'The Love Boat' Actor Ted Lange Once Worked with Adult Star in Unexpected Career
Ted Lange, best known for his role as the bartender Isaac Washington in the TV series “The Love Boat,” is also a talented writer. His ability with words was what led him to collaborate with former adult film star, Jenna Jameson, in a sex-advice column for a well-known magazine.
Lange started his acting career in theater while studying in San Francisco City College. He earned the title of Best Actor by the Black Students Association, and also won a scholarship to the University of Colorado Shakespearean Festival in the summer of 1968.
After graduating college, Lange went on to take roles in local Oakland productions and later, he joined the New Shakespeare Company.
He made his Broadway debut in the musical “Hair,” with which he got to tour around the country. He also starred in the one-person show “Behind the Mask: An Evening with Paul Laurence Dunbar.”
His first appearance on-screen was on the documentary “Wattstax,” and afterward, he took a minor role on the 1974 film “Black Belt Jones.” That same year, he portrayed Junior on the series “That's My Mama,” until he landed the role of the ship's bartender, Isaac, on “The Love Boat” in 1977.
Aside from acting, Lange also has a long-lasting career as a writer, producer, and director. He directed two episodes of “Love Boat: The Next Wave,” and directed episodes of “Moesha,” “Dharma & Greg,” and “Eve.”
He has penned 23 plays, including “George Washington's Boy,” a historical drama about the relationship between the first president and his favorite slave, and “Lady Patriot,” which tells the story of a slave who could read and write and that became a spy at the White House.
“I do a lot of historical research on my plays, and then I take it from a black point of view and put it on the stage,” Lange once said.
That wasn’t the only writing job Lange has experienced.
He was also in charge of writing a sex advice column for the FHM Magazine. He got to collaborate with former porn star Jenna Jameson, who is considered “the world's most famous adult entertainment performer” and "The Queen of Porn.”
In the column, Lange tried to give young people advice on safe sex, and some other useful tips.
“Most of the time I was trying to talk about patience for a young guy and perseverance,” he told Fox411. ”When you see someone you like, don't rush in. Find out what they're about. I was trying to give guys a handle on how to develop a relationship.”
Although he was taking the job with a bit of humor, he says Jameson was precisely the opposite:
“I tried to be funny and inject a little humor with the advice. When we first did it, it was a point/counterpoint thing with me and Jenna Jameson, the porn star, and she was very serious with her answers. About six months in she realized she should use some humor, but after a while, she started turning in her copy late.”
Examining Shakespeare’s Second Folio with Actor/Director Ted Lange at #osurbml today. Perhaps best known as Isaac from The Love Boat, he’s an accomplished writer as well—and, it turns out, a rare book collector, too! @OSULibrary @OhioState pic.twitter.com/a3Vsht2m3h— Eric J. Johnson (@EJJohnson74) September 5, 2018
Jameson was eventually replaced with Beth Ostrowski, Howard Stern’s wife. “Gorgeous girl by the way- and she was pretty good,” Lange said of Ostrowski.
Unfortunately, the magazine was taken out of business in 2006. Lange recalled the moment he found out about the bad news:
“They would fly me in from LA to New York to take the pictures (for the column), and one time I got charged for something and asked the magazine, ‘Hey I thought you were picking up the incidentals?'"
“The next day they called back and said ‘We have good news and bad news. The good news is we’re paying the incidentals. The bad news is the magazine just folded.’ And that was that. But I had fun.”
These days, Lange is still working as a director and playwriter. His most recent job was as the director of “Shakespeare at Sunset,” presented during the 2019 National Black Theatre Festival — “Twelfth Night, or What You Will.”