Actors You Didn’t Know Appeared on ‘The Love Boat’


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From 1977 to 1986, “The Love Boat” reigned supreme. For almost a decade, the ABC network aired the show to salivating fans who couldn’t wait to see what Capt. Stubing and the gang were up to while luminaries like Charo, Florence Henderson, and Tom Bosley played passengers looking for love on the high seas.

Apart from the usual stable of actors who appeared on the show regularly – Marion Ross of “Happy Days” fame was on the show no less than 14 times – there were also those whose appearances were one-shot deals or obscure for other reasons. Here are our picks for some of the celebrities whose lesser-known appearances aboard the Pacific Princess were no less enthralling than those of Sonny Bono or Barbi Benton.

Image Credit: MediaFeed / everett225/depositphotos / Eva Rinaldi/Wikimedia Commons.

Andy Warhol

Speaking of Marion Ross, Marion Ross starred in a 1985 episode that saw her share the screen with artist Andy Warhol. She portrays a woman who used to appear in his artwork when she was young and flighty, but decades later she has become a dull housewife who doesn’t want her husband to know about her past. Warhol sadly passed away two years later, but not before telling his biographer Victor Bockris that “people in Hollywood were ‘idiots.’ They didn’t buy art… They stank.”

Image Credit: Andy Warhol at the Jewish Museum, 1980 by The Library of Congress (CC BY).

Kathy Bates

Well before Kathy Bates traumatized us all with her star turn in “Misery,” she was just another struggling actor looking for a paycheck. One such paycheck came as a result of her 1978 appearance on the show as one half of a honeymooning couple who find themselves hindered at every turn from consummating their holy union. The script stinks, and it’s sad to see an actor of Bates’ caliber reduced to spurning her fictional husband’s advances due to a sunburn, but hey, at least she was able to pay her electric bill that month.

Image Credit: Jean_Nelson/depositphotos.

Ursula Andress

After appearing as Bond girl Honey Ryder in 1962’s “Dr. No,” Ursula Andress was a hot property around Hollywood. She appeared in a two-part episode of “The Love Boat” as a woman with a mystery illness who meets a man played by John Forsythe, who was best known for playing Blake Carrington on “Dynasty.” Interestingly, the episode features Forsythe’s “Dynasty” co-star Linda Evans in a completely separate subplot.

Image Credit: Archive Photos/Getty Images.

Linda Blair

Best known for playing 12-year-old possessed chick Regan MacNeil in 1973’s “The Exorcist,” Linda Blair spent the subsequent years of her career trying to get cast in roles in which she neither projectile vomited nor disrespected her bathing suit area with a crucifix. Appearing on a 1982 episode of “The Love Boat” was part of this grand plan, which saw her share the screen with Richard Dean Anderson, a man who would go on to wow television audiences with his portrayal of “MacGyver.”

Image Credit: s_bukley/depositphotos.

Courteney Cox

Best known for appearing on the sitcom “Friends,” Courteney Cox appeared on “The Love Boat” in 1986, just as its run was coming to an end. The very young Cox had already made a splash with her appearance two years earlier in Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” video, and in this star-studded episode, she played the love interest of a foolhardy daredevil of a man portrayed by Peter Scolari, better known as the guy from “Bosom Buddies” who wasn’t Tom Hanks.

Image Credit: everett225/depositphotos.

Corey Feldman

Ah, the days before ADHD diagnoses were given were indeed magical, and it was in this fabled past that Corey Feldman, who was less than 10 years old at the time, appeared on the show as a child diagnosed as “hyperactive.” Could his poor, beleaguered mother still find love while her son gets up to all kinds of neurodiverse shenanigans, most of which consist of him doing things like raising his voice? You’ll have to watch the episode to find out, but don’t worry – Charo is in one of the subplots in case you get bored.

Image Credit: s_bukley/depositphotos.


It might be more noteworthy to point out that screen legend Lana Turner was in this episode, but how can we pay attention to that when the boy band Menudo was onboard, including a young and adorable prepubescent Ricky Martin? Turner falls in love with the boy band’s chaperone, but can their union survive the onslaught of shrieking and hyperventilating teenage girls who dream of one day absconding with the members of this quintet? We can only watch, wait, and wonder.

Image Credit: Bolivar Arellano/WireImage/Getty Images.

The Village People

In the main, young people don’t know who the Village People are, and that is beyond tragic. If you’re one of those people, they were a singing group who formed during the 1970s, and each of them was dressed as a different macho archetype, be it a cowboy, a construction worker, a cop, or a leather daddy. The band was gay AF, but somehow, this never came up on the episode in which they appeared. Instead, they enter a horse in a steeplechase, keeping their controversial lifestyles private to those aboard the Pacific Princess.

Image Credit: The Village People, 1978 by Mario Casciano/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

Vincent Price

On a very spooky 1978 episode called “Ship of Ghouls,” horror-movie icon Vincent Price plays a magician who delights and amazes fans but won’t give his long-suffering wife the attention she deserves. As engrossing as that sounds, the entire episode is stolen by a stupid subplot in which a friend of Julie the cruise director has suffered scarring as the result of a car accident, making her feel insecure enough to wear a hat-and-scarf contraption that successfully disguises her horrific disfigurement, which in actuality amounts to little more than a papercut.

Image Credit: John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images.

Gloria Vanderbilt

Designer Gloria Vanderbilt appeared on “The Love Boat” in 1981, and like Andy Warhol, she wisely played herself and didn’t insist on a romantic subplot with David Hasselhoff. She appeared alongside such other celebrated designers as Geoffrey Beene, Halston, and Bob Mackie, all of whom were also smart enough to play themselves in this two-part episode. Sadly, if a review of the episode on IMDb is any indication, aspiring fashionistas will feel shortchanged by this episode. “The dresses are too ugly,” the review reads, outraged. “Anyone saw that hideous green number Morgan Fairchild was wearing off the shoulder? The color was so ugly. I mean they’re high fashion designers and they can’t find any other dyes except the dreadful primary colors in the gaudiest tones?” It goes on like that for six paragraphs!

Image Credit: Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic/Getty Images.

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Image Credit: Original Cast of The Love Boat, 1977 by ABC Television (CC BY).