Ted Lange

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Ted Lange
Ted Lange Isaac Washington The Love Boat 1977.JPG
Lange as Isaac Washington, 1977
Theodore William Lange

(1948-01-05) January 5, 1948 (age 71)
Residence Torrance, California, U.S.
Education City College of San Francisco
Merritt College (AA)
Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
OccupationActor, director, screenwriter
Years active1972present
Known forIsaac Washington – The Love Boat
Sheryl Thompson
(m. 1979;div. 1989)

Mary Ley
(m. 2001)

Theodore William "Ted" Lange ( /læn/ ; born January 5, 1948) is an American actor, director, and screenwriter best known for his role as the bartender, Isaac Washington, in the TV series The Love Boat .

A television director is in charge of the activities involved in making a television program or section of a program. They are generally responsible for decisions about the editorial content and creative style of a program, and ensuring the producer's vision is delivered. Their duties may include originating program ideas, finding contributors, writing scripts, planning 'shoots', ensuring safety, leading the crew on location, directing contributors and presenters, and working with an editor to assemble the final product. The work of a television director can vary widely depending on the nature of the program, the practices of the production company, whether the program content is factual or drama, and whether it is live or recorded.

Screenwriter writer who writes for TV, films, comics and games

A screenplay writer, scriptwriter or scenarist, is a writer who practices the craft of screenwriting, writing screenplays on which mass media, such as films, television programs and video games, are based.

Bartender person who serves usually alcoholic beverages behind the bar in a licensed establishment

A bartender is a person who formulates and serves alcoholic or soft drink beverages behind the bar, usually in a licensed establishment. Bartenders also usually maintain the supplies and inventory for the bar. A bartender can generally mix classic cocktails such as a Cosmopolitan, Manhattan, Old Fashioned, and Mojito.


Early life

Lange was born in Oakland, California, in 1948, the son of Geraldine and Ted Lange, both working in theatre and television. [1] Lange graduated from Oakland Technical High where he was class and student body president before majoring in Drama at San Francisco City College, completing an associate of arts degree at Merritt Junior College in Oakland.

Oakland, California City in California, United States

Oakland is the largest city and the county seat of Alameda County, California, United States. A major West Coast port city, Oakland is the largest city in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, the third largest city overall in the San Francisco Bay Area, the eighth most populated city in California, and the 45th largest city in the United States. With a population of 425,195 as of 2017, it serves as a trade center for the San Francisco Bay Area; its Port of Oakland is the busiest port in the San Francisco Bay, the entirety of Northern California, and the fifth busiest in the United States of America. An act to incorporate the city was passed on May 4, 1852, and incorporation was later approved on March 25, 1854, which officially made Oakland a city. Oakland is a charter city.

Oakland Technical High School

Oakland Technical High School, known locally as Oakland Tech or simply "Tech", is a public high school in Oakland, California, United States, and is operated under the jurisdiction of the Oakland Unified School District. It is one of six comprehensive public high school campuses in Oakland. Oakland Tech's attendance jurisdiction includes several neighborhoods, including Oakland Chinatown, Rockridge, North Oakland, and Temescal.

City College of San Francisco

City College of San Francisco is a public community college in San Francisco, California. Founded as a junior college in 1935, the College plays an important local role, annually enrolling as many as one in nine San Francisco residents. CCSF is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

At San Francisco City College, Lange was particularly active on the theatre scene and named Best Actor by the Black Students Association as well as winning a scholarship to the University of Colorado Shakespearean Festival in the summer of 1968. [2]

University of Colorado public university system in Colorado, USA

The University of Colorado system is a system of public universities in Colorado consisting of four campuses: University of Colorado Boulder, University of Colorado Colorado Springs, University of Colorado Denver in downtown Denver and at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora. It is governed by the elected, nine-member Board of Regents of the University of Colorado.

Career beginnings

After college, Lange started in theatre appearing in local Oakland productions and as guest artist in residence at the University of Santa Clara. Later, he joined the New Shakespearan Company, acting in plays at the University of California, Berkeley. [3]

Santa Clara University private non-profit Jesuit university located in Santa Clara, California

Santa Clara University is a private Jesuit university in Santa Clara, California. It has 5,499 full-time undergraduate students and 3,130 graduate students. Founded in 1851, Santa Clara University is the oldest operating institution of higher learning in California and the west coast of the United States and has remained in its original location for 167 years. The university's campus surrounds the historic Mission Santa Clara de Asis which traces its founding to 1776. The campus mirrors the Mission's architectural style and provides a fine early example of Mission Revival architecture. The university is classified as a "Doctoral/Professional" university by Carnegie Classification.

