun, that of a wicked stepmother to Cinderella-ish Cindy Jerome (Melissa Sue Anderson). She came complete with wicked stepsisters for Cindy, too, played by Rhonda Bates and Lila Kent.
Dean Jones (1931-2015) — Played a movie producer hot for Julie.
Henry Jones (1912-1999) — The wonderfully droll old actor played a passenger who recognizes a younger passenger (Dean Butler), but can't remember from where. And the younger passenger is desperate to make sure he never remembers.
Jack Jones (b. January 14, 1938) — The crooner of the theme! He sailed once, playing the estranged son of fellow singer — and real-life dad —Allan Jones.
Shirley Jones (b. March 31, 1934) — The Oscar winner sailed just one time, on the two-part Greek cruise in 1982, playing a teacher trying to avoid her boss, a horny principal (Eddie Albert). Doc gets caught in the crossfire.
Elaine Joyce (b. December 19, 1945) — Joyce was kinda the perfect passenger, and to prove it, she made five appearances. In 1978, she was a sexy new nurse for Doc who was not for Doc. In 1979, she was her real-life husband Bobby Van's wife. By 1981, she was Doc's sister-in-law. In 1982, she and Jerry Van Dyke were two confused group-therapy patients seeking to go one-on-one. And her final appearance was her most ridiculous, playing a bimbo asked to kiss every guy she sees in order to find the one who stole her friend's (Dan Haggerty) fiancée.
Gordon Jump (1932-2003) — Jump jumped on board six times between 1980 and 1987. Among his greatest hits, playing a sneaky husband who cons his wife (fellow mega-passenger Florence Henderson) into encouraging him to have a fling.
Steve Kanaly (b. March 14, 1946) — The Dallas (1978-1991; 2012-2014) dude cruised twice (including a two-parter). He played a man so swamped with alimony payments he's been advised to ask women to sign no-alimony agreements before becoming involved. He also played a husband whose wife's (Beth Howland) fake jewelry is secretly real.
Cristen Kauffman (b. November 10, 1961) — Made her acting debut as an underage girl traveling with her underage lover (Timothy Patrick Murphy) so they can do it.
Caren Kaye (b. March 12, 1951) — One of the quintessential '70s and '80s hotties, Kaye cruised five times (including a two-parter). She was best on her first one, playing former hooker harassed by her former client (Jack Carter). She threatened to upend the wedding at the center of the Alaska cruise as the old flame of the groom (Mark Harmon), was suspected by the crew of plotting to murder her older hubby (Arte Johnson), was a fair-weather GF (of Ben Murphy) and was coupled with David Spielberg in an Ace-driven storyline for her swan song.
Jane Kean (1923-2013) — Played one of several adoring fans of the Amazing Alonzo (Vincent Price).
Steven Keats (1945-1994) — Played the son of a retiring plumber (Milton Berle) who wants him to take over, but thinks his work ethic is clogged.
Howard Keel (1919-2004) — Reunited in a love story with his Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) co-star Jane Powell, he next played a carnival owner pair with, of all people, Jan Smithers.
Stephen Keep (b. August 24, 1947) — Played a shrink trying to treat a klepto (Joan Van Ark).
Gene Kelly (1912-1996) — Kelly danced onto a 1984 Hong Kong cruise, where he played an ex-spy romancing a much younger woman (Yvette Mimieux).
Patsy Kelly (1910-1981) — This one-of-a-kind performer ended her 50-year career playing an actress hired to pretend she was the mother of a single businessman (Bill Daily) as part of his scheme to convince his stodgy boss (John Hillerman) that he's a family man. The episode came out around the same time as her final movie, The North Avenue Irregulars (1979).
Roz Kelly (b. July 29, 1943) — Pinky Tuscadero was on the show twice, in 1978 and 1979, once as a stripper set up with a man of the cloth (Peter Graves) and once as a raunchy actress hired to play the wife of a single businessman (Bill Daily) as part of his scheme to convince his stodgy boss (John Hillerman) that he's a family man. (No relation in real life to Patsy Kelly!) Kelly left after after 1983.
George Kennedy (1925-2016) — Oscar winner whose involvement in Airport (1970-1979) not to mention Death on the Nile (1978) should have made him ineligible to cruise, but who appeared on a 1984 two-parter as a man who bumps into an ex (Cloris Leachman) but doesn't remember her at all. Interestingly, pre-fame Tim Robbins played the young version of Kennedy in a flashback Leachman has.
Graham Kennedy (1934-2005) — Australian TV icon with very few acting credits stateside who sailed in 1981 on a two-part Australia cruise in a cameo spot as a Port Vila jeweler.
Jayne Kennedy (October 27, 1951) — Was pleasingly devious as one of the models on the 1981 fashion cruise, and then was back in 1983 as a schoolmarm reluctant to let her new love (John Amos), a football star, add her to the list of names in his tell-all.
Ken Kercheval (1935-2019) — Sailed twice, including as a man competing with his bestie (Dack Rambo) for Julie's heart.
Brian Kerwin (b. October 25, 1949) — Cruised twice, including as one half of an engaged couple (with Erin Moran) on a two-parter. But most outrageously, he played a teacher moonlighting as a male stripper who has been hired by Julie to entertain the crew — without her realizing what he does. Once he sees PTA prez Christopher Norris on board, he has to make sure she doesn't catch him in the act. The striptease he performs is mortifyingly rhythm-free, and as the crew reacts in horror, Capt. Stubing seems to surreptitiously sniff the guy's discarded pants ... it's something to see!
Evelyn Keyes (1916-2008) — From Gone with the Wind (1939) to The Love Boat (1983)! Playing Mrs. Parker, the president of Glow Tan, Keyes is traveling with her daughter (Lydia Cornell) and a new hiree (Brodie Greer).
Werner Klemperer (1920-2000) — Played a stiff-upper-lip valet trying to break up a relationship between his boss (Barry Sullivan) and his GF (Amanda Blake).
Richard Kline (b. April 29, 1944) — Hello, Larry! He sailed four times, including his first excursion as a newlywed (with Jennifer Salt) confronted by his new wife's old beau (Lyle Waggoner). He was also a hired thug meant to beat up a deadbeat named Tony ... except she turns out to be Toni (Lisa Hartman), a crook who got off and is sailing with his defender (Vicki Lawrence) and a phony amnesiac.
Jack Klugman (1922-2012) — Quincy sailed on the 1985 Scandinavia cruise in one of the silliest plots, playing a man with a huge schnozz (pretty bad prosthetic) who is heading to Stockholm for a nosejob when he encounters a new divorcée (Susannah York) who likes him fine as is. When she spots a negligée in his cabin, she becomes convinced he is transgender. "Oh, my Lord!" York exclaims. "I've fallen in love with a person who's having a sex-change operation!"
Jim Knaub (b. ?) — The prominent wheelchair-marathon athlete played a paraplegic whose fiancée (Wendy Schaal) has yet to tell her parents (Lorne Greene and Dorothy McGuire) she's marrying a disabled man.
Ted Knight (1923-1986) — Cruised on three two-parters! He played a forever fiancé (of Rue McClanahan's), Stubing's rival Gunner Nordquist and as a lottery winner who is showing off his $5-million fortune.
Don Knotts (1924-2006) — Barney Fife sailed in 1979, playing a guy who looks just like a famous TV star, and as himself on the finale.
Guich Koock (b. July 22, 1944) — Texan actor who played an overconfident guy seeking to impress a blasé young woman (Pamela Sue Martin) who is much more interested in his low-key pal (Barry Van Dyke).
Harvey Korman (1927-2008) — Harvey sailed on the 1976 TV movie and on three episodes (including two two-parters). He was with his nosy wife (Nancy Dussault), part of a treasure hunt and a generous rich guy who promises to make people's dreams come true.
Paul Kreppel (b. June 20, 1947) — Along the way of his 40-year career, from Laverne & Shirley (1980) to The Bitch Who Stole Christmas (2021), he sailed on a 1983 episode a man who hired a sex surrogate (Donna Pescow) to cheer up his mopey pal (Paul Sand).
Mimi Kuzyk (b. February 21, 1952) — Played a woman married to an amnesiac (Patrick Wayne).
Nancy Kulp (1921-1991) — Kulp, TV's ultimate sour spinster (and in real life a perfectly cool lesbian), sailed three times. Because of the limited imaginations of writers, she was named "Gert" TWICE. Totally difference characters! On her first cruise, she played a sexphobic woman traveling with her similarly uptight sis (Pat Carroll), the long-suffering wife of an old-time boxer (Alan Hale Jr.) and finally the aunt of a secretly obnoxious teen star (Alison Arngrim).
Matthew Labyorteaux — credited as Matthew Laborteaux (b. December 8, 1966) — At 15, he sailed as the son of one of Capt. Stubing's friends (David Doyle) who is the object of a lot of paternal bragging. Lies, all lies!
Patrick Laborteaux — credited as Patrick Laborteaux (b. July 22, 1965) — Matthew's big bro Patrick sailed twice, once at 13 as a kid with a crush on Julie, and once at 16 as a love interest for Vicki. Had a thing for the help.
Diane Ladd (b. November 29, 1935) — The acclaimed actress sailed three times. She was a rich lady having a fling with Capt. Stubing's brother (played by MacLeod), a potential replacement for Julie who doesn't share her sunny disposition and a chambermaid.
Fernando Lamas (1915-1982) — The ultimate Latin lover was so much fun as the hubby of a glam star (Michele Lee), whose mega-diamond attracts thieves.
Lorenzo Lamas (b. January 20, 1958) — Like father, like son! The younger Lamas sailed three times, including on two two-parters. He played a boy sick of being pushed to go out with a girl (Melissa Sue Anderson) by their parents (his were Terry Moore and Troy Donahue), a tycoon who proposes to Julie and a famous matador's (Cesar Romero) grandson who wants to be a writer instead of a bullfighter.
Dorothy Lamour (1914-1996) — No hurricanes in sight, but the Hollywood legend appeared on a 1980 Christmas episode as Lil Braddock (not an early rap pioneer), the wife of a famous singer (Allan Jones) warring with his famous-singer son (Jack Jones).
David L. Lander (1947-2020) — Squiggy sailed on one two-parter as the flamboyant assistant to a famous (and equally flamboyant) director (Ben Vereen) preparing to shoot a film called Dreamboat on the Pacific Princess.
Audrey Landers (b. July 18, 1956) — Sailed three times (including a two-parter). She played a cute girl who comes on board to meet an anonymous pen pal, a daughter setting up her mom (Marian Mercer) with a succession of met and as one of a pair of man-hungry sisters (with real-life sister Judy Landers) who wind up competing with each other.
Judy Landers (b. October 7, 1958) — Judy sailed seven (!) times (including a two-parter with sister Audrey). She was pretty cute as a love interest for a guy (Sonny Bono) faking injury to sue the cruise line. She was later a squeeze for Doc, for a businessman (Dick Van Patten), a maid (for Ben Murphy), the wife of a man (Barry Van Dyke) more into her bestie (Ellen Bry), a scheming sister (see Audrey's entry) and, on the finale, herself.
Sue Ane Langdon (b. March 8, 1936) — Played a friend of Capt. Stubing who would rather be more than friends.
Hope Lange (1933-2003) — Sailed on the 1977 TV movie and again in 1978, as the wife of a distracted publisher (Gene Barry) who falls for his most elusive client (Richard Mulligan).
Kim Lankford (b. June 14, 1954) — Sailed three times. She was a girl with a nosejob who doesn't want to remove the bandage, a VIP who wants special treatment and a girl who uses Ace to trick her mom (Anne Francis) into thinking she's engaged.
Laurence Lau (b. May 10, 1954) — Was, improbably, the son of a man whose drunk driving killed the father of a girl (Denise Miller) he has met and is falling for.
Margaret Laurence (b. circa 1950) — Appeared on a two-parter on which she plays a young lady who is the spitting image of her late mom, with whom Capt. Stubing was very much in love.
Marie Laurin (b. ?) — Played Gopher's Canadian pen pal for whom he's falling.
John Phillip Law (1937-2008) — Played a h.s. coach pursuing a relationship with a woman (Lynda Day George) whose son (Corey Feldman) is clinically hyperactive.
Peter Lawford (1923-1984) — Played one half of a couple (with Dana Wynter) suspected by Isaac of plotting to kill Capt. Stubing.
Carol Lawrence (b. September 5, 1932) — The dramatically underused West Side Story star played a pushy ex-partner of a fellow ballet dancer (John Meehan) on a 1979 episode, and a woman involved with a politician (James Noble) whose ex is Florence Henderson's recurring character Annabelle Folker, a country singer.
Vicki Lawrence (b. March 26, 1949) — The Carol Burnett Show (1967-1978) regular was ready for a break once that show ended, so she took no less than five cruises! In a rare unsympathetic role, she played a nasty tabloid reporter trying to get dirt on a scandal-tainted congressman (Dick Van Patten) by any means necessary. She was later paired romantically with this diverse slate: Joe Namath, Charles Siebert, Richard Kline and Fred Willard.
Cloris Leachman (1926-2021) — An Oscar winner in 1972, Leachman by 1976 was appearing in the original Love Boat TV movie. She returned for two cruises, one a two-parter on which she was forced to deliver lines to Milton Berle about she and her husband (Andy Griffith! What a mismatch!) attempting to locate a stolen stamp worth $2 million. The three of them must've been rolling their eyes!
Brianne Leary (b. July 28, 1957) — Played a woman who caught her husband (Bob Denver) in a compromising position.
Michele Lee (b. June 24, 1942) — Lee cruised four times (including two two-parters). On a Season 1 episode, she played a woman convinced her husband (David Groh) was trying to kill her rather than surprise her with a party. As I wrote elsewhere, I adore her as a famous lady (Roz Rogers!) with a famous diamond that thieves (Harold Gould, Karen Valentine, Larry Storch and John Schuck) want to lift. She also played a suburban widow impersonating a member of the glitterati and the future ex-wife of Tom Bosley.
Ruta Lee (b. May 30, 1935) — Lee was already 33 years into her career when she sailed in 1985, and she's still going strong today. She was playing a woman with a thing for a guy (James Coco) on the run from loan sharks.
Janet Leigh (1927-2004) — She sailed twice, including as the mom seeing her daughter (real-life daughter Jamie Lee Curtis) off, but who gets stuck in a state room with her ex (Conrad Bain). In a twist I don't think has happened before, Leigh was again matched up with Conrad Bain (and Vic Tayback) on a future episode.
Michael Lembeck (b. June 25, 1948) — Cruised four times (including a two-parter), but never more memorably than his 1979 cruise, on which he played Julie's high-school sweetheart. Now a disco instructor — again, it was 1979 — he is still with the head cheerleader (Lisa Hartman), but is showing signs of wanting to rekindle things with Julie. It's a classic "Jolene" situation, and allows Tewes to show off her disco prowess.
Emmanuel Lewis (b. March 9, 1971) — Apparently sailed twice as Timmy, the son of one of Isaac's late friends (mom being Vernee Watson), but I can't find the second episode on Paramount+. Maybe an episode was deleted for some legal or content reason?
Audra Lindley (1918-1997) — Mrs. Roper took her job very seriously when she was one of the passengers and crew stranded on an island and imprisoned by a kooky hermit (John Gavin) on a Season 1 two-parter. Watching her face as she interacts with Gavin is a lesson in TV acting, as is the level of melancholy she wrings out of a storyline that involves her character's SPOILER ALERT terminal illness. When they kiss, it's one of the realest, tenderest on a series filled with cartoonish pecks, slobbery smooches and silver-screen clinches. Lindley was also on the second TV movie in '77 and on four other episodes (including another two-parter).
