Fred Grandy

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Fred Grandy
Fred Grandy.jpg
Grandy in 1993
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Iowa
In office
January 3, 1987 – January 3, 1995
Preceded byBerkley Bedell
Succeeded byTom Latham
Constituency6th district (1987–1993)
5th district (1993–1995)
Personal details
Fredrick Lawrence Grandy

(1948-06-29) June 29, 1948 (age 74)
Sioux City, Iowa, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
  • Jan Gough
    (m. 1969; div. 1983)
  • Catherine Mann
    (m. 1987)
EducationHarvard University (AB)
George Washington University (MFA)
ProfessionActor, politician, radio personality

Fredrick Lawrence Grandy (born June 29, 1948) is an American actor who played "Gopher" on the sitcom The Love Boat and who later became a member of the United States House of Representatives from the state of Iowa. Grandy was most recently the host of The Grandy Group, a morning drive time radio talk show on 630 WMAL in Washington, D.C.

Early life[edit]

Grandy was born in Sioux City, Iowa, the youngest of three sons of William Grandy, who worked in his father's insurance business, and his wife Bonnie. When Grandy was eleven, his father died of a heart attack. His mother died of an aneurysm a year later.[1][2]

The young Grandy was then raised by Margaret Avery, his mother's best friend (a widow who later married his father's doctor). He went to public schools until ninth grade, after which he attended high school at Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire, as his father and brothers had done.[1][2]

At Exeter, Grandy was the roommate of David Eisenhower, the grandson of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and was later best man at Eisenhower's wedding to Julie Nixon, the daughter of then–president-elect Richard Nixon, in December 1968.[2]

Grandy graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in English studies from Harvard University in 1970. In 1971, he joined an improvisational group at Harvard called "The Proposition" and then rejoined the show when it moved off-Broadway in 1971. Among his co-stars was future Saturday Night Live star Jane Curtin.[1][2]

Although of service age, Grandy had a high lottery number and was not drafted for Vietnam.[3]

Acting career[edit]

Grandy played purser Burl "Gopher" Smith on the American television series The Love Boat. The series aired for nine seasons (1977–86). He also wrote several vignettes for the show. In 1982, while visiting Turkey to film scenes for the show, Grandy suffered severe burns when a balloon filled with hydrogen exploded.[4]

Before gaining prominence on The Love Boat, Grandy had guest roles on many shows, including Love, American Style (1969); The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970); Maude (1973); Phyllis (1975); and Welcome Back, Kotter (1975). Grandy also acted in the 1973 made-for-TV movie The Girl Most Likely to..., as Ted Gates.

He starred in the Saturday morning TV series Monster Squad (1976) as Walt, a criminology student working as a night watchman at "Fred's Wax Museum". He also appeared in a number of Match Game episodes in the late 1970s. He usually sat in the male guest-star seat in the top row left.

In May 2013 Grandy returned to the stage, starring in a production of Sleuth at the Surflight Theatre in Beach Haven, New Jersey. In 2014 Grandy had a recurring role on Season 3 of The Mindy Project for which his son, Charlie Grandy, is a writer. He portrayed Dr. William Ledreau. He has also had recurring roles in 3 TV series, The Mindy Project, Knight Squad, and the upcoming Sprung. He has also performed around the country in regional theatre productions of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, On Golden Pond, I'm Not Rappaport, and Give 'em Hell, Harry!.[citation needed]

Grandy holds a master of fine arts (MFA) degree from the Washington Shakespeare Theatre and George Washington University.[5]

Political career[edit]

Unknown to most television viewers during his tenure on The Love Boat, Grandy's political interests preceded his acting career. Apart from his friendship with David Eisenhower, between 1970 and 1971 he served as a speechwriter for Wiley Mayne, the Republican congressman from his home district, Iowa's 6th congressional district.[6]

With Mayne's successor, Democrat Berkley Bedell, deciding not to run in 1986, Grandy, a Republican, campaigned for the open Iowa United States House of Representatives seat, beating challenger Clayton Hodgson by two percentage points (51.0% to 49.0%).

Although Grandy tried to distance himself from his acting career (at the time), he conceded to People magazine that "if there were no Gopher, there would be no Fred Grandy for Congress."[2]

During his four terms in Congress, he served on a variety of committees, including Ways and Means, Agriculture, Standards of Official Conduct, and Education and the Workforce. While a member of Congress, Grandy won eight "Watchdog of the Treasury" awards.

In 1994, Grandy declined to run for another Congressional term and instead entered the Republican primary race for governor of Iowa against incumbent Terry Branstad, but lost the election by nearly four percentage points.

Career as a radio commentator and other work[edit]

Grandy served as president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International from 1995 to 2000. He later became a political commentator for National Public Radio and served as a visiting professor teaching a course on nonprofit organizations at the School of Public Affairs at the University of Maryland, College Park.