University of California, Berkeley Public university in California, USA

The University of California, Berkeley is a public research university in Berkeley, California. It was founded in 1868 and serves as the flagship institution of the ten research universities affiliated with the University of California system. Berkeley has since grown to instruct over 40,000 students in approximately 350 undergraduate and graduate degree programs covering numerous disciplines.

Lange made his Broadway debut in the musical Hair and was featured in the first national touring of that show. [4] He also performed in a one-man show, Behind the Mask: An Evening with Paul Laurence Dunbar. [5]

<i>Hair</i> (musical) Musical about the Vietnam war

Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical is a rock musical with a book and lyrics by Gerome Ragni and James Rado and music by Galt MacDermot. A product of the hippie counterculture and sexual revolution of the late 1960s, several of its songs became anthems of the anti-Vietnam War peace movement. The musical's profanity, its depiction of the use of illegal drugs, its treatment of sexuality, its irreverence for the American flag, and its nude scene caused much comment and controversy. The musical broke new ground in musical theatre by defining the genre of "rock musical", using a racially integrated cast, and inviting the audience onstage for a "Be-In" finale.

Lange's first screen appearance was in the documentary film Wattstax in 1973. [6] [7] After starring in the film Black Belt Jones in 1974, he portrayed Junior on the series That's My Mama before landing the role of the ship's bartender, Isaac, on The Love Boat in 1977, opposite Gavin MacLeod.

Documentary film nonfictional motion picture

A documentary film is a nonfictional motion picture intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction, education, or maintaining a historical record. "Documentary" has been described as a "filmmaking practice, a cinematic tradition, and mode of audience reception" that is continually evolving and is without clear boundaries. Documentary films were originally called 'actuality' films and were only a minute or less in length. Over time documentaries have evolved to be longer in length and to include more categories, such as educational, observational, and even 'docufiction'. Documentaries are also educational and often used in schools to teach various principles. Social media platforms such as YouTube, have allowed documentary films to improve the ways the films are distributed and able to educate and broaden the reach of people who receive the information.

<i>Wattstax</i> 1973 film by Mel Stuart

Wattstax was a benefit concert organized by Stax Records to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the 1965 riots in the African-American community of Watts, Los Angeles. The concert took place at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on August 20, 1972. The concert's performers included all of Stax's prominent artists at the time. The genres of the songs performed included soul, gospel, R&B, blues, funk, and jazz. Months after the festival, Stax released a double LP of the concert's highlights titled Wattstax: The Living Word. The concert was filmed by David L. Wolper's film crew and was made into the 1973 film titled, Wattstax. The film was directed by Mel Stuart and nominated for a Golden Globe award for Best Documentary Film in 1974.

<i>Black Belt Jones</i> 1974 film by Robert Clouse

Black Belt Jones is a 1974 American blaxploitation martial arts film directed by Robert Clouse and starring Jim Kelly and Gloria Hendry. The film is a spiritual successor to Clouse's prior film Enter the Dragon, in which Kelly had a supporting role. Here, Kelly features in his first starring role as the eponymous character; is a local hero who fights the Mafia and a local drug dealer threatening his friend’s dojo.

In the early 1980s, following a letter of recommendation from Lynn Redgrave (who he met on an episode of Love Boat), Lange attended a summer school at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art to perfect his Shakespeare acting skills. [8]

After he left the show in 1987, Lange appeared in various films and guest roles on 227 , The Cleveland Show , Glitch! , Evening Shade , Scrubs , Drake & Josh , The King of Queens , Boy Meets World , Psych and Are We There Yet.

Directing and screenwriting

In 1977, he wrote the screenplay for the 1977 drama Passing Through, starring Cora Lee Day and Marla Gibbs. During the run of The Love Boat, Lange also served as director and screenwriter on various episodes of the series. In 1999, Lange directed two episodes of Love Boat: The Next Wave , the UPN series based on The Love Boat. He also directed episodes of Moesha , Dharma & Greg , and Eve . In 2008, he directed the drama For Love of Amy.

Lange has also done extensive theater work as playwright and stage director. He has penned 17 plays, including George Washington's Boy, a historical drama about the relationship between the first president and his favorite slave, along with the comedy Lemon Meringue Facade. [5] [9]

Lange remains close to Gavin MacLeod, his acting mentor, who is a Palm Springs resident, and sees his plays. He said in a 2014 interview with CBS New York.com of his long-running friendship with him, "Gavin lives in Palm Springs, I'm in LA. So, when I do my plays, he comes down and sees my plays or I'll go see what he's doing!" [10]

Lange also said in a 2017 interview with The Wiseguyz Show, if his mentor enjoyed all the acting/dancing on The Love Boat series was: "Oh yeah, sure, Gavin was wonderful. Gavin lives down here in Palm Springs and we're still tight, all of us, Gavin and Bernie and Jill; we still see each other. Fred lives in a different state, we're still close, we're still good friends." [11]

