Willie Aames went from guest star on 'The Love Boat' to real-life cruise director

He's like a real-life Julie McCoy!

Images: YouTube via OWN

First off, let's take a moment to remember Willie Aames. 

He was one of the dreamiest teen heartthrobs of the 1970s, appearing on countless TV series and talk shows throughout the decade.

Perhaps you know him best as Tommy Bradford on Eight is Enough or as Buddy Lembeck on Charles in Charge. 

Teen Beat Magazine

Like any television star of the 1970s, it was basically mandatory to appear on The Love Boat. Aames did just that, landing a role in the season six episode "Doc's Nephew," in 1982.

Fast forward 28 years, and Aames joined Oceania Cruises as an assistant cruise director in 2010. 

How did Aames make the leap from Hollywood to British Columbia? It wasn't an easy jump.

Aames' career stalled once Charles in Charge ended, leading to financial and personal struggles. The former child actor fell into addiction and filed for bankruptcy in 2008.

Today, it seems things are looking up for Aames. He's like a real life Julie McCoy!

Aames was promoted to the position of cruise director for the same company, and many passengers raving about his expertise and hospitality. 

"The guests recognize me about 60 to 70 percent of the time," Aames told OWN in 2013. "And it's really nice when they do. It's a great way to welcome everyone onboard."

Who would have thought a bit part on The Love Boat could turn into a full time job as a cruise director?

"This job is about a chance for me to learn about myself... to help other people and gain some self confidence," Aames said. "Right now, I'm enjoying myself in a way I never thought possible."

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