The Everett Collection

The Love Boat's Lauren Tewes enjoyed getting fan mail

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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