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 72)
Education City College of San Francisco
Merritt College (AA)
Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
OccupationActor, director, screenwriter
Years active1972–present
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 .


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.

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]

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]

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]

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.

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 No. 2
2006Uncle Tom's Apartment Pops
National Lampoon's Dorm Daze 2 Celebrity Judge No. 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 WashingtonTelevision 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
1986 John Grin's Christmas Ghost 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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