Larry Linville (1939-2000) — Sailed three times (including a two-parter), and played the same character on two of the trips. First, he was a man who in spite of divorcing his wife (Gunilla Hutton) is out to steal some gems with her help first. Next up, he was sportscaster Ty Younger — and he returned as Ty thanks to the popularity of his character's nanny, April (Charo).
Cleavon Little (1939-1992) — Played a man whose son (Mark James) was trying to get him back together with his ex-wife (Ja'Net DuBois).
Rich Little (b. November 26, 1938) — Sailed twice (including a two-parter). First, he played a record producer Danny Scofield (Donny Osmond) hoped to impress. Much more bizarrely, he played Barry Corwin, an entertainer impersonating a fellow entertainer — a woman too sick to go on. In drag, he attracts a passenger (Arte Johnson), and as himself, he attracts Julie (who hired Rose). We are treated to a scene with Little sitting in the lap of Don Adams ... that Smarts!
Heather Locklear (b. September 25, 1961) — In one of the show's weirdest casting coups, Locklear, who turned 22 just before the episode aired, played the GF of Jamie Farr, 49. She was trying her best to fit in with his longtime pals (Louis Nye and Charlotte Rae). If the pairing of Heather and Jamie weren't already Farr-fetched, the plot called for her to cozy up to Nye, age 70. Age-gap discourse is boring, but isn't it wild to think of Heather Locker trading lines with Louis Nye, Charlotte Rae and Jamie Farr?
Gina Lollobrigida (b. July 4, 1927) — The Italian movie star made her last American episodic-TV appearance on the 1986 Christmas cruise, and gave one of my favorite porthole performances — check her over-the-top preening! The episode paired her with Tony Franciosa as a couple reunited after 11 long years.
Claudia Lonow (b. January 26, 1963) — Played a singing-telegram girl who learns that jilted boyfriends (Don Most) often kill the messenger.
Marjorie Lord (1918-2015) — Played a lady traveling with her daughter (Laurie Walters) who sees an old neighbor (Ross Martin) ... who is the girl's natural father.
Joan Lorring (1926-2014) — Oscar-nominated (for 1945's The Corn Is Green) Lorring gave her final performance as one half of a couple (with Farley Granger) who are trying to push their daughter (Melissa Sue Anderson) to date their friends' (Troy Donahue and Terry Moore) son (Lorenzo Lamas).
Dorian Lopinto (b. August 30, 1957) — Played woman marrying rich who pretends to be an aristocrat, not a girl from Queens.
Louanne (b. January 26, 1970) — The child star played a kid borrowed by a man (Lawrence Pressman) who wants to impress a single mom (Kim Darby) by seeming like he's a single dad.
Louise the chimpanzee (b. ?) — One of six credited animals. Three pairs! Very Noah's Ark.
Tina Louise (b. February 11, 1934) — Along with playing herself on the finale, Ginger sailed in 1979 as Doc's "ex-ex-ex-ex-wife," who has arrived with her betrothed (Lyle Waggoner) to tell Doc she's remarrying. It's all an act, to get Doc back, but
Susan Lucci (b. December 23, 1946) — Played the writer of a soap opera who encounters an actor she rejected (Tristan Rogers).
Allen Ludden (1917-1981) — Ludden barely acted on TV or in films. In fact, other than playing himself or two-dimensional press-type characters, I believe he only acted about five times, and twice was on The Love Boat. First, he played a businessman whose daughter (Mackenzie Phillips) put the moves on a man (Sam Groom) trying to merge with his company. And in 1980, he gave his last episodic-TV performance, playing the owner of a race horse. For that gig, his wandering wife was played by real-life wife Betty White. He died eight months later.
Steve Lundquist (b. February 20, 1961) — Played the way-young hubby of a woman (Stephanie Beacham) who turns out to be one of Doc's many ex-wives.
Peter Lupus (b. June 17, 1932) — Sailed on a 1980 two-parter that found him paired with Connie Stevens as a couple in receipt of a free ticket. He spent the episode parading around half-naked and complaining about not being a robot and having feelings, too. Turns out they're supposed to help find a missing man. And there's a gold coin. But again, he's half-naked. And is now a big born-again Christian who disavows his beefcake past.
Carol Lynley (1942-2019) — Played one of a pair of college friends (with Donna Pescow) competing for the same guy (Ben Murphy).
James MacArthur (1937-2010) — The son of Helen Hayes sailed four times, from 1979-1985, and his final performance turned out to be his fourth-to-last in any medium ... Hawaii Five-OMG! His '79 appearance had him canoodling with Susan Buckner while soon-to-be-ex-wife Joanna Pettet coquettishly attempts delivery of divorce papers. Next, he played his mom's nephew on her first and only cruise, a concert pianist with arthritis and at 47 played a love interest for 18-year-old Vicki! The latter was hyped by a TV Guide ad screaming, "Vicki Falls in Love ... with a Man Old Enough to Be Her Father!"
Bob Mackie (b. March 24, 1939) — The designer was boyish and adroit with his few lines on the fashion cruise.
Patti MacLeod (b. February 15, 1931) — Gavin MacLeod's second and third wife, as well as his widow, MacLeod sailed five times, including three two-parters and the finale (as herself). For her Season 1 debut, she is the first guest greeted, exchanging Gracie Allen lines with Gopher and Jim Backus. Her other appearances were fleeting. (You should pardon the expression.)
Patrick MacNee (1922-2015) — Played a thief whose niece (Julia Duffy) wants him to retire.
Sheila MacRae (1921-2014) — Was a hoot as the wife of retired boxer Ed "Flash" Taylor (Milton Berle) who gets offended when his rival Jack McTigue's (Alan Hale Jr.) wife (Nancy Kulp) implies her hubby is the stronger of the two. Other than playing the matriarch on a handful of episodes of the short-lived TV comedy Parenthood (1990-1991) and a one-off on Murder, She Wrote (1993), this was one of her last episodic-TV appearances.
Bill Macy (1922-2019) — Walter Findlay of Maude (1972-1978) fame cruised twice, once as a man told he must perform a selfless act or be denied entry to Heaven (by angel Fritz Weaver) and once as one half of a couple (with Jayne Meadows) who everyone thinks is married and comes aboard annually on their anniversary, but who are actually cheating on their spouses.
Lee Majors (b. April 23, 1939) — Took the China cruise in 1983 as an advice columnist whose love interest is none other than Linda Evans, who (1) played his sister Audra on The Big Valley (1965-1969), and (2) he was dating in real life at the time they filmed The Love Boat.
Patty Maloney (b. March 17, 1936) — This well-known little-person performer played the mom (with on-screen hubby Billy Barty) of a man (Edward Albert) whose new flame (Patty McCormack) is icked out by little people.
Robert Mandan (1932-2018) — Chester Tate from Soap (1977-1981) sailed six times, including on the finale as himself. (One of his character names = "Irwin Budge.") He played a one half of a bickering couple (with Audrey Meadows), a man competing with his own son (Randolph Mantooth) for a woman (Cathy Lee Crosby), a clueless businessman, a man who rejects his wife's (Lynn Redgrave) suggestion that they become parents again late in life and a bankrupt father of the bride (Elaine Wilkes).
Irlene Mandrell (b. January 29, 1956) — This Mandrell sister only has five acting experiences on TV and in films, and in fact her two Love Boat cruises marked her only TV acting! In a tiny role, she played a woman being pursued by a young brat (Patrick Labyorteaux). Later, she played a woman duped by a slick operator (Bruce Penhall).
Randolph Mantooth (b. September 19, 1945) — Only sailed once, as a guy competing for a woman (Cathy Lee Crosby) with his dad (Robert Mandan).
Steve Marachuk (b. ?) — Played a dude from Queens who sees an old neighborhood girl (Dorian Lopinto), but she is pretending to be a richie so brushes him off. Until they get together, of course.
Rose Marie (1923-2017) — The vaudeville, radio, music, TV, movie and Broadway legend sailed four times. First, she and her The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-1966) co-star played an overbearing couple. Her only other noteworthy cruise found her as the wife of a hatmaker (Sid Caesar), but one who oddly travels with a pic of her aunt — a real cruise-killer.
Monte Markham (b. June 21, 1935) — Blanche Devereax's gay brother played a ship's captain whose wife (Sue Ane Langdon) would rather let Stubing take the wheel and an absentee husband (to Stella Stevens).
Jean Marsh (b. July 1, 1934) — Sailed on a two-part Japan cruise in 1983 as a widow whose trip has been subsidized by a shady businessman looking to get his hands on her Oriental silk artwork ... which contains part of a treasure map.
Peter Marshall (b. March 30, 1926) — The Broadway baby and Hollywood Squares host sailed twice. His 1979 cruise was quite dramatically effective: he played a proponent of open marriage whose wife (Barbara Rush) is more closed than the lady he meets (Phyllis Davis). His other appearance found him playing a distracted scientist absorbed by his robot creation, Bix.
Dean Paul Martin (1951-1987) — Dean Martin's tragic son (who died in a plane crash) cruised in 1984 as a newlywed whose bride (Lee Meriwether) has a son (Michael Spound) around his age.
Dick Martin (1922-2008) — For a guy with relatively few acting credits, the Laugh-In (1967-1973) performer acted four times on Love Boat. In a two-parter, he was Depy. Capt. Cunningham, Capt. Stubing's incompetent second-in-command. He was also a clueless professor with a lovestruck assistant (Char Fontane), a man traveling with his mistress (Judith Chapman) and a sleazy businessman.
Jared Martin (1941-2017) — Sailed twice, including as a publisher pursuing a famous author (Alan Hale Jr.) whose niece (Georgia Engel) is the real writer, and as a man who, with his wife (Hayley Mills), considers divorce.
Kiel Martin (1944-1990) — On a 1982 two-parter, he is a love interest for Jam Smithers, who's concealing her pregnancy from her disapproving business-tycoon mom (Alexis Smith) because he tried destroying their family in a scathing exposé.
Mary Martin (1913-1990) — Her second-to-last TV role was as fashion designer Hannah Harvey aka Helpful Hannah, a rich lady who spends her time encouraging others to "follow their bliss."
Pamela Sue Martin (b. January 5, 1953) — The Poseidon Adventure (1972) alum had better luck on The Love Boat! She cruised as a single woman using a wedding ring to keep guys away, but who is then surprised to find a potential mate in a sexy passenger (Barry Van Dyke).
Ross Martin (1920-1981) — Cruised once, in 1980, playing a man who gave up his baby daughter for adoption many years earlier, only to find her (Laurie Walters) and her mom (Marjorie Lord), his former neighbor, on the Pacific Princess.
Christopher Mayer (1954-2011) — The doomed Duke sailed twice, as one half of a comedy due (with Michael Lembeck) competing for the same girl (Randi Oakes), and then as a young married (with Teresa Ganzel) who is eyeballing Ace as a potential sperm donor.
Virginia Mayo (1920-2005) — The '40s superstar gave her final TV performance (not including playing herself) on the show as Virginia Wilcox in 1986 — and it was pretty stiff. She was the GF of Noah Beery Jr., giving his last-ever performance as a nouveau riche guy.
Kevin McCarthy (1914-2010) — The Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) star cruised in 1983 as one half of a couple (with Stella Stevens) giving their marriage one last, waterborne try.
Nobu McCarthy (1934-2002) — The Japanese-Canadian beauty (a former Miss Tokyo) is one of the only Asian actors to receive the porthole treatment. She sailed twice, but her part was removed from the second journey, 1983's China cruise. In 1980, she was the "passive" wife of a white Air Force major (Robert Culp) on a two-parter that offered her a chance to transform from frump to disco dolly — albeit one who is soon ashamed to have been "so conspicuous!" She's great, and more than a match for her husband's hard-driving ex (Jo Ann Pflug).
Rue McClanahan (1934-2010) — Blanche sailed on the Pacific Princess many times ... many, many times! Okay, so she sailed a total of five times (including a two-parter). Still, a lot. She was the victim of a sexy fraud (Dabney Coleman), a long-haul fiancée (with Ted Knight), a prim 'n' proper secretary (to Dick Van Patten), a hometown friend of Capt. Stubing's married to a volatile A-hole (Van Patten again) and a woman tired of being a penny pincher like her frugal hubby (Donald O'Connor).
Marilyn McCoo (b. September 30, 1943) & Billy Davis Jr. (b. June 26, 1938) — The Fifth Dimension goddess was out of this world on a 1978 episode as an old friend of Isaac's who, with her hubby (Billy Davis Jr., natch), has gone on to become the successful musicians Isaac aka Ike always wanted to be. They also have a young son (Todd Bridges), but it takes Isaac to point out that Dad is neglecting the kid. We also get a great doo-wop performance by Davis, McCoo and Ted Lange.
Leigh McCloskey (b. June 21, 1955) — McCloskey sailed on two two-parters and a third episode. On the Greek cruise, he was a student trying to get his dean (Eddie Albert) to let him retake a test. On the Hong Kong cruise, he and his brother (Lee Majors II) are dating Vicki and Julie, respectively, until McCloskey's baddie wants to swap and kisses Vicki! Vicki, 17, is ready to lose her virginity to the 28-year-old smoothie. Finally, he appeared as a horny private on the show's bizarre, Season 9 "Forties Fantasy" episode, which was all Gopher's dream that the ship was a WWII vessel en route to France
John McCook (b. June 20, 1944) — Played the tiny part of a guy who wants a quickie with a witness in protective custody (Catherine Bach).
Kent McCord (b. September 26, 1942) — Played a man who has a fling with a woman (Connie Stevens) looking for the ideal guy to give her a baby.
Patty McCormack (b. August 21, 1945) — The star of The Bad Seed (1956) was more in The Ropers (1979-1980) mode as a saucy temptress who falls for a nice boy (Edward Albert) but whose discomfort with little people poses a problem ... his parents are little people (Billy Barty and Patty Maloney).
Maureen McCormick (b. August 5, 1956) — Marcia Brady was far out on a big five trips. She played a girl contemplating sex with a virgin (Robert Hegyes) for her first voyage, but the trip I loved involved a beauty pageant in which she was competing over the objections of her boyfriend (Bobby Sherman — should've been Davy Jones, a missed opportunity). She was also a girl whose mom (Audrey Meadows) was pushing her to marry rich, a woman possibly dying of leukemia and a workaholic (married to Donny Osmond).
Pat McCormick (1927-2005) — This unique fixture popped up on a cruise as a fanboy of a concert pianist (James MacArthur).
Matt McCoy (b. May 20, 1958) — Lloyd Braun from Seinfeld (1995 & 1997) was country music singer Billy Boy Bodine, who makes better music when depressed on an episode that found his manager (Claude Akins) trying to keep him away from his joy (Leah Ayres).
Mary McDonough (b. May 4, 1961) — Played a young honeymooner (with Dean Butler) and a virgin who can't help laughing whenever things get intimate.
Roddy McDowall (1928-1998) — In the most chemistry-free pairing in Love Boat history, played a man being pushed into marriage by a woman (Tammy Grimes) who just won't take eh for an answer.
Darren McGavin (1922-2006) — Sailed on a 1980 two-parter as a contest promoter contemplating a bribe, but whose wife (Debbie Reynolds) is contemplating taking a hike.
Dorothy McGuire (1916-2001) — The Oscar nominee played one half of a couple (with Lorne Greene) whose daughter (Wendy Schaal) is dating a paraplegic (Jim Knaub) and a woman a reporter (Ralph Bellamy) believes is really Amelia Earhart (a role for which she was almost 20 years too young).
John McIntire (1907-1991) — The craggy-featured western actor cruised twice. Once, he was one half of a couple (with Jeanette Nolan) from Doc's hometown. Years later, he was the father of a woman (Jessica Walter) who is worried he's going senile.
Nancy McKeon (b. April 4, 1966) — In 1979, she was at her personal best as gymnast Penny Barrett, whose trainer (Alex Cord) is pushing her so hard she can't make time for a teen romance (with Stephen Manley).
