The Love Boat's Lauren Tewes enjoyed getting fan mail

Lauren Tewes loved acting and the perks that came with it, including fan mail.

Image credit: The Everett Collection

When Lauren Tewes was just starting out in Hollywood, she could have never imagined that she would be getting hundreds of letters from fans in a few years' time.

Tewes played the role of Cruise Director Julie McCoy on the hit '70s sitcom, The Love Boat. Tewes gave up her part-time job as a coffee shop barista on the Sunset Strip to become a full-time actress. 

What a big difference a little bit of time makes, from cleaning up coffee stains to directing an entire celebrity cruise that lasted 10 seasons. 

In a 1978 interview with Fort Collins Coloradoan, Tewes said she never thought she'd be sitting in the 20th Century Fox commissary, doing interviews and reading fan mail.

"Imagine me [never being] on a series or getting public attention," she said. "Then all of a sudden I start receiving fan mail because of my role on The Love Boat. What a great feeling, it's like applause from the audience."

Tewes shared her favorite letter from a young fan.

"The best letter came from a 12-year-old girl who wrote, 'My boyfriend asked me to go out on a Saturday night. I didn't want to, so I told him I couldn't because my best friend Lauren Tewes and I have to watch her on The Love Boat.'"

"It went on to say, 'By the way, I thought you'd like to know that for Halloween I dressed as your character, Julie McCoy and I got second prize,'" she said. 

According to the interview, Tewes enjoyed receiving fan mail, and it became one of her favorite perks of fame.

"Julie McCoy for Halloween?" she said. "What am I, a freak? When I think of Halloween I think of monster costumes!"

Because of her role on The Love Boat, advertising companies would ask to rerun her early TV spots and commercials. Producers Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg would ask her to appear in three of their series and sign her as a regular in a fourth.

"I was living in a crummy apartment, had no job and didn't know beans about this business," she said. "I didn't know it is possible to have an agent who would want to talk to me more than two times a year."

Because of her success and popularity on The Love Boat, she never had to go back to being a coffee shop barista ever again.

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9 Comments

KawiVulc 16 months ago
So did they really call coffee shop employees by that name back then? Maybe on the left coast...
Runeshaper 16 months ago
Great story! Thanks for sharing, MeTV!
Mblack 16 months ago
But it didn't keep her off the cocaine.
birddog Mblack 16 months ago
Hey that stuff took many a good person down and will many more!! I tip my hat to Her for kicken it. That's a tough monkey to get off your back. Good job Lauren Proud of Ya!!! :))
Pacificsun Mblack 16 months ago
She went through hard times, fame isn't always lock & key to success. In her case not sure if it was about with whom she surrounded herself (like friends can drag you into a dead end), or internal demons. But the pressure in Hollywood for women looking perfect was relentless. Many smoked to keep the weight off, and that can lead to other drugs. But give her credit for telling her story on Oprah one Season long ago. And missing the warning about losing her job on The Love Boat, being replaced somebody pretty inadequate, was publicly humiliating.
LoveMETV22 Pacificsun 16 months ago
Yes. Need to give Lauren Tewes credit. After she left the show, Tewes got clean and went back to school to train as a cheese sommelier or fromager as some might call it. An article last year said she does some acting/voice work here and there and works as a sous chef for a catering company in Seattle. Maybe not what she envisioned initially, but at least a somewhat positive outcome. She had a good run on The Love Boat and hopefully is enjoying her current path.
Pacificsun LoveMETV22 16 months ago
Oh well that's a neat story! Happy ending!
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