Bernie Kopell loved playing the ladies' man

"I couldn't be happier."

CBS Television Distribution

Every once in a while, we get an opportunity to show everyone what we're made of. For Bernie Kopell, that once-in-a-lifetime chance came in the form of The Love Boat. So come aboard as we look back at what made the show so special in Kopell's career.

Before that first voyage, Kopell was already a veteran of the screen. He'd been around for decades but had very little in terms of recognizability. He'd just sort of... recur. He wasn't a star. He wasn't a regular. And he definitely wasn't billed high enough to be considered a guest star, either. But there he was, plugging away at his craft, slowly proving himself to the industry.

He was in Get Smart as Siegfried. Then he did That Girl. After that came Bewitched, and The Doris Day Show. He was even in My Favorite Martian

But his fortunes changed forever as he set sail on one of the most celebrated programs of his career.

"I couldn't believe I'd finally be playing a leading man type after all those years of wild-eyed characters," said Kopell, content as could be in a 1981 interview with The Tampa Tribune.

"I'd really despaired of playing a straight role. But I've taken care of myself physically. I'm in good condition. Now I'm playing a guy with four ex-wives, the biggest ladies' man aboard ship, chasing pretty passengers."

The Love Boat proved to be the pinnacle of his career, lifting him up from obscurity and changing how he was perceived by the viewing public.

"Before Love Boat, I was known in the industry. People knew what I could do. But the public didn't have a clue to my identity. I was always hiding behind a mustache and a foreign accent.

"Now, thanks to The Love Boat, I have a big recognition factor going for me with viewers as Doc Bricker. I couldn't be happier."

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Runeshaper 12 days ago
He was GREAT in Get Smart as Siegfried!
jd4862 12 days ago
I don't know if I would call him a ladies man. He did a lot of chasing and not much getting.
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