Philip McKeon (1964-2019) — Played a teen crushing on his dad's (Bert Convy) secretary (Irena Ferris) without realizing Dad had beaten him to the punch.
Alyn Ann McLerie (1926-2018) — The veteran actress sailed twice, as the mom of a young woman (Kim Lankford) too self-conscious to take off the bandages from her nosejob and the secretary of a detective (John Hillerman) searching for a missing passenger.
Jimmy McNichol (b. July 2, 1961) — Played a prodigy attracted to Vicki on a two-parter.
Kristy McNichol (b. September 11, 1962) — Buddy sailed on the 1977 TV movie and then on the third episode as one half of a teen couple finding puppy love with a little advice from his grandma (Hermione Baddeley), Julie McCoy and Doc. They even share a first kiss.
Audrey Meadows (1922-1996) — When not traveling to the moon, she cruised three times, playing one half of a bickering couple (with Robert Mandan), a nagging mom who implores her daughter (Maureen McCormick) to marry rich and as a romantic interest for a novelty salesman (Don Adams).
Jayne Meadows — credited as Jayne Meadows Allen (1919-2015) — Mrs. Steve Allen apparently enjoyed her time on the Pacific Princess ... she sailed six times, including appearing as herself on the finale. She was most committed as the neglected wife of a schmuck (Jack Carter) who is blackmailing a hooker to try to get her to have sex with him on a Season 1 episode, is a second banana when married to a man (James Gregory) who weirdly thinks everyone's hitting on her, vacations with her ex (Gene Rayburn) accidentally, is a kooky soap fan and plays a woman having an annual affair (with Bill Macy).
Anne Meara (1929-2015) — She worked with her husband Jerry Stiller on all three trips — as a woman who brings her kids on her second honeymoon, as one half of a couple renewing their vows and as a woman who bumps into the landlord she sued.
John Meehan (b. 1950) — One of his only acting roles was as the former dance partner of a woman (Carol Lawrence) butting into his newest partnership.
Eddie Mekka (1952-2021) — Carmine Ragusa sailed three times, as an overanalytical love bird (with Lani O'Grady), a man traveling with his mom (Sylvia Sidney) who can't get past her disapproval to hook up with a childhood pal (Joan Prather) and as Julie's high school friend posing as the penpal who lured a babe (Audrey Landers) aboard.
Gabriel Melgar (b. November 26, 1964) — Child performer was on Chico and the Man (1977-1978), but other than that, only on CHiPs (1978), in the 1979 movie Jaguar Lives! ... and one episode of The Love Boat (1978), as a "streetwise orphan" adopted by a couple (real-life couple Robert Urich and Heather Menzies-Urich) expecting to adopt a baby.
Menudo — Ray Reyes León (1970-2021), Ricky Martin (b. December 24, 1971), Charlie Massó (b. June 13, 1969), Draco Rosa as Bobby Rosa (June 27, 1969) and Roy Roselló (b. May 1, 1970) — The two-part Caribbean cruise in 1985 wouldn't have been a Caribbean cruise without Menudo! The episode was one of the last of the series, but was still powerful promotion for Menudo, which crossed over and achieved a #62 U.S. Hot 100 Billboard hit with "Hold Me." Instead, they performed "Like a Cannonball" on the episode. The performance was dedicated to their chaperone (Stewart Granger) and his love interest ... played by Lana Turner. Draco's hip thrusts (they're all in painted-on satin pants) are pretty eye-popping, and we are treated to cutaways of reactions from the main crew and passengers including an ecstatic Turner, Granger, Andrew Stevens, Linda Purl, Michelle Johnson, Elizabeth Ashley, former kid star Hayley Mills, Jared Martin, Anne Baxter and Timothy Patrick Murphy.
Heather Menzies (1949-2017) — Played one half of a couple (with real-life hubby Robert Urich) looked to adopt a Mexican infant.
Marian Mercer (1935-2011) — Mrs. Hart from 9 to 5 (1980) sailed in 1984 as a woman deathly afraid of aging, so her daughter is working overtime to get her a man (calling the segment "Mother Comes First" was the dirtiest thing on TV since, "Ward, weren't you a little hard on the Beaver last night?") At any rate, the daughter (Audrey Landers) enlists Gopher to disguise himself as a love guru (yes, in brownface) called Punjab Singh, who winds up making out with Mom.
Lee Meriwether (b. May 27, 1935) — The former Miss America (1954) and Catwoman (1966) sailed three times. First, she played a mom who wants her daughter (real-life daughter Kyle Aletter) to marry rich, an artist painting a nude portrait of Capt. Stubing and a woman who just married a much younger man (Dean Paul Martin).
Ethel Merman (1908-1984) — One of the greatest entertainers of the 20th century closed her career after four appearances (including two two-parters) on The Love Boat as Gopher's outrageous mom, Roz Smith (his dad played by Bob Cummings). On the 1979 Mother's Day cruise, she came on and embarrassed his dad with her and Gopher's constant mugging and performing. Just a year later, she was a merry widow. She had a small part on a Season 5 two-parter, in which she famously mentions her fave musical is Annie Get Your Gun and bursts into "There's No Business Like Show Business." Most importantly, she was one of a cavalcade of stars on the Season 5 two-part musical episode, becoming romantically re-involved with a musical star (Van Johnson) who left her at the altar.
Dina Merrill (1923-2017) — The graceful actress made one appearance on a two-parter in 1979 that found her playing a woman jealous of her Dallas Cowboys cheerleader daughter (Gaye Carter), who she thinks is hitting on her boyfriend (William Windom).
Theresa Merritt (1922-1998) — Played a woman living in sin with her boyfriend (Raymond St. Jacques), much to the chagrin of her daughter (Telma Hopkins) and his son (Brian Stokes Mitchell).
Marilyn Michaels (b. February 26, 1943) — In an exceedingly rare TV acting gig, the impressionist played a publicist (with co-worker Debbie Reynolds) who were supposed to book stars to mix and mingle on the cruise, but whose failure means they must spend the cruise impersonating stars themselves.
Vera Miles (b. August 23, 1929) — The Hitchcock regular sailed three consecutive years (1982-1984). First, she was a mom trying to get her daughter (Denise Miller) back with a BF (Jimmy Osmond) she hasn't seen in years. Next, she was an older woman (all of 54) who is paying for a traveling sexcort (Ted McGinley). Finally, she played the mother of two dateable daughters (Jaime Lyn Bauer and Dana Plato).
Ray Milland (1907-1986) — Oscar winner who played one of two sets of parents (his wife was Eleanor Parker) on the 1983 Alaska wedding cruise.
Ann Miller (1923-2004) — She played Connie Carruthers, a Broadway baby, on the nutty musical episode of 1982. Her tap number is jaw-dropping — even if the tapping sounds are out of sync with her admittedly hot hoofin'.
Denise Miller (b. July 17, 1963) — Played a woman desperate to conceal her scoliosis brace from a penpal (Jimmy Osmond).
Taylor Miller (b. August 18, 1953) — Made her acting debut as a GF of Gopher's.
Hayley Mills (b. April 18, 1946) — The former Disney child star sailed three times (including a two-parter) as a supermodel named Cheryl Tyson, a woman unknowingly dating a waiter from her favorite restaurant and one half of a couple (with Jared Martin) confused that Doc is so happily divorced.
John Mills (1908-2005) — Oscar winner who played a chauffeur canoodling with his employer (fellow Oscar winner Celeste Holm).
Juliet Mills (b. November 21, 1941) — Nanny was a Love Boat all-star, going on seven (!) cruises (including a two-parter). Best came first, as a woman whose philandering husband's (Dan Rowan) mistress (Adrienne Barbeau) is aboard. She was also the wife of a songwriter (Robert Goulet) who is no longer in the mood, the mom of a kid (Keith Coogan) who blames himself for her divorce (from David Hedison), one half of a couple (with Don Adams) of bickering screenwriters, a two-timing pal of Julie's, a psychic researcher and Capt. Stubing's terminally ill neighbor who falls for a man (Bill Macy) who is dead and trying to perform a selfless act so an angel (Fritz Weaver) will let him into Heaven.
Yvette Mimieux (1942-2022) — Took the two-part Hong Kong cruise and was romanced by an ex-spy (Gene Kelly). Mimieux obit here.
Brian Stokes Mitchell as Brian Mitchell (b. October 31, 1957) — One of the Broadway star's first TV credits was a 1983 cruise on which he played the son of a man (Raymond St. Jacques) romancing a woman (Theresa Merritt) without the benefit of a wedding ring.
Mary Ann Mobley (1937-2014) — Miss America 1959 cruised in 1981 as a woman helping a paranoid guy (Dick Martin) search his cabin for electronic bugs and in 1985 as a woman competing with her daughter (Crystal Bernard) for Gopher's company.
Kitty Moffat (b. July 8, 1958) — Played an ad-exec pal of Gopher's whose success leads him to demand that everyone call him Burl.
Al Molinaro (1919-2015) — Did he cruise? Yep, yep, yep, yep, yep. Molinaro made a fun adversary for Capt. Stubing as a highstrung chef.
Kelly Monteith (b. October 17, 1942) — Stand-up comic who was part of the high school reunion episode and who played a diet quack on the "A Dress to Remember" episode.
Belinda J. Montgomery (b. July 23, 1950) — Played a high school pal of a man (Gary Burghoff) who is abandoning his baby and a passionate newlywed married a jock (Charles Frank) fixated on a big race.
Lynne Moody (b. February 17, 1946) — Played a woman who becomes too chummy with her ex's (Ben Vereen) companion.
Melba Moore (b. October 29, 1945) — Was romantically paired with Rosey Grier and (on a two-parter) a singing starlet named Shelley Rush who's trying to get the producers of a movie being shot on board to give her her big break.
Terry Moore (b. January 7, 1929) — Sailed twice, once in a nothing role as a mom (married to Troy Donahue) hoping her son (Lorenzo Lamas) gets together with a nice girl (Melissa Sue Anderson) and a second time as a bitchy interior designer duking it out with a rival (Farley Granger) over a contract to redo the dated-looking ship's interiors.
Erin Moran (1960-2017) — Joanie Cunningham's steadiest gig outside of Happy Days (1974-1984) was this show ... she cruised four times (including two two-parters). She played a woman whose engagement (to Brian Kerwin) is in jeopardy, one of two women (with Pat Klous) dating the same man (Lee Horsley), a woman posing as a newlywed to keep her spot in the honeymoon suite and ingénue Janet Reynolds in the "Forties Fantasy" episode. (What was it about Moran that suggested period pieces?!)
Rita Moreno (b. December 11, 1931) — The Oscar winner, and one of two EGOTs to cruise, was of course in iconic fare like West Side Story (1959). However, she is so popular and beloved because she also deigned to appear on cheeky, fun TV series, too, like ... The Love Boat! Her career is now 70+ years old, so when she cruised in 1983, she was a already a show-biz veteran. She played the wife of a dockworker (Ted Knight) who just won $5 million and was showing off too much.
Cindy Morgan (b. September 29, 1954) — The Caddyshack (1980) star's first role after the film was as the fiancée of a young man (Randy Powell) who was put through medical school by Doc so their hometown could have a resident M.D.
Debbi Morgan (b. September 20, 1951) — On an early episode, Morgan played Stephanie Jackson, a shoplifting parolee in the gift ship. Because she's Black, Isaac is her sponsor and protector, he is sooo bummed when it appears she has stolen a pair of pearl earrings. He confronts her and she says, "I knew I'd get nailed for somethin' on this jive ship." But her anger is masking the reality that she had initially stolen them and put them back.
Dennis Morgan (1908-1994) — The Golden Age star of Kitty Foyle (1940) ended his acting career following a 1980 appearance as a man who is tempting an old GF (Jane Wyman) — now a nun — with the pleasures of the flesh.
Jaye P. Morgan (b. December 3, 1931) — The pop singer and Gong Show diva played one half of a pair of sisters (with Joanna Cassidy) whose annual cruise is a bummer thanks to the other sister's stick-in-the-mud hubby (Conrad Janis) joining them.
Harry Morgan (1915-2011) — Col. Potter sailed three times (including two two-parters). On Season 1, he played a man who cheats the crew out of money so he and his wife (Priscilla Morrill) can sail. On the Australia cruise, he was a befuddled anthropologist taken advantage of by a con man (José Ferrer) over the existence of a missing link called the Mongala (Patrick Ward). He finished up in 1985 as a coach trying to lure a cyclist (Jack Coleman) out of retirement.
Nancy Morgan (b. April 1, 1949) — On the two-part Japan cruise, she played the love interest of real-life hubby John Ritter, playing a man who may have part of a treasure man.
Pat Morita (1932-2005) — Mr. Miyagi sailed twice, in 1977 and 1978. He played one half of a pair of incompetent painters (with Arte Johnson) on a classic Season 1 episode (too bad they could never quite match Singapore Sunset Saffron) and on Season 2 played a businessman trying to dupe a woman (Diane Baker) into selling her business by softening her up with a hottie (Gary Collins).
Garrett Morris (b. February 1, 1937) — The SNL (1975-1980) alum played a guy whose old flame (Roxie Roker) and he are reunited thanks to her dead husband.
Greg Morris (1933-1996) — Played the love interest of a widow (Greg Morris) whose dead husband's spirit (Jimmie Walker) is pushing her to hook up with him.
Karen Morrow (b. December 15, 1936) — The vivacious actress sailed twice, playing the ditzy daughter of a woman (Amanda Blake) embroiled in a "senior romance" and a woman pining for an inventor (Peter Marshall).
Billy R. Moses (b. November 17, 1959) — Sailed three times (including two two-parters). His third role ever was as one of a group of guys who are in the graduating class of Capt. Stubing's alma mater, then he played a guy whose wife (Heidi Bohay) is planning a revenge affair and the boyfriend of a young lady (Melissa Sue Anderson) who is reuniting with her ex-con mom (Sada Thompson).
Donny Most (b. August 8, 1953) — Sailed three times (including two two-parters). First, he played Marv Prine, a man pursuing Julie — who is pursuing a guy (Tony Roberts) who once proposed to her. He was best as a man asked by his caddish pal (Lloyd Alan) to tell a girl (Charlene Tilton) they're over. Most and Tilton had palpable chemistry! And finally, he played a man dumped by singing telegram (Claudia Lonow) on the Valentine's Day cruise.
Diana Muldaur (b. August 19, 1938) — Played the wife of a woe-is-me amputee (Richard Anderson).
Richard Mulligan (1932-2000) — An early cruiser! He sailed on just the third episode, playing the new hubby of a woman (Loretta Swit) jealously competing with her ex (Robert Reed) and his new wife (Pamela Bellwood).
Ben Murphy (b. March 6, 1942) — I think of him as the perfect Love Boat guy ... and considering he sailed five times (including a two-parter), I may be right! In 1979, he was a guy college pals (Donna Pescow and Carol Lynley) were both pursuing. Next, he was a guy whose maid (Judy Landers) tries to take his girlfriend's (Caren Kaye) place on a cruise. He was also a guy protecting a presidential candidate (Efrem Zimbalist Jr.) from scandal, a rich man who bets his brother $1 million he won't fall in love on the ship and a children's book writer.
Timothy Patrick Murphy (1959-1988) — The adorable Dallas actor (1982-1983) cruised four times (including a two-parter) before his untimely death from AIDS in 1988. At 19, he played an underage boy who books himself and his underage GF (Cristen Kauffman) into the honeymoon suite so they can lose their virginities in peace. He next played a gifted pianist whose dad (Max Showalter) wants him to keep pursuing a career in real estate. Next, he arrived with the news that he was Doc's son. Finally, playing the son of a protective mom (Anne Baxter), he was a love interest for Vicki.
Jim Nabors (1930-2017) — Gollly! He sailed as a guy who everyone thinks might be a jewel thief and, on a two-parter, as an imbecilic replacement valet to a rich man (Lloyd Bridges).
