'The Love Boat' cast reunites 40 years after show first aired to get Hollywood Walk of Fame star
The original cast of beloved 1970s TV series The Love Boat has reunited for one last cruise more than 40 years after the show premiered. On Friday morning, cast members including Gavin McLeod (Captain Merrill Stubing), Ted Lange (Isaac Washington) and Bernie Kopell (Dr Adam Bricker) appeared on the Today show to celebrate getting an honorary star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in partnership with Princess Cruises.
Other stars also in attendance for the reunion were Lauren Tewes (Julie McCoy), Jill Wheland (Vicki Stubing) and Fred Grandy (Gopher).
The Love Boat first aired in May 1977 and followed the lives of the passengers and crew of the cruise ship Pacific Princess, with the programme running until May 1986.
During the ceremony, MacLeod looked back at his time on the show, reflecting on critics' initial reactions to it. "We were called mindless television," he claimed, also adding that harsh commentators had also stated that "we'd sink like the Titanic."
The cast had reunited a year earlier on The Today Show where they were first given the news that they would be getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
When asked how often the cast gets together, Wheland seemed to suggest that they were all still close, almost four decades after the American TV show aired its final episode: "We were all together last night at my apartment."
However, some of the cast, who taped eight seasons of the hit series together, revealed that they weren't sure that the show would be a big success when it first aired. "We got the worst reviews," Koppell told the hosts.
However, according to McLeod, he knew right from the start that The Love Boat was destined to be a hit. He said: "We had a reading in the office, just the guys. And we finished the reading ... and I'm walking down and a guy says, 'Well, I hope this goes well," and I said, 'I'm telling you we're gonna go at least seven years.'"
In addition, Grandy claimed that the show turned out to be so popular partly because there was nothing like it on the air. He claimed: "It was romance, at the time there were only cop shows and sitcoms on the air. So, this show filled some kind of need that only Aaron Spelling understood."