The Love Boat's Fred Grandy preferred to be on land

When Grandy wasn't filming for The Love Boat, he said he would avoid boats altogether.

The Love Boat was a Saturday night staple for many families across the U.S. during the '70s and '80s. The success of the series showed no signs of veering off course. In fact, The Love Boat sailed for 10 seasons and propelled its actors to fame.

No one needed life jackets to stay afloat on this ship, nor did the ship itself have any trouble sailing through the rough waters of television.  

Fred Grandy played the role of the ship's purser, Gopher Smith, for a total of 246 episodes. 

According to a 1981 interview with The Town Talk, Grandy said he loved The Love Boat but had mixed feelings about being on the water.

Even though Grandy preferred to be on land, The Love Boat was like a security blanket for Grandy. He said it was comfortable... and the perks didn't hurt either. Twice a year, Grandy would board a real cruise ship for the at-sea footage of The Love Boat.

Usually, the trip was a 28-day luxury tour of the Caribbean.

He and Bernie Kopell (Doctor Adam Bricker) would write episodes of The Love Boat while at sea for long periods of time. For a man who disliked water, he sure spent most of his time in it.

While Grandy was not against adding to storylines, he said he wondered about The Love Boat's destination down the road.

"Are we missing the boat?" Grandy asked. "By trying to do so much for so many, are we being too rigid in our storytelling?"

According to the interview, when The Love Boat visited Australia for an episode, the TV viewer only got to see the harbor of Sydney, a few Koala bears, and some old travel page shots. Grandy wanted more from the series.

He said he would have preferred to see one big story involving the company and guests, rather than neatly boxed-off tales.

"Romance is enormously flexible, you can do anything," Grandy said. "We can go anywhere because we maintain a very basic structure. In other words, don't rock the boat, or fiddle with success. But that will hurt us in the long run."

"Whether by design or accident, The Love Boat created a common ground for family viewing, bringing the old and young together again," Grandy added.

According to another 1980 interview with The Pittsburgh Press, Grandy said he would miss home and his family while filming the series. Even with the luxurious perks of filming on a cruise ship, Grandy said land is where the home is.

"The surroundings are luxurious all right, but it's like living in a minimum security prison," Grandy said. "The rooms are small and there aren't many places to go. I get off the ship in every port to maintain the concept of land in my mind at all times."

When Grandy wasn't filming for The Love Boat, he said he would avoid boats altogether. Instead, he found hobbies he enjoyed outside of work, such as playing guitar. However, sea shanties weren't in his rotation of songs — so, please don't ask!

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Runeshaper 9 months ago
Very interesting insight. Thanks for sharing, MeTV!
Bapa1 9 months ago
Grandy had an interesting life, before and after LB. If he wrote an auto-biography, it would be a good read.
Lillyrose 9 months ago
I agree with Fred Grandy. I prefer to be on land, too. I've only been on a riverboat, though, not on a ship.
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