Joe Namath (b. May 31, 1943) — Sailed as a playboy who Doc sets up with a woman (Vicki Lawrence) so Doc can get with his sis (Misty Rowe), and as a playboy (again!) who uses his old GF (Karen Grassle) to run a scheme on one of his pals (Fred Willard).
Mildred Natwick (1905-1994) — Played a small part as a woman whose brother (Maurice Evans) her bestie (Helen Hayes) is set to marry.
Melinda Naud (b. February 24, 1955) — She played a dejected magician's (Michael Gregory) assistant forced to work with his brother (Ron Palillo).
David Naughton (b. February 13, 1951) — He, with Lynda Goodfriend, was booked into a cursed cabin.
Connie Needham (b. December 5, 1959) — In one of the all-time whackiest love matches, her storyline pairs her with Gene Barry! And her mom (Betsy Palmer) turns out to be her special guy's former special girl.
Barry Nelson (1917-2007) — Early-TV royalty, he played a 62-year-old whose 58-year-old wife (Nanette Fabray) finds out she's pregnant (I wonder if she was playing a little younger?) after their kids have flown the coop.
David Nelson (1936-2011) — Played a man dating one of a set of twins (the Barnstables) who swap hubbies unknownst to the guys (including Fred Travalena).
Harriet Nelson (1909-1994) — Played a woman who, with her hubby (Ray Bolger), had traveled on the Titanic.
Rick Nelson (1940-1985) — One of his last acting gigs before his New Year's Eve 1985 death in a plane crash was an almost hypnotically low-key effort as a songwriter who appears to have amnesia, and whose ex-partner (Patty Duke)— also his ex-partner — is desperate to jog his memory.
Tracy Nelson (b. October 25, 1963) — Ricky's daughter and Harriet's granddaughter and David's niece sailed in 1985 in a dramatic role as a young woman who despises her mother's guy (Peter Mark Richman), but can't say why ... and yes, it's because he was hoping to fit a square peg into a round hole.
Lois Nettleton (1927-2008) — She sailed once, as a child services worker whose opinion can be the one that decides if Vicki gets to stay with Capt. Stubing forever.
Julie Newmar (b. August 16, 1933) — Hilarious as a starfucker in heat who spies a man (Don Knotts) who looks like a famous figure (but is actually a shoe salesman).
Denise Nicholas (b. July 12, 1944) — Cruised twice, including a two-parter. Most entertainingly, she was a woman convinced her hubby (Robert Guillaume) and her friend (Pam Grier) are having an affair, and who tries to get her friend's hubby (Richard Roundtree) to heed her warnings.
Leslie Nielsen (1926-2010) — The bastard responsible for the sinking of the Poseidon sailed thrice. He was pretty great as the hubby of a grandiose advice columnist (Eva Gabor) who neglects him while catering to her public. He also sailed as a man in a relationship with a much younger woman (Lynda Day George) and a man finding love with a woman (Arlene Dahl) at their kids' (Ellen Bry and Mark Shera) behest.
James Noble (1922-2016) — Sailed three times in the '80s, including as a politician who is the love interest of a country singer (Florence Henderson), a doctor so famous he intimidates Doc and a dad in denial of his kid's (Dick Billingsley) dyslexia.
Trisha Noble (1944-2021) — Played a woman whose jewels were supposed to be guarded by a detective (Bernie Kopell, playing another role).
Jeanette Nolan (1911-1998) — She played an old lady from Doc's hometown on whom he suddenly must perform surgery.
Kathleen Nolan (b. September 27, 1933) — Played the parent (with Ty Hardin as her hubby) of a young lady (Maureen McCormick) who is probably dying of leukemia ... and doesn't know.
Christopher Norris (b. October 7, 1953) — Nurse! She cruised five times (including two two-parters), most ridiculously as an uptight PTA mom who is at first repulsed and then turned on by a teacher (Brian Kerwin) she catches moonlighting as a stripper.
Judy Norton-Taylor — credited as Judy Norton (b. January 29, 1958) — Came down from the mount to play a VP who resigned over sex discrimination.
Shelly Novack (1944-1978) — One of the first three guest stars to die, on May 27, 1978. The former pro football player died unexpectedly of a heart attack at 34. He was on the maiden voyage in 1977, playing a congressman whose fiancée (Meredith Baxter) posed nude.
Louis Nye (1913-2005) — The old-time comic sailed five times, including playing himself on the finale. Charmingly, he was set up with Gale Storm by Julie, only to think it was Julie who wanted to go beddy-Nye. He was also a man afraid of the water, one half of an older couple (with Charlotte Rae) whose pal (Jamie Farr) has a much-younger new GF (Heather Locklear) post-divorce and a lecherous soap producer who tries to coerce Carol Channing onto the casting couch!
Hugh O’Brian (1925-2016) — Played a man posing as the Angel Gabriel sent to save a woman (Jane Powell) from suicide.
Donald O’Connor (1925-2003) — The Hollywood hoofer sailed three times. Most humorously, he was the trainer of a seal jealous of his love interest (Georgia Engel). He was also a ridiculously frugal hubby (with wife Rue McClanahan) and, in another animal-related plot, a man whose orangutan is coming between him and his wife (Gloria DeHaven).
Lani O’Grady (1954-2001) — She cruised twice (including a two-parter), two of her only non-Eight Is Enough (1977-1981) roles. She played a newlywed sick of her pedantic hubby (Eddie Mekka) and a woman jealous of Julie because her fiancée (Bart Braverman) went to school with her.
Randi Oakes (b. August 19, 1951) — The CHiPs (1977-1982) babe sailed three times, playing a woman traveling with her dad (Mason Adams), Julie's old friend known for stealing other women's boyfriends (with the character name Honey Bee Harknest) and a woman who both members of a comedy team (Christopher Mayer and Michael Lembeck) crush on.
Ken Olandt (b. April 22, 1958) — Sailed on a two-part German cruise as a man whose sister (Susan Blakely) is hooking up with Doc, and whose friend gets sick and dies in spite of Doc's help.
Susan Oliver (1932-1990) — Played a widow who hopes to fill in for a workaholic wife (Dana Wynter) whose husband (Paul Burke) is lonely.
Walter Olkewicz (1948-2021) — Played a boorish guy who gets girls interested in him (including Julie) by treating them like crap.
Donny Osmond (b. December 9, 1957) — The toothsome teen idol sailed twice (including a two-parter), playing a singer ashamed of his hillbilly kinfolk and a husband frustrated that his wife (Maureen McCormick) can't stop working.
Jimmy Osmond (b. April 16, 1963) — The youngest Osmond only acted on three series, including three trips (one a two-parter) on the Pacific Princess. He played a young man whose old GF is hiding he fact that she must wear a back brace for three years, a rockstar Vicki crushes on and a young man who thinks his dad is gifting him a prostitute (Karen Kopins).
Marie Osmond (b. October 13, 1959) — Played an Italian-American princess in a family made up of Ernest Borgnine, Shelley Winters, Meredith Baxter, Candice Azzara, and who falls for John James.
Bibi Osterwald (1920-2002) — Was one of the Amazing Alonzo's (Vincent Price) groupies.
Catherine Oxenberg (b. September 22, 1961) — One of her first roles after playing Princess Diana in The Royal Romance (1982) was on one of her two episodes of The Love Boat. She was described as "an English tart" used by a woman (Loretta Swit) to test her husband's (Dennis Holahan) loyalty, and for her follow-up played a woman mixed up in intrigue on the Egyptian cruise. Both two-parters.
LaWanda Page (1920-2002) — Aunt Esther sailed on the very first season as a woman constantly battling with her husband (Sherman Hemsley, who seems to have specialized in being paired with much older women who were supposed to be his age).
Janis Paige (b. September 16, 1922) — On Season 1, she played a woman who, with her husband (Monty Hall), was determined to keep their precious son (Mark Shera) from marrying "Ginger." She is the oldest living person on this list.
Ron Palillo (1949-2012) — Horshack sailed twice. First, he was the brother of a magician who shows up and finds the assistant he is must work with (Melinda Naud) is less than thrilled. On a Season 4 episode, he played an inexplicable Casanova well on his way to bedding his 10,000th woman, only to be stopped in his tracks by love (with Gina Hecht).
Betsy Palmer (1926-2015) — Mrs. Voorhees sailed on Season 5 as a woman whose daughter (Connie Needham) introduces her to her much older boyfriend (Gene Barry), who winds up being Mom's ex.
Lilli Palmer (1914-1986) — Gave her last episodic-TV performance just over a year before her death as a novelist attempting to keep a tight rein on her lovestruck daughter (Ana Alicia) in Paris. When discovering her daughter's shipboard flame (Morgan Stevens) is married, she delivers the Louvre-side line, "This is a day for deception, not Da Vinci."
Barbara Parkins (b. May 22, 1942) — The Valley of the Dolls (1967) star cruised in 1984 as a blind woman reunited with a college crush (John Bennett Perry).
Eleanor Parker (1922-2013) — The star of The Sound of Music (1965) sailed twice (including a two-parter), playing the mother of the groom (Mark Harmon) in a lavish Alaska wedding and then as a poverty-stricken woman who sells flowers on the dock but who is allowed to impersonate a well-to-do woman in order to keep up appearances when her long-absent daughter (Catherine Parks) arrives for a cruise.
Bert Parks (1914-1992) — The Miss America host with the most sailed twice, in rare acting roles. First, he played Dr. Michael Marvy (!), a sex therapist traveling incognito. On a two-parter, he also played a nameless rich businessman.
Richard Paul (1940-1998) — The actor always seemed older than his years, no? He played a yokel on a two-parter, the father of a singer (Donny Osmond) ashamed of his family.
Minnie Pearl (1912-1996) — Everyone knew the Grand Ol' Opry institution, but it wasn't from her acting. In fact, she only acted in a handful of movies, a TV movie and ... two episodes of The Love Boat. On her first trip, she played a woman who, with a friend (Arthur Godfrey), was cruising away from their hum-drum lives in an old folks' home. On a 1983 two-parter, she was snake-oil saleswoman Aunt Effie Skaggs, a down-home lady who takes ill but is skittish about letting Doc examine her because she fancies herself a naturally gifted healer.
John Bennett Perry (b. January 4, 1941) — Played a man reuniting with a college crush (Barbara Parkins) who is now blind.
Mandy Perryment (b. July 9, 1960) — She stumbled into a job as the ship's masseuse for one cruise, only to get picked up on by Capt. Stubing.
Donna Pescow (b. March 24, 1954) — One of the Pacific Princess queens with five voyages, Pescow played a range of characters: a woman who, with her college chum (Carol Lynley), falls for the same man (Ben Murphy); a ship staffer in need of an operation; a woman worried her husband (Grant Goodeve) is more interested in their surrogate (Angela Cartwright) than in her; a sex surrogate; and a woman who turns the head of a rocker (Joe Regalbuto).
Joanna Pettet (b. November 16, 1942) — I miss Joanna Pettet! She hasn't acted in over 30 years, but sailed three times: a woman delivering divorce papers to her husband (James MacArthur) and his girlfriend (Susan Buckner); a customs inspector with a hard-on for Gopher; and a treasure hunter.
Jo Ann Pflug (b. May 2, 1940) — Sailed four times. She was a woman traveling with girlfriends (Brett Somers and Cathryn Damon), all of whom are hit on by a ladies' man (David Doyle); a member of a hung jury who bumps into her adversary (Vic Tayback); the ex-flame of a man (Robert Culp) whose wife (Nobu McCarthy) is ultra-passive; and the GF of a man (McLean Stevenson) looking to see his priceless antique coin ... until she uses it in a slot machine.
Mackenzie Phillips (b. November 10, 1959) — Sailed twice during her 1975-1983 time on One Day at a Time. On her first excursion, she played the daughter of a businessman (Allen Ludden) using her feminine wiles on a guy (Sam Groom) they hoped would merge with his business. More interestingly, on a 1984 journey, she played a trans woman who was once Gopher's college roommate. The subject matter is handled relatively sensitively with Rachel Johnson formerly Ray Johnson explaining to Gopher, "You'll never know what I went through before I made my decision. I mean, it was two years of therapy, tests, meetings with specialists." Gopher is freaked out, but allows her to tell her story.
Michelle Phillips (b. June 4, 1944) — Sailed four times (including a two-parter). She was an English teacher competing for a handsome rancher (Patrick Duffy) with another chick (Jenilee Harrison), Doc's girlfriend, a woman whose ex-husband (Alan Thicke) wants to marry her off to lighten his alimony and a totally different girlfriend of Doc's.
Slim Pickens (1919-1983) — Worked right up until he died (crazy to think Slim Pickens was in his early sixties when that happened), and was busiest in the period surrounding his Love Boat voyage. He played (on a two-parter) the hillbilly grandpappy of a country singer (Donny Osmond) ashamed of his roots.
Robert Pine (b. July 10, 1941) — Chris's dad was a foxy minister, two of whose parishioners (Janine Turner and Sharon Gabet) feel brimstone and fire in their loins for him.
Mark Pinter (b. March 7, 1950) — Early role as a man sharing the honeymoon suite with his brother (Al Corley).
Dana Plato (1964-1999) — Played a girl having a fling with a guy (Christopher Knight) but whose romance is challenged by her big sis (Jaime Lyn Bauer).
Eve Plumb (b. April 29, 1958) — Jan! Jan! Jan! She sailed three times, as a bad-influence love interest for Gopher; a bride who brings bodyguards (Norman Alden and Richard Bakalyan) on her honeymoon (with Sal Viscuso); and a young woman who, with her mom (Marion Ross), is reunited with the dad who abandoned them 20 years earlier.
Pointer Sisters — Ruth Pointer (b. March 19, 1946), Anita Pointer (b. January 23, 1948) & June Pointer (1953-2006) — Their very first of very few acting gigs, and their first after Car Wash (1976), was on a 1981 episode, playing frustrated musician Isaac's backup singers.
Don Porter (1912-1997) — The patrician character actor sailed twice, as the dad of a girl (Eve Plumb) Gopher is seeing and as the father of a kid (Michael J. Fox) who is behaving like an ass to cover the pain of being separated from his brother (Gregg Henry) ... who turns out to be a steward!
Markie Post (1950-2021) — In one of the weirdest costumes of the series, Post played a woman seeking to dodge a reporter, so she boards in what looks like turn-of-the-century little-girlwear. In spite of looking like Baby Jane Hudson, and talking like Mae Questel, she attracts the ferocious interest of a guy played by Clark Brandon, whose dad (Geoffrey Scott) digs her, too! Before that, on the high-concept "A Dress to Remember" — various passengers are affected by the same dress — she played a woman starving herself on a diet plan. She meets a diet doc (Lyle Waggoner) who used to work with the guy (Kelly Monteith) whose plan has her malnourished.
Tom Poston (1921-2007) — Along with playing himself on the finale, he sailed as a dirty old man egging on his cabin mate (Anson Williams) to make a play for Julie, and a plagiarizing author.
Jane Powell (1929-2021) — The Old Hollywood star sailed twice, once as Gopher's aunt who is secretly a domestic working for a bossy boss lady (Mary Wickes) and once as a woman contemplating suicide who is tricked into believing she has a guardian angel (Hugh O'Brian).
Randolph Powell (b. April 14, 1950) — Played an ingrate medical student Doc put through med school to go back home and be an M.D., but who reneges on the deal.
Laurie Prange (b. January 26, 1952) — On Season 1, played a young woman who gets it on with a guy (Mark Shera) whose parents (Janis Paige and Monty Hall) don't want him marrying an unseen girl, "Ginger."
Joan Prather (b. October 17, 1950) — Played a woman who can't connect with a childhood friend (Eddie Mekka) whose mom (Sylvia Sidney) doesn't like her.