"Ask Isaac"

Before the American edition of FHM folded in 2006, Lange wrote a sex and advice column, titled "Ask Isaac", with adult film actress Jenna Jameson. [12]

Celebrity Fit Club

In 2006, Lange appeared in the fourth season of the VH1 reality show Celebrity Fit Club . [13] He lost 28 pounds during the show's run. [14]

Personal life

Lange married Sheryl Thompson in 1978, and they divorced in 1989. The couple has two children, Ted IV and Turner Wallace Lange. [1] Lange remarried in 2001 to Mary Ley. His mother is Geraldine Lange, who was a personal secretary to a San Francisco mayor and was public affairs director of KBHK-TV in San Francisco in the early 1970s. She also hosted television programs on KBHK-TV.


For his work theater directing, Lange received the NAACP's Renaissance Man Theatre Award, the Heroes and Legends HAL Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Dramalogue Award. Lange has also been the recipient of the James Cagney Directing Fellow Scholarship Award from the American Film Institute along with the Paul Robeson Award from Oakland's Ensemble Theatre. [9]


YearFilmRoleOther notes
1973 Wattstax Himself
Trick Baby Melvin the PimpAlternative title: The Double Con
BladeHenry Watson
1974 Black Belt Jones MilitantUncredited
1975 Friday Foster Fancy Dexter
1977Passing Through
1978 Record City The Wiz
1987 Terminal Exposure FantasticAlternative title: Double Exposure
1988 Glitch! DuBois
1989Othello Othello Director
1990Penny Ante: The Motion PictureThe Deacon
1992 The Naked Truth The Flower Peddler
2000The RedemptionReverend
2002Is This Your Mother?
2003Banana MoonProf. WilliamsCo-producer
Gang of Roses Bartender #2
2006Uncle Tom's Apartment Pops
National Lampoon's Dorm Daze 2 Celebrity Judge #2
2007Last of the RomanticsCole Henderson
Carts Sam
2008Senior Skip DayReverendAlternative title: High School's Day Off
Who Shot Mamba?Dr. Crazy
The Adventures of UmbwekiAirline Captain Boka
Phil Cobb's Dinner for Four Old Friend
For Love of Amy
1974–1975 That's My Mama Junior39 episodes
1976 Mr. T and Tina Harvard5 episodes
1977–1986 The Love Boat Bartender Isaac Washington246 episodes, director, writer
1977 The Love Boat II Bartender Isaac Washington Television movie
The New Love Boat Bartender Isaac WashingtonTelevision movie
1979 Fantasy Island The Great Scott1 episode
Charlie's Angels Bartender Isaac Washington1 episode
1983 The Fall Guy Bartender1 episode
Fantasy Island
1 episode, director
1984 Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer
2 episodes, director
1986 That's My Mama Now! JuniorTelevision movie
1986John Grin's ChristmasGhost of Christmas PresentTelevision movie
1987 Starman
1 episode, director
1988ChristmasGhost of Christmas PresentTelevision movie
227 Lou1 episode
In the Heat of the Night James Jeffson1 episode
1989It Nearly Wasn't ChristmasNapoleonTelevision movie
1990 The Love Boat: A Valentine Voyage Bartender Isaac WashingtonTelevision movie
1993 Evening Shade Mr. Taxerman1 episode
1995 Platypus Man Mr. Angel1 episode
1996 Weird Science Isaac1 episode
1996–2000 Moesha
Director, 5 episodes
1997 Martin Bartender Isaac Washington2 episodes
Family Matters Frank Winslow1 episode
1998 Love Boat: The Next Wave Bartender Isaac Washington1 episode
The Wayans Bros.
Director, 1 episode
1999 L.A. Heat Frank Millan1 episode
Love Boat: The Next Wave
Director, 2 episodes
2001Cody: An Evening with Buffalo Bill
Dharma & Greg
Director, 2 episodes
2002 The Hughleys Mr. Henderson1 episode
Scrubs Mr. Blair1 episode
2003 Half & Half Repairman1 episode
Director, 1 episode
2004–2005 Drake & Josh Mr. Calvert2 episodes
2005 All of Us
Director, 1 episode
The King of Queens Himself1 episode
2007 General Hospital Judge2 episodes
2008 Psych Pookie1 episode
2010 The Cleveland Show As himself1 episode
2011A Russell Peters ChristmasAs himself1 episode
2012 Betty White's Off Their Rockers Various CharactersMain Cast
2012 The First Family Director, 2 episodes
2014 Maron Wise Stranger1 episode

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  7. Hirsh, Marc (July 16, 2010). "The Summer Of Music Documentaries: 'Wattstax'". NPR .
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