Cynthia Lauren Tewes
Braddock, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Education||Rio Hondo College|
University of California, Riverside (unfinished)
|Known for||Portraying Julie McCoy on The Love Boat|
(m. 1977; div. 1982)
(m. 1985; div. 1995)
(m. 1996; died 2002)
Tewes was born in Braddock, Pennsylvania, of German extraction and one of four children, to Joanne (née Woods) and Joseph Robert Tewes, a wood pattern maker. Her early childhood was spent in industrial Trafford, near Pittsburgh before the family moved to Whittier, California, when she was eight.
Tewes attended Ada S. Nelson Elementary School and Pioneer High School, where she studied drama, winning Best Actress award for three years. Tewes enrolled on an Associate of Arts degree at Rio Hondo College, deciding to major in theatre arts. At college, she won "The Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Theatre", a one-year scholarship which enabled her to transfer to the University of California, Riverside, as a sophomore.
In 1973, when her scholarship expired, Tewes withdrew from college and joined the Pacific Conservatory Theatre in Santa Maria, California, as an apprentice, making her stage debut in Arsenic and Old Lace and The Most Happy Fella before becoming a member of the Birdcage Theatre Company at Knott's Berry Farm, an amusement complex outside Los Angeles.
Tewes' first break came in mid-1974 when she starred in a Lipton Ice Tea commercial, allowing her to join the Screen Actors Guild and register with an agent with the prospect to work on film projects.
In 1975, while waitressing in Sunset Boulevard coffee shops and penniless, she suffered a traumatic loss when her mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer and died a year later.
Tewes was soon cast in roles on the prime time TV series Charlie's Angels ("Angels in Chains"), Vega$ (My Darling Daughter), and Family ("Mirror, Mirror on the Wall...") as Jill Redfield, a disenchanted Pasadena debutante. However, it was her role in Starsky & Hutch ("Starsky and Hutch Are Guilty") as Sharon Freemont, an assistant district attorney, which brought her to the attention of Aaron Spelling.
Tewes was cast for the role of cruise director Julie McCoy on The Love Boat, selected from more than 100 actresses who auditioned. She starred in the third and final pilot of the show, cast the day before production began on the RMS Queen Mary in Long Beach. Tewes recalls the pilot episode:
"I had to borrow money to get a new tire, because my ’62 Volkswagen Bug was not going to get to San Pedro…. That first day, standing there in the little outfit, and I had to say, ”Hi, welcome aboard, I’m Julie McCoy, your cruise director” a gazillion times. But I kept screwing it up and saying, ”Hi, welcome aboard, I’m Julie MacLeod…” because I was talking to Gavin MacLeod and I was so excited."
In parallel, Tewes appeared in 1979 TV film Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders alongside Jane Seymour and made her film debut in the 1981 movie Eyes of a Stranger, which co-starred a young Jennifer Jason Leigh.
In 1984, after seven seasons on The Love Boat, Tewes was replaced after a highly public battle with cocaine addiction, which she eventually overcame. She did reprise her role as a guest in a 1985 episode, and in the TV movies in the 1986–87 season.
Tewes was cast in a 1985 CBS sitcom pilot Anything for Love. The pilot aired as a special that summer, but was not picked up as a series. She went on to star in classic 1980s TV series My Two Dads, The New Mike Hammer, Murder, She Wrote, T.J. Hooker and Hunter.
In 1994, Tewes moved to Seattle and focused on regional theatre acting and directing across the country. In Seattle, she performed with the Tacoma Actors Guild and the Seattle Repertory Theatre. As well as doing voice-overs for commercials, Tewes continued her TV career and appeared in a 1998 episode of Love Boat: The Next Wave, a revival of the original series. In 2000–01, she had a recurring role as a police detective on The Fugitive.
Tewes plays Maxine Murdoch in the Imagination Theatre comedy-mystery radio series Murder and the Murdochs, which debuted in 2020. She has also played roles in episodes of other radio series on Imagination Theatre.
Tewes has been married three times, first to John Wassel, a TV commercials director, then to Paolo Nonnis, an Italian drummer, and finally stage actor Robert Nadir. In 1987, she suffered the loss of her one month-old daughter, born prematurely.
- O'Donnell, Monica M. (8 March 1984). Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. Gale. ISBN 9780810320642 – via Google Books.
- "Lauren Tewes". Cumberland Evening Times. 24 March 1978.
- Dangaard, Colin (23 March 1982). "Lauren Tewes Cooking up a Storm". Kingston Gleaner: 4.
- "Lauren Tewes -- Hollywood Success". The Morning News. Jun 24, 1979.
- Peterson, Bettelou (Aug 19, 1979). "She Won't Rock The "Love Boat" - ABC's Hit Series Serenely Sails On". Detroit Free Press.
- "Will The Real "Julie" Please Stand Up?". Cruise Travel; September/October 1980.
- UPI (March 12, 1985). "Cocaine Abuse Threw Tewes' Performance Overboard". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2009-01-08.
- AP (February 19, 1982). "Lauren Tewes To Cruise For Two More Years". Spartanburg Herald-Journal.
- Snierson, Dan (7 October 2007). "'Love Boat': Cast and crew tell all". Entertainment.
- "Cocaine Abuse Threw Tewes' Performance Overboard". St. Petersburg Times. 12 March 1985. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
- "Lauren Tewes Takes Cruise For Old Time's Sake". Los Angeles Times. November 26, 1985. Retrieved 2009-01-08.
- Talerico, Teresa (31 May 1998). "Tewes sets a new course". Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
- "Cynthia Lauren Tewes – Imagination Theatre". Imagination Theatre. Aural Vision LLC. 2020. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
- Brown, Emma (25 June 2015). "The Love Boat Tribute". Illawarra Mercury. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
- "Sailing a Different Course". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. February 24, 1998. p. 17. Retrieved January 8, 2009.