Lawrence Pressman (b. July 10, 1939) — Played a man desperate to impress a woman (Kim Darby) who thinks he's a single parent, so he borrows a kid (Louanne).
Kenny Price (1931-1987) — Country-music figure who, along with Lulu Roman, was part of an extended fat joke on the two-part Country Music Jamboree cruise.
Vincent Price (1911-1993) — Wonderfully camp as magician the Amazing Alonzo, whose fiancée (Joan Blondell) is threatened by his clamoring fanbase (Jane Kean, Idris Adrian and Bibi Osterwald).
Juliet Prowse (1936-1996) — Sailed three times, including as herself on the finale and on a two-parter. She played one of Doc's ex-wives and a movie star filming a flick on board.
Linda Purl (b. September 2, 1955) — On a two-part Caribbean cruise in 1985, she played a woman who travels in drag as a man to set up a chauvinist employer (Andrew Stevens) for a sex-discrimination suit.
John Putch (b. July 27, 1961) — On the two-part Egyptian cruise, he played a man posing as an archaeologist who horns in on the passengers' tour to break a ring of Egyptian artifact smugglers.
Denver Pyle (1920-1997) — Played the wedding-crashing gramps of a man (John Scott Clough) about to exchange "I dos" at a shipboard wedding.
Charlotte Rae (1926-2018) — Mrs. Garrett sailed three times (including a two-parter). She had to pretend to be madly in love with Charles Nelson Reilly, Louis Nye and Franklin Cover.
Luise Rainer (1910-2014) — Double Oscar winner who gave her last episodic-TV performance playing twins: a ship's maid and the twin she's bitterly resented for decades.
Cristina Raines (b. February 28, 1952) — Played a payroll assistant who's being pursued by the company VP (Bradford Dillman) and his assistant (Mark Harmon), and a TV personality spending quality time with her TV personality husband for the first time in six months.
Dack Rambo (1941-1994) — He sailed three times. His first cruise, in 1979, found him playing a lothario stringing his girlfriend (Barbi Benton) along and who pretends he's dying ... only to find out from Doc he has ALS. It's painful to watch now, considering Rambo would die of AIDS complications in the future. He later played a guy who always competes with his friend (Ken Kercheval), and winds up competing for Julie. On one of the final episodes, he played a man telling his wife (Cathy Lee Crosby) their marriage is over.
Gene Rayburn (1917-1999) — The game-show host sailed three times, including as a love interest for frequent Match Game cohort Fannie Flagg, for Broadway baby Ethel Merman and for Jayne Meadows.
Martha Raye (1916-1994) — Sailed twice. Her best was as a woman who agrees to meet a college crush (Ray Bolger), then chickens out and pretends to be her own older sister, she's so embarrassed by how she's changed. She was also teamed up with fellow legend (Milton Berle) as a stowaway.
Helen Reddy (1941-2020) — Reddy played a woman who a scientist (Tom Smothers) thinks is an alien.
Lynn Redgrave (1943-2010) — Played an empty-nester hoping to surprise her husband (Robert Mandan) with a new baby.
Donna Reed (1921-1986) — Oscar winner played a strange part as a Hong Kong casino entrepreneur whose senator boyfriend (Efrem Zimbalist Jr.) dumps her over his presidential ambitions, so she (badly) impersonates a British relation who he falls for because of her class. Then, of course, he asks her to marry him in the space of a few hours, only to have her sniff at his base profession ... politics!
Robert Reed (1932-1992) — One of the kings of The Love Boat, he sailed a full six times, playing a snarky ex who wants to stick it to his former wife (Loretta Swit), a man who witnessed an accident and who is urged to come forward by an interested party (Toni Tennille), a man romancing his best friend's (Clint Walker) daughter (Deborah Shelton), a guy tracked down by his college girlfriend (Joan Van Ark), a dad in a custody battle and Mike Brady on the finale. On one episode, he briefly interacted with Brady Bunch co-star Florence Henderson, each of them looking as if they may know each other, then deciding against.
Tracy Reed (b. October 28, 1949) — Sailed three times, first playing Isaac's GF Charlene who sails with him on the same trip as his mom (Pearl Bailey), who is sharing a cabin with her own love (Arthur Adams). She played a different love interest for Isaac as a friend of his who was recently widowed and would like to be even more recently married — to Isaac. Finally, in a role-reversal of her first performance, she played a woman who disapproved of her dad's (Bernie Hamilton) romance (with Esther Rolle).
Della Reese (1931-2017) — Sailed on the two-part musical episode from 1982, on which she replaced Pearl Bailey in the role of Isaac's mom, Millie Washington.
Joe Regalbuto (b. August 24, 1949) — Played rocker Crazy Joe Flash, a hard rocker who disguises himself as mild-mannered Herb Hanson and finds shipboard love with a regular girl (Donna Pescow).
Charles Nelson Reilly (1931-2007) — He played a man who vows to stay in his cabin with his love match (Charlotte Rae) the whole trip so they can get to know each other.
Clive Revill (b. April 18, 1930) — In 1986, he played a tycoon who hires Gopher away to manage a tropical resort. In reality, he was off to serve four terms as a Republican congressman.
Alejandro Rey (1930-1987) — Played a man with a wandering eye (named Carlos Jose Ramon Raul Sebastian Battista Ramirez) whose girlfriend (Linda Cristal) gets sick of his B.S. and flirts with Doc.
Debbie Reynolds (1932-2016) — On a two-parter, she was a woman considering divorcing her contest promoter hubby (Darren McGavin), and she later put her celebrity impersonations on display (alongside Marilyn Michaels) as a PR agent forced to pose as various celebs when said celebs fail to show for the cruise.
Barbara Rhoades (b. March 23, 1946) — The gorgeous redhead played a nascent feminist who moves out of her male chauvinist pig boyfriend's (Dick Gautier) cabin.
Adam Rich (b. October 12, 1968) — One cruise was enough for the kid star, who in 1979 played the son of a woman (Joan Hackett) who is Julie's pal. His TV mom Diana Hyland (1936-1977) had died of cancer less than two years earlier, and his Love Boat mom went on to die of it in 1983.
Kim Richards (b. September 19, 1964) — Played a teen girl crushing on Gopher who disguises herself as her own older sister.
Lou Richards (b. September 3, 1951) — Played a newlywed (with Delta Burke) who believed the world was ending and a man who surprises his ex-wife (Lydia Cornell) at a family wedding.
Susan Richardson (b. March 11, 1952) — The Eight Is Enough (1977-1981) actress sailed in 1981 as that show as ending, playing a woman who meets the man (Daryl Anderson) of the book she's currently reading.
Peter Mark Richman (1927-2021) — Played a perfectly icky guy romancing the delightful mom (Florence Henderson) of a young girl (Tracy Nelson) he tried to force himself on.
Jack Riley (1935-2016) — Played a G-man working a woman (Stephanie Faracy) to get info on her bookie BF (James Sloyan).
John Ritter (1948-2003) — I may have confused him with Tom Hanks, but I had thought Ritter was on The Love Boat before Three's Company (1976-1984), which wouldn't be possible. But he was on the second episode in 1977, playing a guy pursuing his ex (Jenifer Shaw) by dressing as a woman, and rooming with another person who just got dumped (Tovah Feldshuh). He was also on the two-part Japan cruise in 1983 as a guy who may have a piece of a treasure map.
Joan Rivers (1933-2014) — Rivers took on a challenging role, playing a society matron rattled by losing her husband when she lost a breast to cancer, but who is trying to find love with a junk dealer (Alex Rocco).
Doris Roberts (1925-2016) — Everybody loves ... boat! Doris sailed three times, including playing a steward who is a love interest for an ex-Army guy (Vic Tayback), a woman who wants to use her lawyer son (Adam Arkin) as her divorce lawyer (from James Coco) and the pushy mom of a woman (Tovah Felshuh) she's attempting to sabotage with a male passenger (Louis Giambalvo).
Pernell Roberts (1928-2010) — Adam Cartwright sailed on a two-parter in 1980 as a man who has paid for several people (Skip Stephenson, Jimmie Walker and Connie Stevens) to take the cruise in order to find his nephew. Meanwhile, he finds his wife (Gayle Hunnicutt) seeking out Doc.
Tanya Roberts (1955-2021) — No stranger to swimsuits, the late Angel cruised in 1982 as a woman in a strange relationship with a man (Bert Convy) who believes they were lovers in a past life.
Tony Roberts (b. October 22, 1939) — The Woody Allen regular cruised two times (including a two-parter). Both times, he was Jack Chenault, a man Julie falls for, which was the first of many times she almost left (before she actually left ... and came back).
Dale Robertson (1923-2013) — The western actor played an oil tycoon who paid to bring the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders on board the ship to show off.
John Mark Robinson (b. July 19, 1948) — Robinson, now the CEO of a prop and costume outfit, played one of the friends of a virgin (Robert Hegyes) looking to lose his cherry at sea.
Alex Rocco (1936-2015) — Played a junk dealer carrying on with a society matron (Joan Rivers) and a P.I. used by a woman (Joan Van Ark) to hunt down her college boyfriend (Robert Reed).
Ginger Rogers (1911-1995) — The Oscar winner famous for doing everything Fred Astaire did, except backward and in high heels, played glamorous star Stella Logan on a high-camp two-part episode in 1979. Her storyline involved her rebuffing her ex-fiancé (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.), a nasty theater critic who shows up with a play he hopes she'll consider. But who cares?! The real attraction is watching her badly sing and dance to "Love Will Keep Us Together." It's ... something. She only acted twice more after this, on an episode of Glitter (1984) and an episode of Hotel (1987).
Tristan Rogers (b. June 3, 1946) — A soap actor, he played a soap actor doing battle with a soap writer (Susan Lucci) who once rejected him.
Roxie Roker (1929-1995) — Helen Willis played a woman reunited with her old BF (Garrett Morris of SNL fame) by ... her dead husband.
Esther Rolle (1920-1998) — She had two good times on the ship, once as a passenger enlisted to help April (Charo) take her citizenship test, and again as a woman romancing a man (Bernie Hamilton) in spite of his daughter's (Tracy Reed) disapproval.
Lulu Roman (b. May 6, 1946) — The Hee Haw personality appeared on a two-part episode playing a woman eating her way overseas.
Cesar Romero (1907-1994) — The Joker sailed three times (including a two-parter). Most entertainingly, he played a publisher considering buying the memoirs of Julie's aunt Sylvia's (Carol Channing) friend (Betty White). Next, he played a busy CEO who connects with his company's switchboard operator (Jane Wyatt), unbeknownst to him. On the Spain cruise, he was a world-famous matador whose grandson (Lorenzo Lamas — whose dad Fernando was a similar type as Romero, but had died a couple of years before) wants out of the family business.
Mickey Rooney (1920-2014) — Rooney appeared in the unwatchable "The Christmas Presence" episode in 1982, playing Angelarum Dominicus, a senior citizen with a heavenly touch. I think the show was better at topical '70s and '80s plots and was always in choppy waters when it tried to get Christiany.
Reva Rose (b. July 30, 1940) — Played a bored passenger who becomes convinced a chatterbox (Jim Nabors) would be a jewel thief.
Marion Ross (b. October 25, 1928) — Bow down to Mrs. C, who sailed 12 times (including two two-parters) ... but don't get too excited, because she was the briefly recurring character of Emily, Capt. Stubing's series-end girlfriend-turned-fiancée-turned-wife, on seven of them. Otherwise, she twice played a jealous sister (once of fellow TV-sitcom mom Patricia Crowley and once of Audra Lindley), played a hick mom (of an embarrassed singer played by Donny Osmond), played a woman reuniting with her long-absent hubby (Dan Rowan) and in her crowning glory, played a former Warhol superstar (green-haired Marina Del Rey) who is avoiding (the real) Andy Warhol on a cruise with her uptight hubby ... played by Tom Bosley!
Shavar Ross (b. March 4, 1971) — Played the son of a friend of Isaac's (Tracy Reed) who has lost her husband, and wants a new one.
Tim Rossovich (1946-2018) — I always think of the former football star as the evil henchman in Looker (1981), so it's odd he was on an episode involving hypnosis. His plot, however, was as a wrestler who wants his sis (Jennifer Holmes) to steer clear of his wrestling nemesis (Bruce Jenner, now known as Caitlyn Jenner).
Richard Roundtree (b. July 9, 1942) — The Blaxploitation star played the husband of a woman played by Pam Grier in a plot involving two couples and the suspicion of murder most foul.
Dan Rowan (1922-1987) — The TV legend had a paltry acting résumé, but I thought he was quite natural when he sailed! He was on a two-parter as a man forced to cruise with his wife (Juliet Mills) when she finds the tickets (meant for him and his mistress, played by Adrienne Barbeau), and also played a man reuniting with his wife (Marion Ross) and daughter (Eve Plumb).
Misty Rowe (b. June 1, 1950) — The Hee Haw (1972-1991) honey sailed three times (including a two-parter), but wasn't even credited the second time. That leaves her turns as the sister of a playboy (Joe Namath) and, on the special Country Music cruise, she was the niece of a shameless, down-home doc (Minnie Pearl).
John Rubinstein (b. December 8, 1946) — The stage star sailed three times (including a two-parter). Sweetest is his Season 1 performance opposite Kathy Bates as newlyweds kept apart by a run of bad luck. He was also great on an episode as a Vietnam draft dodger avoiding his old friend, a football star who wound up in a wheelchair after his service. He also popped up in the star-studded finale.
Barbara Rush (b. January 4, 1927) — In a rare occurrence, the Old Hollywood star played the same character twice, lovely Eleanor Gardiner, who Capt. Stubing longs to navigate toward marriage.
Nipsey Russell (1918-2005) — The poet who knew it played one of three army buddies (along with Harvey Lembeck and Jack Somack) who are pushing their old sarge (Vic Tayback) into a shipboard romance with a ship steward (Doris Roberts).
Eva Marie Saint (b. July 4, 1924) — The legendary Oscar winner played a ridiculous part as a snobby young man's (Parker Stevenson) Greek auntie who he always assumed was rich, but who turns out to be living frugally in a lighthouse.
Soupy Sales (1926-2009) — The classic comic played a boss who, after a drunken office party, winds up cruising with his secretary (Jo Anne Worley).
Jennifer Salt (b. September 4, 1944) — Played a newlywed whose ex (Lyle Waggoner) comes aboard to try to win her back.
Paul Sand (b. March 5, 1932) — Played a man falling for a fellow passenger (Donna Pescow) who is a sex surrogate.
Isabel Sanford (1917-2004) — Weezy sailed twice as Isaac's auntie Tanya (married to Uncle Charles, played by Mel Stewart) who is a delusional actress-wannabe on one episode and a stage mom to a pooch she's entered in a dog show on another.
Dick Sargent (1930-1994) — Durwood appeared on a Season 1 episode as a minister escorting a half-dozen orphans back to a Mexican orphanage.
Telly Savalas (1922-1994) — Played a villain using a willing young woman (Janet Jackson) to help him replace Isaac with a robot. Yeah, I know.
Glenn Scarpelli (b. July 6, 1966) — The teen One Day at a Time (1980-1983) star sailed three times. His first cruise was a "very special episode" about drug abuse — his character romances Vicki and gives her pills, but when he's caught, he tries to shift the blame to her so his mom (Elinor Donahue) won't punish him. Next, on another fairly "special" episode, he played a juvenile delinquent whose thieving ways are covered up by a usually by-the-book retired copper (Cornel Wilde). Finally, he played a guy traveling with his best friend (Jimmy Osmond) who mistakenly believe the friend's dad has arranged a hooker (Karen Kopins) for his 18th birthday.
Natalie Schafer (1900-1991) — On a two-parter, she played the largely ornamental part of the wife of a stuffy boss man (John Hillerman) who only hires guys who are good family men.
