‘The Love Boat’: One Actress Was Fired from Show Due to Dominant Drug Addiction

by Atlanta Northcutt

It is evident addiction and fame often go together resulting in the loss of jobs and even the lives of some in show-business. This sad occurrence resulted in the firing of a talented actress from “The Love Boat.”

Lauren Tewes, who played the role of cruise director Julie McCoy, lost her role on the popular TV show following an intense cocaine addiction.

“The Love Boat” Actress Lauren Tewes’ Story of Addiction

The actress appeared bright and bubbly onscreen, but her reality was a stark contrast to the character she portrayed.

“I was trying to keep my job, keep my husband, keep my house,” Tewes reveals in a 1985 interview with TV Guide magazine. “I was trying to please everybody, and I was destroying myself.”

Tewes is open about her misuse of cocaine and the negative effects she suffered from the substance. She admits to wasting the majority of her earnings from “The Love Boat” on the drug.

“All that money didn’t go into a bank. It went into my nose,” Lauren admits.

Substance Abuse and Stardom

The saying “sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll” is prominent in the field of music. Tewes explains how there’s an abundance of those same drugs and ideologies surrounding any aspect of the entertainment industry

“I wanted to be one of the gang. I am ashamed to say it, but it’s true,” she states. “The first time I took cocaine I had just gotten the job on “The Love Boat” and I was on my way to a party. My date said, ‘Let’s do drugs.’ And I said, ‘What the heck?”

What is the former Hollywood star’s take on addiction when everything was taken from her due to the disease?

When thinking back to her time in the throes of cocaine abuse, she explains how she was “on drugs” and “didn’t sleep.”

Therefore, she admits to sleeping while on set and not being as productive. She regrets her poor behavior at work. “That is where I made my fatal mistake,” she adds.

“It just sunk in that I was not having a good time, I was killing myself, and that I was spending all my money. So I stopped completely,” says Tewes.

Rise to Fame and Fall From Grace

By the time she realized how bad the addiction had become, she was fired from “The Love Boat” in 1984.

She believes the producers should’ve given her more time to seek treatment and receive help.

Tewes appears on an episode of the Oprah Show entitled “Where Are They Now?”

“I knew that I had gotten myself into a situation I couldn’t get out of,” she says during her appearance. “I secretly begged and begged and begged for someone to help me. And for me, it was an issue with cocaine in the ’70s and early ’80s. It’s when it was a popular drug.”

“But if you ask anybody I was the only one doing it,” Tewes adds with a laugh. “In all of Hollywood, it was just me. And nobody wanted to help me. Producers now, it’s a normal thing if you have a drug or an alcohol or a sex addiction. Producers will now give the actor a few months off to get help.”

However, Douglas Cramer, who is the executive producer of “The Love Boat,” sees things a little differently. He explains Tewes had deeper troubles.

“She does not deal with reality,” says Cramer. “There were severe problems with Lauren. Not just recently, but for all of the seven years she was with ‘The Love Boat.’ It was terribly disrupting.”

The Realization of Risking It All

Tewes understands her mistakes and the negative impact the addiction had. She doesn’t just recognize it in herself, but her family, career, the crew and cast of the series, and other aspects.

Sadly, those mistakes catch up with her, and Lauren Tewes’ future was completely changed.

“By the time the show ended, I had gotten myself straight. But the damage was done,” she says. “Every time I’m referenced in the media, it comes up, ‘Former cocaine addict, Lauren Tewes’ went to the grocery store today.”

Lauren Tewes’ tale of addiction, like many others, is a sad and eye-opening realization of the dangers of the disease.