From 2003 to 2010, Grandy and radio veteran Andy Parks were the hosts of The Grandy & Andy Morning Show, a conservative radio talk show on 630 WMAL in Washington, D.C. In May 2010, the program was reconfigured and was afterward called The Grandy Group. On March 3, 2011, Grandy resigned from the program allegedly over a dispute about his and his wife's statements about Islamic extremism or low listenership.[7][8]

Grandy was also the host of a show on Retirement Living TV called Daily Café (with MSNBC anchor Alex Witt).[9] Since then he has been a Senior Fellow for National Security Affairs at the Washington-based Center for Security Policy, a far-right,[10][11] anti-Muslim,[12][13] Washington, D.C.-based think tank, developing and managing projects on domestic terrorism and counterintelligence.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Grandy has been married twice. He married Jan Gough in 1969, a student at Radcliffe, but they were divorced in 1983. A son, Charlie Grandy, and a daughter were born to that union. On March 28, 1987, Grandy married romance novelist Catherine Mann, whom he had met when she interviewed him as one of the first reporters for Entertainment Tonight. They have one daughter (born 1989).[1][2] In 1993, Grandy and his wife sporadically toured Iowa with a stage production of the play Love Letters for charity (especially children's charities).[1]


Year Film Role Notes
1973 Love, American Style Larry Segment: "Love and the See-Through Mind"
1973 The Girl Most Likely to... Dr. Ted Gates TV movie
1973–74 Maude Chris 7 episodes
1975 The Mary Tyler Moore Show Rev. J.W. Dannenbrink Episode: "You Can't Lose 'em All"
1975 Death Race 2000 Herman the German Boch Feature film
1975 Phyllis The Newlyweds – Young Man Episode: "Phyllis' Garage Sale"
1975–76 Doc Chuck Bogert 2 episodes
1976–77 Monster Squad Walter 13 episodes
1977 Quincy, M.E. Milt Jordan Episode: "...The Thigh Bone's Connected to the Knee Bone..."
1977 Welcome Back, Kotter Andy Episode: "Radio Free Freddie"
1977 Fernwood 2 Night Dr. Alexander Beach Episode: "Barbershop Trio"
1977–86 The Love Boat Burl "Gopher" Smith 246 episodes
1977 The Lincoln Conspiracy David Herold Feature film
1978 Fantasy Island Bernie Parker Episode: "The Appointment/Mr. Tattoo"
1979 Fantasy Island Jerry Burton Episode: "The Comic/The Golden Hour"
1979 Blind Ambition Donald Segretti TV miniseries
1979 Charlie's Angels Burl "Gopher" Smith Episode: "Love Boat Angels"
1979 Fantasy Island Bernie Drexel Episode: "The Pug/Class of '69"
1983 Matt Houston Ted Baer Episode: "The Showgirl Murders"
1984 Cagney & Lacey Richard White Episode: "Matinee"
2003 Law & Order Neil Skinner Episode: "B*tch"
2014–17 The Mindy Project Dr. William Ledreau 9 episodes
2017 General Hospital Father Corey 2 episodes
2017 Great News Fred Episode: "Award Show"
2018–19 Knight Squad Wizard Hogancross 5 episodes
2019 Play the Flute Pastor Lawrence
2021 Side Hustle Mr. Grieves Episode: "The Kid-Ding Dongs"


  1. ^ a b c d e Longden, Tom (July 6, 2008). "Talk-show career satisfies Grandy". The Des Moines Register.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Kunen, James S. (December 16, 1985). "Iowa-Born Actor Fred Grandy, Alias Love Boat's Gopher Smith, Plots a Course for Washington". People. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  3. ^ "Do as I say, not as I did". Spy. Vol. 6, no. 7. May 1991. p. 26.
  4. ^ Snierson, Dan (September 7, 2007). "The Love Boat flashback". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
  5. ^ "Fred Grandy". Faith Under Fire Conference: The Global Threat to Religious Freedom. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  6. ^ "Biography - GRANDY, Frederick Lawrence, (1948 - )". Biographical Directory of the United States (US) Congress. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  7. ^ "Ex-Rep, 'Gopher' Leaves Radio Show After Alleged Pressure Over Islam Comments". Fox News. March 5, 2011.
  8. ^ "Fred Grandy: If we ignore stealth jihad we've won nothing in Afghanistan/Iraq". The Jawa Report. May 3, 2012.
  9. ^ "RLTV Shows: Daily Café". Archived from the original on 2009-04-20. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
  10. ^ Bertrand, Natasha (August 4, 2017). "The knives are coming out for H.R. McMaster". Business Insider. Archived from the original on January 31, 2018. Retrieved January 29, 2018.
  11. ^ O’Donnell, S. Jonathon (December 19, 2017). "Islamophobic conspiracism and neoliberal subjectivity: the inassimilable society". Patterns of Prejudice. 52: 1–23. doi:10.1080/0031322X.2017.1414473.
  12. ^ Zaveri, Mihir (October 17, 2019). "Mar-a-Lago Again Under Fire for Hosting Group That Promoted Islamophobia". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-11-23.
  13. ^ Cetoute, Devoun (October 17, 2019). "Another anti-Muslim group wants to hold event at Trump's Palm Beach resort, Mar-a-Lago". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2021-07-22.
  14. ^ "Fred Grandy: Exposing and Countering the Activities of Radical Islam". Gates of Vienna. October 4, 2011.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Iowa's 6th congressional district

Succeeded by
none; district eliminated
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Iowa's 5th congressional district

Succeeded by
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded byas Former US Representative Order of precedence of the United States
as Former US Representative
Succeeded byas Former US Representative