Wendy Schaal (b. July 2, 1954) — The woman who would go on the voice Francine Smith on American Dad! (2005-present) sailed as a woman whose fiancé is a paraplegic (Jim Knaub) and a woman engaged to a guy (Grant Goodeve) whose ex (Didi Conn) is literally protesting their engagement.
Ronnie Schell (b. December 23, 1931) — Played the part of a director working with a two-faced teen idol (Alison Arngrim).
Avery Schreiber (1935-2002) — The guy with TV's most IDable hair-and-mustache combo sailed twice (including on a two-parter). He played on half of a couple (with Edie Adams) who are considering a separation, and one of three Santas mistakenly hired for the same cruise (the others being Ray Walston and Scatman Crothers).
John Schuck (b. February 4, 1940) — On a 1978 Season 1 two-parter, he played a secretly brilliant idiot who is part of a fantastic caper.
Peter Scolari (1955-2021) — He sailed twice (including a two-parter) very late in the run. He was a daredevil challenged by his GF (Courteney Cox) to stop his death-defying ways, and a pigeon who is the target of a mom-daughter (Leslie Caron, Jennifer Caron Hall) grifting team.
Debralee Scott (1953-2005) — I loved this Sweathog! She played a self-deprecating part as one of two galpals (with Laurette Spang). The plot found Spang's character getting all the male attention, while Scott's is ignored.
Geoffrey Scott (1942-2021) — Competed with his own son (Clark Brandon) for the affections of a woman in disguise (Markie Post) and a football star about to be cut who seduces the team's new owner (Trish Van Devere) to save his jockstrap!
Martha Scott (1912-2003) — In 1979, she played a widow shocked to find out the man delivering her a romantic rose a day since her husband's death is her florist (Don Ameche).
Bob Seagren (b. October 17, 1946) — Played a love interest for a woman (Laurette Spang) with plenty of 'em.
Dick Shawn (1923-1987) — Sailed twice (including a two-parter). Shawn played a boss man whose daughter (Debra Clinger) is concealing her marriage to an employee (Richard Gilliland) and — a perfect part for his inspired lunacy — a guy who faked mental illness to get his pension, but who must avoid a pesky inspector (Joanna Cassidy).
Deborah Shelton (b. November 21, 1948) — The glam model and actress played a young woman romancing her dad's (Clint Walker) best friend (Robert Reed).
Mark Shera (b. July 10, 1949) — Sailed twice, once as a young guy whose parents (Monty Hall and Janis Paige) are working hard to keep him from marrying a mysterious woman, and again as one half of a couple (with Ellen Bry) trying to seek common ground between their polar-opposite parents (Arlene Dahl and Leslie Nielsen).
Bobby Sherman (b. July 22, 1943) — The '60s teen idol didn't act too often in the '70s and '80s, but cruised twice. First, in 1978, he played the BF of a young woman (Maureen McCormick) in a shipboard beauty contest. Four years later, he played one of three divorc´´és (with Edd Byrnes and Fabian) striving to keep things light with the ladies to keep their alimony payments in check. He only acted four more times and did 13 episodes of a failed 1986 series called Sanchez of Bel Air before leaving the craft.
James Shigeta (1929-2014) — One of the biggest Asian stars in U.S. entertainment history, Shigeta played the father of Tony Danza (!) on a two-part Japan cruise.
Bobby Short (1924-2005) — One of the ultimate NYC cabaret entertainers, he was a charming addition to the two-part Fashion cruise in 1981.
Stephen Shortridge (b. October 23, 1951) — He sailed four times (including a two-parter). He was basically the stalker of a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader (Tami Barber), a man traveling with his sis (Denise DuBarry), a richie marrying a woman with no money (Jenilee Harrison) and an uncredited role later in the run.
Grant Show (b. February 27, 1962) — In only his second credited role, Show played a schoolteacher's (James Sloyan) former student who is hitting on his neglected wife (Valerie Harper) ... hard.
Max Showalter (1917-2000) — Sailed twice, with wound up being his final episodic-TV guest roles (and he only had two more movies in him afterward). He played a guy making time with a freshly separated woman (Jayne Meadows) in a small role, and also a widower whose son (Timothy Patrick Murphy) longs to devote himself to the piano. His love interest in that one was Mary Martin.
Kin Shriner (b. December 6, 1953) — The soap superstar sailed in 1984 as one half of a couple (with with Jenilee Harrison) taking a remarkably scientific approach to conceiving their first child.
Sonny Shroyer (b. August 28, 1935) — Enos played a man trying to start things up with a passenger (Arlene Golonka) who, it turns out, (1) lives in his building, and (2) has a rule against dating neighbors.
Sylvia Sidney (1910-1999) — Along with having one of the grandest porthole performances, she played a disapproving mom who dislikes her son's (Eddie Mekka) old flame (Joan Prather).
Charles Siebert (b. March 9, 1938) — The Charles Grodin of TV sailed four times, playing a guy who just dropped a ton of weight, a man recently separated from his wife who is enchanted by a psychic (Connie Stevens), a rich man who bets his brother (Ben Murphy) $1 million he won't fall in love on the ship and one of the cast of tens on the final episode.
Phil Silvers (1911-1985) — Sailed on the 1977 TV movie as "a woebegone widower," and as Capt. Stubing's dad on a Season 1 episode.
Frank Sinatra Jr. (1944-2016) — Played a beneficent singer named Preston Maddox.
Marc Singer (b. January 29, 1948) — You sexy Beastmaster! He sailed on a two-parter in 1984 as Judy McCoy's ex-husband who wants her back. She almost gives in, thanks in no small part to a hilarious montage of him literally showing her Paris — they're showing running around with him pointing at landmarks. But those blue thighs — I mean, eyes! — and she still turns him down.
Walter Slezak (1902-1983) — This guy sailed on Hitchcock's Lifeboat (1944) to disastrous result, and sailed on The Love Boat as his very last acting gig, a two-parter from 1980. He was barely in it, playing an extremely low-key French locksmith who has locked himself out of a shop. Any excuse for a scene with Slezak, Skip Stephenson and Jimmie Walker.
James Sloyan (b. February 24, 1940) — Sailed twice, including a two-parter. Sloyan played a bookie about to lose his GF (Stephanie Faracy) to an undercover G-man (Jack Riley) and — on the Egyptian cruise — an inattentive teacher with a hot wife (Valerie Harper) and a hot-to-trot ex-student (Grant Show).
Alexis Smith (1921-1993) — A Golden Age actress who sailed three times (and all two--parters), Smith was a famous scion libeled by a reporter (Kiel Martin) who winds up dating her daughter (Jan Smithers), a "faded star" who attracts Capt. Stubing's fickle heart and another rich woman whose estate was snatched by a ruthless nemesis (Craig Stevens).
Jaclyn Smith (b. October 26, 1945) — I'm all about Kelly Garrett, and she sailed on what was only the second episode of the series. She played a woman seeking me-time away from her hubby (David Knapp) who doesn't realize the guy paying attention to her (real-life hubby at the time Dennis Cole) is a P.I. hired to make sure she doesn't stray.
Rex Smith (b. September 19, 1955) — The rock star played a rock star who was Vicki's first "love." Poor Vicki had worse taste in men than Madonna.
Shelley Smith (b. October 25, 1952) — One of the best-ever game-show contestants, she sailed twice, as a pregnant woman romancing a man (Dennis Cole) who is not the baby's dad and the sleepwalking (and sleep-kissing-Doc) wife of a senator (Alan Thicke).
Jan Smithers (b. July 3, 1949) — Smithers didn't do any TV or movies past 1987, but we got her three times (including a two-parter) that decade on The Love Boat! She was the daughter of a woman (Alexis Smith) maligned by her secret boyfriend (Kiel Martin), a woman leading on a much older carnival owner (Howard Keel) and the wife of a consumer advocate (Ray Buktenica) who resents her thinking about working with his fave brownie manufacturer. (I know — the drama of it all!)
Tom Smothers (b. February 2, 1937) — Sailed twice, including as a scientist who thinks a female passenger (Helen Reddy) is an alien and as a sleazeball who tells the crew he'll pay $10K if they find him the ideal wife (but has no intention of paying).
Bruce Solomon (b. August 12, 1943) — Posing as an ad exec on a Season 1 voyage, he wound up getting a great job offer.
Brett Somers (1924-2007) — The ultimate female Match Game panelist gave her final episodic-TV performances on Battlestar Galactica (1978), two Love Boats (1978 & 1980) and her swan song, two episodes of CHiPs (1979 & 1980). On her two cruises, she played one of three friends (with Cathryn Damon and Jo Ann Pflug) who are macked on by a Casanova (David Doyle, who gives Somers's character the fake name of McNair), and the overprotective wife of a man (Phil Harris) recovering from heart surgery.
Suzanne Somers (b. October 16, 1946) — Somers debuted on Three's Company in March 1977, and on September 24, she sailed on the very first episode of The Love Boat. In a How to Marry a Millionaire-style plot, she played the fresh-faced, man-hungry cabin mate of a young woman (Brenda Sykes) who is being aggressively pursued by a longtime, marriage-averse boyfriend (Jimmie Walker). Somers was playing a sexual libertine ("Live and taste life and don't let anybody tell you what to do!") who, in a twist, winds up having two little kids waiting for her back home. Sidenote: Also on this episode, Meredith Baxter played a woman dealing with a nude-photo scandal. A few years later, old nudes of Somers were published in Playboy over her strenuous objections. Then, she posed nude of her own volition. In her seventies now, it's hard to keep clothes on Somers at all!
Elke Sommer (b. November 5, 1940) — The Nordic sex kitten sailed twice (both two-parters). Playing designer Benita James on the Fashion cruise, she was in danger of having her precious designs ripped off by a lowlife (Mike Connors, aided by Steve Franken). When she first boards, Doc kisses her hand and says she must have a beautiful line. "I'm sure you think you have a beautiful line, too," she replies. On her next cruise, she was Inga Van Damme, who catches the eye of Capt. Stubing — but wants nothing to do with him.
Laurette Spang (b. May 16, 1951) — She was on the 1976 TV movie ahead of two cruises, playing one of a pair of girlfriends (the other being Debralee Scott) juggling male suitors and the daughter of a high-powered businessman (Ralph Bellamy).
Camilla Sparv (b. June 3, 1943) — On the Fashion cruise, she played one of two ladies (the other being Morgan Brittany) competing for the attentions of a cosmetics mogul (Robert Vaughn) seeking a new "It" girl for his fragrance.
Tori Spelling (b. May 16, 1973) — Person with the latest birthdate featured as a credited star. She was just 9 when her first episode aired on January 22, 1983, playing a kid who claims her dolly is injured — but does it mean more? On her second and final cruise, she played the daughter of a congressman (Sam Groom) whose needs are keeping him from his fiancée (Phyllis Davis).
David Spielberg (1939-2016) — Played a man traveling with his wife (Caren Kaye) and their friends (Vicki Lawrence and Fred Willard), clueless that his wife and Willard's character are having an affair ... while he has an affair with Lawrence's character.
Michael Spound (b. April 8, 1957) — He sailed three times, playing a man mad his mom (Lee Meriwether) is having a May-December romance (with Dean Paul Martin), a courier encumbered by a package handcuffed to his wrist and — I am not kidding — the manager of the Temptations.
Raymond St. Jacques (1930-1990) — Sailed twice. He played a "senior" (he was in his early fifties) carrying on with a lady (Theresa Merritt) over the strenuous objections of their adult kids (Brian Stokes Mitchell and Telma Hopkins), and — talk about versatility! — later played Andy Warhol's flamboyant executive assistant Romaine (misspelled as Ramon on IMDb). He was much better suited to his second role, having been a runaway model (one of the first Black men to walk for Givenchy, Halston and Yves St. Laurent). St. Jacques was gay, and his longtime partner was originally introduced as his nephew or son, and took the actor's last name prior to dying from AIDS complications in 1984. St. Jacques died in 1990 of what was reported to be lymph cancer, but which was also AIDS complications.
Jill St. John (b. August 19, 1940) — Looked SENSATIONAL in a skimpy bikini and also in a racy bustier on a 1981 episode that found her character doing exactly what you'd expect ... throwing herself at Doc!
Robert Stack (1919-2003) — The Hollywood tough guy played a rich man entering the Acapulco Steeplechase ... and enticing Julie with a marriage proposal.
Jim Stafford (b. January 16, 1944) — Sailed three times. He was the husband of a woman (Sandy Duncan) funneling her grief over the loss of their child into helping a kid (James Bond III) on board, a man pretending to be celibate in order to impress a frigid passenger (Carlene Watkins) and a dad who lends his kid (Louanne) to a pal (Lawrence Pressman) who needs to pose as a single dad.
BernNadette Stanis (b. December 22, 1953) — Post-Good Times (1974-1979), The Love Boat was her first appearance. She played a school friend of Isaac's who uses him to make her hubby (Clifton Davis) jealous.
Jean Stapleton (1923-2013) — On the two-part Egyptian cruise, Edith Bunker was the widow of a close pal of Capt. Stubing's who shares warm memories with him.
Laraine Stephens (b. July 24, 1941) — Played the wife of a singer (Jack Jones) hoping to reconcile with his singer dad (Allan Jones).
Skip Stephenson (1940-1992) — The pleasantly cheesy Real People (1979-1980 ... only one year?!) host rarely acted. In fact, he had just five episodic-TV appearances under his belt prior to dying of a heart attack at 52 — and two (including a two-parter) were Love Boats. He played one of three people (with Connie Stevens and Jimmie Walker) given free passage to help find a man's (Pernell Roberts) missing nephew, and then played the love interest of Morgan Brittany. Okay.
Andrew Stevens (b. June 10, 1955) — On the two-part Caribbean cruise, he played a boss being set up for a gender-discrimination suit by a woman (Linda Purl) in male drag.
Connie Stevens (b. August 8, 1938) — One of the show's queens, Stevens sailed seven (!) times (including one two-parter). She was a pal of Julie's who attracts both Doc and Capt. Stubing, a woman looking to become a single mom, part of a group seeking a missing man, a woman working in the ship's flower shop who's recruited to dupe a jerk (Tommy Smothers) into believing he got drunk and married her, a psychic, a woman mistaken for the wife of a man (Franklin Cover) who's promised his real wife (Charlotte Rae) to a loan shark (Vic Tayback) to repay his debt and — on the finale — a murder suspect.
Craig Stevens (1918-2000) — He sailed three times (including two two-parters). He played a WWII vet reuniting with his old love (Cyd Charisse), and a man romancing a matriach (Alexis Smith) whose business he has manipulated away from her.
Marti Stevens (b. August 15, 1933) — The protégée of Marlene Dietrich (1901-1992) played a socialite with an escort (Cesare Danova) in her second-to-last performance on TV or in movies.
Morgan Stevens (b. October 16, 1951) — He sailed twice (including a two-parter), playing a married man romancing an unsuspecting young woman (Ana Alicia) and the best man at a shipboard wedding.
Stella Stevens (b. October 1, 1938) — The S.S. Poseidon veteran sailed twice (and lived!) after appearing on the 1977 TV movie. She played a golf widow seeking one in the hole with an ex (Ron Ely) and a woman taking a final cruise with her husband of 17 years (Kevin McCarthy) before their expected divorce.
McLean Stevenson (1927-1996) — He sailed three times (including a two-parter). On the fashion cruise, he was one half of a husband-and-wife team (with Anne Baxter) running a modeling agency. Speaking of Baxter, he later played a man being mentored by Capt. Stubing who Gopher believes is gonna All About Eve him. Finally, he was a high school teacher with a rare silver dollar whose GF (Jo Ann Pflug) accidentally feeds it to a slot machine.
