Fred Grandy

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Fred Grandy
Fred Grandy.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Iowa's 5th district
In office
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 1995
Preceded by Jim R. Lightfoot
Succeeded by Tom Latham
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Iowa's 6th district
In office
January 3, 1987 – January 3, 1993
Preceded by Berkley Bedell
Succeeded by District eliminated
Personal details
Born Fredrick Lawrence Grandy
(1948-06-29) June 29, 1948 (age 67)
Sioux City, Iowa
Political party Republican
Profession Actor, politician, radio personality

Fredrick Lawrence "Fred" Grandy (born June 29, 1948) is an American actor best known for his role as "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 as the youngest of three sons to William Grandy, who worked in his father's insurance business, and his wife Bonnie. When he was eleven, his father died of a heart attack; his mother died of an aneurism a year later. He was 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 New Hampshire, like his father and brothers had done. While there, he was the roommate of David Eisenhower (grandson of President Dwight D. Eisenhower) and was later best man at Eisenhower's wedding to Julie Nixon. He graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in English studies from Harvard University in 1970.[1][2]

Television career[edit]

Grandy played a recurring character on the 1970s sitcom Maude, playing the boyfriend of Maude's daughter, Carol. He played the ship's purser, Burl "Gopher" Smith, for nine seasons (1977–86) on the American television series The Love Boat. 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.[3]

Grandy appeared in the 1973 made for TV movie, The Girl Most Likely to..., as Ted Gates. He also appeared in a number of Match Game episodes in the mid-1970s. He first sat in the male guest-star seat in the top row left, then later sat in the top row right while he filled in for Charles Nelson Reilly when Reilly was working on other projects.

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.

Grandy holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Washington Shakespeare Theatre and George Washington University.

Political career[edit]

Unknown to most television viewers during the height of his The Love Boat stardom, Grandy's political interests preceded his acting career. Apart from his friendship with David Eisenhower, he also served as a speechwriter for Iowa Congressman Wiley Mayne.[2]

Grandy, a Republican, won the election to an Iowa United States House of Representatives seat in 1986 by 3,000 votes. Although he tried to distance himself from his acting career at the time, he told People magazine: "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, he entered the Republican primary race for Governor of Iowa against incumbent Terry Branstad; he lost the election by 4 percentage points.

Post-Congressional career[edit]

Grandy later served as President and CEO of Goodwill Industries International from 1995 to 2000. He became a political commentator for National Public Radio and served as a visiting professor teaching a course on non-profit 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 radical Islam or low listenership.[4][5]

Grandy was also the host of a show on Retirement Living TV called Daily Cafe (with MSNBC anchor Alex Witt).[6]

Since then he has been a Senior Fellow for National Security Affairs at the Washington-based Center for Security Policy, developing and managing projects on domestic terrorism and counter intelligence.[7]

In May 2013, Grandy returned to the stage, starring in a production of Sleuth at the Surflight Theatre in Beach Haven, New Jersey.

Personal life[edit]

Grandy has been married twice. His first marriage, to Jan Gough, produced a son and a daughter; it lasted from 1970 to 1982. In 1987 he married romance novelist Catherine Mann, whom he had met when she interviewed him as one of the first anchors of Entertainment Tonight. The couple have a daughter (nborn 1989).[1] In 1993, Grand and his wife sporadically toured Iowa with a stage production of the play Love Letters for charity, especially children's charities.[1] They are both vegans for health reasons.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Longden, Tom (July 7, 2008). "Grandy, Fred". The Des Moines Register. Retrieved November 23, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c Kunen, James S. (December 16, 1985). "Iowa-Born Actor Fred Grandy, Alias Love Boat's Gopher Smith, Plots a Course for Washington". People. Retrieved November 23, 2015. 
  3. ^ Snierson, Dan (2007-09-07). "''The Love Boat'' flashback". Retrieved 2011-12-10. 
  4. ^ "Ex-Rep, 'Gopher' Leaves Radio Show After Alleged Pressure Over Islam Comments". Fox News. March 5, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Fred Grandy: If we ignore stealth jihad we've won nothing in Afghanistan/Iraq". The Jawa Report. May 3, 2012. 
  6. ^ "RLTV Shows: Daily Café". Retrieved 2011-12-10. 
  7. ^ "Fred Grandy: Exposing and Countering the Activities of Radical Islam". Gates of Vienna. October 6, 2011. 

External links[edit]

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

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

Succeeded by
Tom Latham