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Jeraldine Saunders, the creator, and author of the ABC series “The Love Boat” died on Feb. 26, 2019 at her home in Glendale, California. Saunders underwent kidney stone surgery in Dec. 2018, and she died from complications at the age of 96.
In 1974 Saunders wrote the book “The Love Boats” which the hit comedy was based on. The book told her story as being the first female cruise director for a cruise line, Princess Cruises.
Produced by Aaron Spelling, the series ran between 1977 and 1986 for almost 250 episodes.
Actress Margaret O’Brien and Bernie Kopell who played Dr. Adam Bricker on “The Love Boat” presented her recently with the Southern California Motion Picture Council’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In May 2018 she also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame with the “Love Boat” cast.
Before her death, Saunders was in talks about helping write an outline for an upcoming Broadway musical based on “The Love Boat.” She was also in the middle of writing the second edition of her novel “Hypoglycemia, The Disease Your Doctor Won’t Treat” and another book with a cruise line theme.
Saunders spokesperson Edward Lozzi said that his client was happy and celebrating the 40th Anniversary of her “Love Boat” television deal and the first episode of the show. Saunders remained active and never lost interest in younger men, dancing, and writing. She was classy and refused to grow or act old. She will forever be known for breaking the gender barrier in the cruise industry.
Saunders leaves behind no living family members. No information has been released regarding funeral arrangements.