Parker Stevenson (June 4, 1952) — Sailed twice, including an insufferable two-part Greek cruise on which he played a yuppie shocked to find out his "rich" auntie (Eva Marie Saint) is really a pauper who lives in a lighthouse. He also played a yuppie (hm) who forces his bride (real-life wife at the time Kirstie Alley) to pretend to be a stranger when his boss (David Doyle) insists they take a cruise to tomcat around.
Alana Stewart (b. May 18, 1945) — The infrequent actress sailed twice, including (on Season 1), when she showed up at the tail-end of an episode as the wife of Julie's old flame (David Hedison) and on a Season 9 episode as a scheming golddigger.
Mel Stewart (1929-2002) — Sailed twice as Isaac's uncle (married to his aunt, Isabel Sanford).
Trish Stewart (b. June 14, 1946) — Played a woman accidentally placed in a cabin with a man (Patrick Wayne).
Jerry Stiller (1927-2020) — He sailed three times, as a man on his second honeymoon (with real-life wife Anne Meara), a man renewing his wedding vows (with real-life wife Anne Meara) and a man romancing the landlady who once sued him (his real-life ... you know the rest).
Larry Storch (b. January 8, 1923) — Sailed twice (including a two-parter), playing a bumbling jewel thief and a ship's engineer whose family gets a free ride.
Gale Storm (1922-2009) — The My Little Margie (1952-1955) TV pioneer gave her last three TV performances — her only of the '70s and '80s — on two episodes of The Love Boat (1979 & the 1987 finale) and one episode of Murder, She Wrote (1989). She played a lady being set up with a gentleman (Louis Nye), and on the finale played herself.
Susan Strasberg (1938-1999) — Played Gopher's former teacher, on whom he has a crush.
Marcia Strassman (1948-2014) — Played a cop who tells her on-board hookup (Frank Converse) she's gonna turn him in after he confides in her that he swiped $1 million.
Barry Sullivan (1912-1994) — Played a man whose shipboard romance (with Amanda Blake) ran afoul of his sweetheart's daughter (Karen Morrow) and his uptight valet (Werner Klemperer).
Susan Sullivan (b. November 18, 1942) — An unsung queen of TV, Sullivan sailed in 1979 as a doctor who gives an ailing Doc a taste of his own medicine when he becomes sick and needs her professional assistance.
Loretta Swit (b. November 4, 1937) — Sailed three times (including a two-parter). She played a woman who is competitive with her ex-husband (Robert Reed), a Ninotchka-style Soviet cruise line commissar who wants to look like floozy to win Doc's heart and, perhaps most entertainingly, a woman who hires a British skank (Catherine Oxenberg) to try to seduce her hubby (real-life hubby Dennis Holahan) just to see if he has a roving eye. (He does.)
Brenda Sykes (b. June 25, 1949) — The Blaxploitation actress — Honky (1971), Cleopatra Jones (1973), Mandingo (1975) — was sweetly effective on the very first episode as a young woman rebuffing her longtime BF (Jimmie Walker) who refuses to commit. When he proclaims that Black people have finally achieved freedom after 300 years and asks if she hasn't seen Roots, she replies, "I wanna start a family, not trace one." Suzanne Somers, as her random cabin mate, provides immoral support.
Jeffrey Tambor (b. July 8, 1944) — He played a man whose wife (Florence Henderson) is setting him up with a future wife since she believes she will die young and a rich dud who a young woman (Delta Burke) intends to marry ... before her ex (Richard Gilliland) shows up.
Vic Tayback (1930-1990) — The Alice (1976-1985) star was, somewhat surprisingly, one of the male all-stars of The Love Boat, sailing six times, including as himself on the finale. He played one of two (with Jo Ann Plug) members of a hung jury, a sarge obsessed with his army days, the ship's engineer romancing a glam passenger (Arlene Dahl), a guy whose computer dating service set him up with a dude (Conrad Bain) who winds up competing with him for the affections of their true ideal match (Janet Leigh) and a loan shark.
Holland Taylor (b. January 14, 1943) — Fresh off of Bosom Buddies (1980-1982), Taylor played a woman who attracts a jockish dude (Adam West) and a nerd (Alan Young), and who is freaked out when the nerd plants a fake bomb just to get her attention.
Renée Taylor (b. March 19, 1933) — Marion Ross, who played Capt. Stubing's wife toward the series end, said that Taylor was so good playing a wedding coordinator for her union with Stubing in 1986 that Taylor nearly stole the whole show.
Toni Tennille (b. May 8, 1940) — The show was certainly a breeding ground for non-actors audiences would nonetheless enjoy seeing in light, episodic situations. Toni Tennille was a prime example. Among her very few "acting" gigs, the only ones in which she seemed to play a person other than herself were three Fantasy Island stays and two Love Boat cruises. She had a dramatic role as a woman who pursues a man (Robert Reed) who she knows witnessed an injustice, and a broadly comic role as a slobby wife whose estranged husband (William Christopher) is a neat freak.
Alan Thicke (1947-2016) — Dr. Jason Seaver cruised three times, all later in the run. He was an alimony-swamped ex hoping to ensure his former wife (Michelle Phillips) marries her beau (Fred Willard), a senator with a sleepwalking wife (Shelley Smith) and one of the cast on the series finale.
Roy Thinnes (b. April 6, 1938) — Played Doc's old frat buddy who comes aboard with his "cousin," a strapping young stud (Michael McGrady). "Adam, I'm homosexual," he eventually says, to which Doc replies, "I don't know what to say." It seems strange a free-lovin' doctor would be so thrown by a gay friend, but he comes around almost immediately, saying he was mostly upset that his friend wasn't honest with him. "We're still friends," Doc assures him. "Frat brothers forever." I could be mistaken, but I think the 1984 episode was the only one featuring an out gay couple.
Heather Thomas (b. September 8, 1957) — The blonde babe was on twice (including a two-parter). On the dog show-themed 1983 episode, she played a passenger flirting with a man (Ray Buktenica) who is a dog food company's mail clerk, yet is confused for its president. More interestingly, on the two-part Japan cruise, she played a photographer with a grudge against Japanese people because of her dad's WWII injury ... so of course she winds up romancing a guy (Tony Danza) without realizing he is half-Japanese.
Jay Thomas (1948-2017) — While appearing on Mork & Mindy (1979-1981), which was his debut, Thomas sailed on a 1981 voyage as a guy crushing on a young woman (Maureen McCormick) who hasn't been told her leukemia may claim her life after all.
Sada Thompson (1927-2011) — She sailed on the two-part Spain cruise in 1986, playing a woman who was in prison for 20 years and who hopes she can resume a relationship with her daughter (Melissa Sue Anderson).
Kevin Tighe (b. August 13, 1944) — Paramedic Roy DeSota of Emergency! (1972-1979) fame sailed on a 1980 episode as a man in search of brains who encounters a brilliant professor (Shelley Hack) ... who has been playing dumb to attract guys.
Mel Tillis (1932-2017) — In a rare acting role as a country hitmaker who has secretly written a new song for a up-and-comer (Tanya Tucker) instead of for his singing-star wife (Jessica Walter), the famously stuttering Tillis is credited as "M-m-m-mel Tillis." Two-parter.
Charlene Tilton (b. December 1, 1958) — Sailed three times (including a two-parter), as a woman who falls for her runaway boyfriend's (Lloyd Alan) best friend (Donny Most), a woman pursued by a courier (Michael Spound) who refuses to remove a handcuffed briefcase from his arm and a secretary on the series finale.
Tiny the Kangaroo (b. ?) — One of just six animals to get the porthole treatment.
Michele Tobin (b. January 25, 1961) — Played the daughter of a man (Ken Berry) whose new wife (Beth Howland) can't win her over, and the granddaughter of a rich man (David Wayne) who is the victim of a scam.
Berlinda Tolbert (b. November 4, 1949) — Yes, Jenny Willis was on The Jeffersons (1975-1985), but did you know she was in Goodfellas (1990)?! And she also sailed on The Love Boat twice. She was Isaac's GF Patty and a self-help guru.
Fred Travalena (1942-2009) — In only his second acting credit, Travalena played a guy who, along with his friend (David Nelson), decides to swap fiancées (Cyb and Patricia Barnstable).
Ellen Travolta (b. October 6, 1939) — Played the mother of a kid (Jimmy Baio) who is having his first romance (with Melissa Gilbert) on a '78 ep. In 1981, she was introduced as the mother of Chachi (Jimmy's bro Scott Baio) on Happy Days, proving ABC took casting as seriously as Ancestry.com.
Claire Trevor (1910-2000) — The Oscar winner played a retired actress in her third-to-last acting gig. She was seeking a reconciliation with her daughter (Morgan Brittany).
Forrest Tucker (1919-1986) — Seems crazy to think Tucker, who I remember as always being old, died at 67. He sailed three times, playing the manager and fiancé of April (Charo), an irate dad seeking vengeance on behalf of his daughter (Brianne Leary) and a man with a distaste for show biz who meets an actress (Florence Henderson) posing as a nurse.
Tanya Tucker (b. October 10, 1958) — Sailed twice (including a two-parter). Tucker played one half of a couple (with Michael Goodwin) who divorce and re-marry annually for a tax break and also a country singing sensation called C.G. Thomas.
Tundra the dog (b. ?) — One of six animals to get the porthole treatment.
Ann Turkel (b. July 16, 1946) — The star of Humanoids from the Deep (1980), who is now a self-described Trumpette, played a woman whose hubby (Patrick Wayne) feels emasculated by her being better at most things than he is.
Glynn Turman (b. January 31, 1947) — Played a fan of Miss America Vanessa Williams.
Janine Turner (b. December 6, 1962) — Played a missionary crushing on her reverend (Robert Prine).
Lana Turner (1921-1995) — One of the all-time screen greats, Turner had a renaissance of sorts in the '80s, and that included appearing on a two-part Love Boat that wound up marking her final acting of any kind! In an extension of her most effective screen roles, she played Elizabeth Raley, a woman with a secret — lots of them! See, she doubts herself, so she lies, and the lies threaten a burgeoning romance with a man who is escorting — you'll have to go with this — Menudo. Turner reacting favorably to a cheesy Menudo performance is not exactly the image we thought would characterize her last hurrah, but she seems game throughout the episode, and at least it ends with a lovely shipboard wedding!
Leslie Uggams (b. May 25, 1943) — Uggams is convincing and sensitive as an embittered blind woman on a Season 4 episode on which she is pursued by David Hedison. Yes, an interracial romance! We see them fall in love and become engaged ... with no kiss. When she initially resists his wedding proposal, she urges him, "Look at me — I'm Black and I'm blind!" He jokes that he'll tell the locals back on his ranch that she's the new maid. And she still marries him! I think this is the only overt romance between a Black and white passenger?
Robert Urich (1946-2002) — He played a friend of Julie's whose estranged wife (Pamela Franklin) is on board and carrying his baby, a newlywed (with Diana Canova) turned off by a bickering old married couple (Robert Mandan and Audrey Meadows) and one half of a couple (with real-life wife Heather Menzies-Urich) seeking to adopt a baby in Mexico.
Brenda Vaccaro (b. November 18, 1939) — The Oscar nominee played a shopaholic who has a big-bucks deal with her hubby (Herb Edelman) that she won't buy anything — and it's a two-parter!
Karen Valentine (b. May 25, 1947) — She was hilarious as Taffy Martino on the two-part, Season 1 episode about a gang of thieves stalking a star (Michele Lee) wearing a Liz Taylor-sized diamond.
Bobby Van (1928-1980) — The stage star and game-show host played a hotel owner who tries to hire Gopher away.
Joan Van Ark (b. June 16, 1943) — Val sailed four times. First time out, she played a beautiful temptation for a man (Tom Hallick) sailing with his disabled brother (Patrick Wayne). She also played a klepto crushing on a shrink (Stephen Keep Mills), a shy travel nut who meets a handsome passenger (Michael Zaslow) who turns out to be an infamous jewel thief and a woman who hired a P.I. (Alex Rocco) to find her college BF (Robert Reed).
Barry Van Dyke (b. July 31, 1951) — Dick's son was a frequent customer, sailing four times! He played a guy falling for a woman (Pamela Sue Martin) who is pretending to be married, a novice magician, a married man attracted to his wife's (Audrey Landers) bestie (Ellen Bry) and a narcissist who is trying to pressure his fiancée (Teri Copley) to quit her job.
Jerry Van Dyke (1931-2018) — Dick's brother played a man in group therapy who wants to couple up with a lady (Elaine Joyce) in the same boat (wink) he's in.
Dick Van Patten (1928-2015) — One of the kings of television was one of this show's kings, too, with five excursions (including a two-parter). I liked his 1978 episode, on which he played a scandal-plagued congressman whose shipboard romance turns out to be with a journalist (Vicki Lawrence). He also played a guy trying to hire Capt. Stubing away from his job, a businessman plotting to fire his prissy secretary (Rue McClanahan) in order to replace her with his mistress (Judy Landers), a vain magician by the name of the Great Stellini and a wifebeater (again, matched with Rue McClanahan). It's upsetting to see Dick as an abuser, especially since Rue spends the whole episode with a gigantic shiner!
Vincent Van Patten (b. October 17, 1957) — Dick's son played a jock with a yen for his friend's (Philip Brown) mom (Samantha Eggar).
Gloria Vanderbilt (1924-2019) — Appeared as herself on the Fashion cruise.
Robert Vaughn (1932-2016) — Played a cosmetics mogul looking for an "It" girl to represent his company brand on a two-parter.
Ben Vereen (October 10, 1946) — The song-and-dance great sailed twice (including a two-parter). He played a doctor whose companion (Denise Nicholas) becomes palsy-walsy with his ex (Lynne Moody) and a flamboyant director trying to film a movie on board the ship.
Abe Vigoda (1921-2016) — Played Charlie Fletcher, ship's porter who is a love interest for a passenger (Nancy Walker).
Village People — Alex Briley (b. April 12, 1951), David Hodo (b. July 7, 1947), Glenn Hughes (1950-2001), Randy Jones (b. September 13, 1952), Felipe Rose (b. January 12, 1954) & Ray Simpson (b. January 15, 1952) — The disco sensations arrived on a 1980 episode singing an a cappella rendition of "In the Navy," which had been a #3 smash about 18 months prior. ("They seem like regular guys," Capt. Stubing odd says as they board.) Their bomb movie, Can't Stop the Music, had bowed about five months before, making their appearance poorly timed and passé. Later, Julie introduces "that very exciting vocal group" to sing "Magic Night," which was supposedly the name of the group's horse, which was about to run in an important race. Loni Anderson and Charles Frank, Allen Ludden and Betty White, Robert Stack and the whole crew are all called upon to react ecstatically to the performance of the song, culled from the Can't Stop the Music soundtrack.
Sal Viscuso (b. October 5, 1948) — Sailed four times! Viscuso played a generic horndog, a groom intimidated by his bride's (Eve Plumb) bodyguards, a jealous BF who thinks his GF (Denise DuBarry) isn't really traveling with her brother (Stephen Shortridge) and movie makeup man testing his fiancée's (Heidi Bohay) loyalty by making himself up to look like Burt Reynolds (Fred Leaf plays the part, then removes a mask as if he was Viscuso all along) and via other makeup tricks ... culminating with a making himself up to look like Doc (played by Bernie Kopell).
Lyle Waggoner (1935-2020) — Along with sailing on the 1977 TV movie and the 1999 reboot series, Waggoner sailed three times, playing a man hired to pretend he's the fiancé of Doc's ex-wife (Tina Louise), an ex-boyfriend desperate to win back his girl (Jennifer Salt) and the ex-partner of a diet doc (Kelly Monteith) who is romancing a woman (Markie Post) trying to lose weight on the doc's weight-loss program.
Robert Walden (b. September 25, 1943) — Fifteen years her senior, he was somehow cast as the high school classmate of Tanya Tucker's character on an episode on which Tucker's character keeps divorcing and remarrying her husband (Michael Goodwin) for tax purposes.
Clint Walker (1927-2018) — Played a man angry that his daughter (Deborah Shelton) and his best friend (Robert Reed) are canoodling.
Jimmie Walker (b. June 25, 1947) — This show kept J.J. steadily employed, including five voyages (among them a two-parter). He was on the very first episode, played a guy pursuing his GF (Brenda Sykes) after she breaks up with him for being unwilling to commit, the ghost of a man haunting his widow (Vernee Watson), a valet keeping a woman (Telma Hopkins) occupied so his boss (Demond Wilson) can fool around, one of several passengers given free cruises in order to search for a missing man and (again coupled with Telma Hopkins) one half of a couple determined to quit smoking on the high seas.
Nancy Walker (1922-1992) — Played a lady who moves her furniture into a cabin in order to get the attention of ship's porter (Abe Vigoda), a judge stalking a serial bigamist (George Gobel) and one half of an "elderly" (she was 60) couple (with Jack Gilford) who are newlyweds.
Marcia Wallace (1942-2013) — Who didn't love Marcia Wallace?! Surprisingly, she sailed just once, on Season 1. She played a gossip columnist who comes aboard in order to write a story about all the lusty goings-on.
Jessica Walter (1941-2021) — She existed in the Love Boat sweet spot, sailing six times (including two two-parters). The show gave her a lot to work with — she even had to play a southern-fried country crooner on one ep, about as far from her type as imaginable. She first sailed in 1978 as Capt. Stubing's high school flame, played a widowed mom romanced by her kid's (Johnny Timko) teacher (Dick Gautier), a frustrated wife who pretends Doc made a pass at her during an examination to get her husband's (Alex Cord) negative attention, a bitter niece who thinks her uncle (Lloyd Bridges) bankrupted her father and a woman who suspects her dad (John McIntire) is sinking into dementia.
Laurie Walters (b. January 8, 1947) — Joannie Bradford sailed twice, playing a girl being romanced by a kissing bandit (Billy Crystal) and a woman who wants to learn the identity of her natural father (Ross Martin).
Patrick Ward (1950-2019) — Played the fake missing link called the Mongala on a two-parter.
Andy Warhol (1928-1987) — The Pop Art icon was his usual monosyllabic self on a cruise that found a woman (Marion Ross) avoiding him because she was once one of his superstars — and then feeling conflicted when he doesn't seem to recognize her at all. Andy walked around taking Polaroids of passengers, relying on his assistant (Raymond St. Jacques) to keep people at bay.
Ruth Warrick (1916-2005) — From Citizen Kane (1941) to The Love Boat, Ruth Warrick was a (first-)class act. As Joan Heinsley (the name) on a 1982 ep, she was playing an old friend of Capt. Stubing who, years before, had been widowed by a drunk driver. Now, sailing with her daughter (Denise Miller, who could feasibly have been Warrick's granddaughter), she is mortified to learn the daughter has fallen for — you guessed it — the son (Laurence Lau) of the drunk driver! She was a long way from Citizen Kane ... but maybe only a short cruise from her other most remembered gig, on All My Children (1970-2005).
Carlene Watkins (b. June 4, 1952) — I loved her on Best of the West (1981-1982). On The Love Boat, she sailed in '81, '84 and '86, playing a frigid woman (look it up, kids), a mom trying to encourage her son (David Faustino!) to come out of his shell after his dad's death and one half of a hippie couple (with Larry Wilcox) shocked their hippie pals (Melanie Chartoff and James Houghton) are now yuppies.
Vernee Watson (b. September 28, 1949) — I don't know why, but I always noticed Ms. Watson in everything she did, starting with Carter Country (1977-1979) and including a contentious case on The People's Court! On The Love Boat, she sailed five times, playing a woman embarrassed by an older Black man's (Scatman Crothers) "Uncle Tom-foolery," a widow haunted by her dead hubby's (Jimmie Walker) ghost, a "fine young woman" who becomes involved with Isaac's sketchy uncle (Demond Wilson) and the widow of one of Isaac's close friends who is the mom of a precocious kid (Emmanuel Lewis).
Kristina Wayborn (b. September 24, 1950) — The Bond girl sailed twice, including as a woman giving a nerd (Kevin Brophy) the kiss-off and the daughter of a spy (Herb Edelman).
David Wayne (1914-1995) — The TV veteran sailed twice, and both journeys involved scenes with Ted McGinley. The first time around, he played a man being tricked (by McGinley's character) into believing in a fountain of youth. The second time around, McGinley was ship's photographer Ace, and he was charged with firing two of the ship's employees, including one played by Wayne.
Patrick Wayne (b. July 15, 1939) — John Wayne's son sailed a surprising five times. He played a handicapped man, a guy accidentally assigned to a female cabin mate (Trish Stewart), a guy threatened by his girlfriend's (Ann Turkel) talents, a guy who sweeps Judy off her feet and a man who falls for a woman (Mimi Kuzyk) who is ... his wife!
Dawn Wells (1938-2020) — It doesn't seem quite right that Mary Ann only sailed one time (a two-parter). She played the bubbly judge of a beauty contest, along with Ann Jillian.
Adam West (1928-2017) — He was in one of the weirdest love triangles of the series, involving himself, Holland Taylor and Alan Young!
Dottie West (1932-1991) — Played herself on a two-part country-music cruise.
Judi West (b. December 15, 1942) — Real-life wife (at the time) of John Rubinstein, who played his draft-dodging character's wife on the episode involving Julie McCoy's reunion.
Lisa Whelchel (b. May 29, 1963) — Blair Warner cruised on two two-parters, playing the love interest of a man (Parker Stevenson) deluded into thinking his beneficent aunt (Eva Marie Saint) is Warbucks-wealthy and the wife of a cyclist (Jack Coleman) who is being tempted to get back into the sport.
Betty White (January 17, 1922-December 31, 2021) — Along with Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett and Mary Tyler Moore, White is one of the queens of TV ... and she was a frequent guest on The Love Boat, too, with five cruises, none to Minneapolis or St. Olaf. Her first cruise found her married to real-life hubby Allen Ludden, who was playing a man more interested in his race horse than his wife. As Broadway baby Betsy Boucher, she cruised four times with Julie's Aunt Sylvia Duvall (Carol Channing) as the two attempted to catch Betsy a rich may-unh (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.) / the eye of a potential publisher (Cesar Romero) of Betsy's tell-all / the attention of a soap star (Louis Nye). They dueted on and "Together, Wherever We Go" (from Gypsy, with future Golden Girls co-star Rue McClanahan watching!), "Two a Day" (from Parade) and "Bosom Buddies" (from Mame, accompanied by the Mermaids and Teri Hatcher!). She was an invaluable addition to this show, just as she was with every other show she touched.
Carole Ita White (b. August 24, 1949) — Big Rosie Greenbaum sailed in 1978 as a horny lady traveling with her less aggressive friend (Shelley Long) as they explore the world of shipboard computer dating.
David White (1916-1990) — Larry Tate played an ad man on a Season 1 episode on which a young man (Bruce Solomon) pretends to be an ad exec himself.
Jesse White (b. June 23, 1934) — Played an old-time gang member who reunites with his old buddies (Kaye Ballard and Jack Gilford) to knock over the ship's vault.
Mary Wickes (1910-1995) — She played a wealthy woman whose maid (Jane Powell) is Gopher's aunt.
Larry Wilcox (b. August 8, 1947) — Played a man who has a burglary witness (Catherine Bach) in his protective custody and one half of a hippie couple (with Carlene Watkins).
Cornel Wilde (1912-1989) — The vintage actor cruised in 1983 in a surprisingly effective turn as a retired cop who is very by-the-book and having trouble adapting to civilian life, yet gives a young thief (Glenn Scarpelli) a break by trying to take the fall for him.
Fred Willard (1933-2020) — One of our funniest, most indefatigable actors, Willard sailed three times. He played a man being tricked by an old pal (Joe Namath), a womanizing douche whose fiancée (Michelle Phillips) hasn't the foggiest and a man fooling around with a friend (Caren Kaye) while his wife (Vicki Lawrence) is fooling around with the friend's husband (David Spielberg).
Anson Williams (b. September 25, 1949) — Though an ABC star, Potsie only cruised once, on Season 1, playing an older childhood pal of Julie's who sees her in a new light minus her braces.
Paul Williams (b. September 19, 1940) — The pint-sized Oscar winner wrote the lyrics to the show's enduring theme, and he also sailed twice, as a shy man who must marry or lose his inheritance and one of two passengers (with Joanna Pettet) hunting for treasure.
Stephanie Williams (b. February 4, 1959) — Played the woman Isaac wants to get to know better because he thinks she wrote a best-selling fitness book ... when really, the book was by another woman altogether (Jennifer Holliday).
Vanessa Williams (b. March 19, 1963) — Played herself, Miss America, on an episode that aired February 25, 1984. On July 23 of that year, she gave up her Miss America title over nude photos with lesbian overtones that appeared in Penthouse Magazine. Following the seismic scandal, Williams played the GF of an assistant cruise director (Michael Winslow) on an episode that aired May 17, 1986. The series was an important step on her road to vindication as one of the most talented winners of the crown.
Demond Wilson (b. October 13, 1946) — Has had a sporadic acting career post-Sanford and Son (1972-1977), but Wilson played a rich jerk whose valet has to keep his GF (Telma Hopkins) at bay so he can romance his other GF (Sydney Goldsmith), and later played Isaac's uncle.
Flip Wilson (1933-1998) — Sailed in '81 as a man who is suicidal that his wife (Marla Gibbs) divorced him.
Jeannie Wilson (b. February 4, 1947) — Sailed twice, once as a friend of Julie's who board with her son (R.J. Williams) to intro him to her her (Claude Akins), and once as a tutor of a kid (Dick Billingsley) she believes to be dyslexic.
William Windom (1923-2012) — He sailed twice (including a two-parter), playing the boyfriend of a woman (Dina Merrill) who fears her Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader daughter (Gaye Carter) is after him, and as a richie (married to Jane Wyatt) with a son (Stephen Shortridge) whose fiancée is secretly — GASP! — not rich.
Michael Winslow (b. September 6, 1958) — I have zero memory of this, but the man famous for his vocal tricks sailed three times as a recurring character, assistant cruise director Spencer Wilson!
Edward Winter (1937-2001) — The instantly IDable character actor sailed on a Season 2 episode as the dad of a tomboy (Melissa Gilbert) in puppy love (with Jimmy Baio).
Shelley Winters (1920-2006) — Alphabetically, she is the last of the double Oscar winners to appear on the show (along with pre-wins Tom Hanks and post-wins Olivia de Havilland, Helen Hayes and Luise Rainer). Winters was just terrible on the two-part Italian cruise in 1982, playing an Italian matriarch. Prosciutto!
Jane Withers (1926-2021) — The former child star and Liquid Plumr pitchwoman had a ball as an uptight spinster traveling with her low-key less uptight pal (Ann B. Davis).
Jo Anne Worley (b. September 6, 1937) — She sailed four times, including playing herself on the finale. She played a secretary who winds up on the cruise after a drunken night out with her boss (Soupy Sales), a 39-year-old woman determined to get a proposal by the end of her cruise and as a wife who surprises her husband (Gordon Jump).
Eugenia Wright (January 7, 1952-March 31, 2011) — Played a terrible barmaid who first gets Isaac fired, then causes Gopher to quit.
Teresa Wright (1918-2005) — The Oscar winner played a nun unwittingly escorting stolen gold to Mexico.
Jane Wyatt (1910-2006) — Wyatt sailed four times, playing a woman reuniting with her husband (Jean-Pierre Aumont) for the first time since WWII, a snobby society lady, a switchboard operator at a big office who encounters her oblivious boss (Cesar Romero) and appeared on the series finale.
Jane Wyman (1917-2007) — The Oscar winner played a stealth nun whose old flame (Dennis Morgan) doesn't realize she's married to Jesus now.
Keenan Wynn (1916-1986) — Played a sneaky thief who, with his accomplice (Henry Gibson), is using two unsuspecting nuns (Teresa Wright and Mickey Rooney's wife Jan Rooney) as mules for their stolen booty.
Dana Wynter (1931-2011) — This lovely actress sailed twice. First, she played a woman who, with her hubby (Peter Lawford), is suspected by Isaac of plotting to kill Capt. Stubing. Next, she was a workaholic whose husband (Paul Burke) may be ready to "fire" her.
Susannah York (1939-2011) — Sailed on the two-part Scandinavian cruise as part of an unfortunate plot involving Jack Klugman in big-nose makeup and a misunderstanding that his character might be transgender.
Alan Young (1919-2016) — Mister Ed's mister sailed twice. Once, he was the husband of a church lady (Vivian Blaine) trying to hook up their pastor with a nice girl (Roz Kelly, who turns out to be a stripper). His second cruise, he played a computer genius courting a lady (Holland Taylor) who is also getting attention from a macho man (Adam West).
Leigh Taylor Young (b. January 25, 1945) — Played a divorce lawyer who bumps into a client's embittered ex (Bert Convy).
Michael Young (b. March 8, 1952) — He sailed twice, playing an overprotective husband and dad-to-be and the pushy book editor of a fanciful romance novelist (Morgan Brittany).
Johnny Yune (1936-2020) — On an episode segment called "Seoul Mates," Yune, a rare Asian passenger given the porthole treatment, he played a stand-up comic whose material pisses off the Asian-American woman (Momo Yashima) assigned to writer a feature on him.
Michael Zaslow (1942-1998) — Played Jim Pickett, international jewel thief, who was a love interest for a gem of a passenger (Joan Van Ark).
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (1918-2014) — Played a caddish senator (and prez hopeful) on a two-part Hong Kong cruise. He dumped his lover (Donna Reed) out of fear that her tacky job would hinder his electoral chances, only to be duped by her when she disguises herself as her own upper-crust relative.
Stephanie Zimbalist (b. October 8, 1956) — On Season 1, she played a blind woman who encounters an old flame from blind school (Desi Arnaz Jr.) who, she eventually discovers, is now sighted thanks to an operation.
Adrian Zmed (b. March 14, 1954) — On the two-part Spain cruise, he romanced both Judy and Vicki!
Regular Cast Members — Some Were Credited Separately (Often for Playing Other Characters):
Fred Grandy (b. June 29, 1948) as Burl "Gopher" Smith — No dual roles, no porthole treatment.
Patricia Klous (b. October 19, 1948) as Judy McCoy — Before becoming a regular cast member as Judy McCoy, she sailed in nothing roles in 1982 and on the two-part China cruise in 1983.
Bernie Kopell (b. June 21, 1933) as Dr. Adam "Doc" Bricker — Credited as Seigfried von Kapelhoff for a double role.
Ted Lange (b. January 5, 1948) as Isaac Washington — No dual roles, no porthole treatment.
Gavin MacLeod (1931-2021) as Capt. Merrill Stubing — For dual roles, was IDed as O.D. Warbux and Sonny Wilde.
Ted McGinley (b. May 30, 1958) as Ashley "Ace" Covington Evans — As Ace, McGinley sailed from 1984-1987. Prior to joining as a regular cast member, the blond fox appeared on the last episode of Season 6 as a man pretending to be an 71-year-old with a secret fountain of youth — and he is tricking an actual 71-year-old (David Wayne) using details supplied to him by his grandpa. Early in Season 7, he was a slick gigolo escorting an older lady (Vera Miles) while romancing a young woman (Constance Forslund) he doesn't realize is in the same boat.
Lauren Tewes (b. October 26, 1953) as Julie McCoy — She got the porthole treatment when she returned to the series after her firing.
Jill Whelan (b. September 29, 1966) as Vicki Stubing — She was Vicki before becoming a regular, so was given the porthole treatment.