Lauren Tewes is an American actress who is perhaps best known for portraying Julie McCoy in the ABC romantic comedy-drama, “The Love Boat.”
Age, Early Life, and Education Background
Cynthia Lauren Tewes hails from Braddock, Pennsylvania, and was born under the Scorpio zodiac sign on 26 October 1953, which makes her 70 years old as of 2023. She’s the daughter of the German wood-pattern maker Joseph Robert Tewes and his Irish wife Joanne. Cynthia was raised alongside her three siblings – one of her brothers is Ed Tewes. She became interested in acting at an early age, and often performed in community theaters together with her siblings. Lauren spent eight years of her childhood in Trafford near Pittsburgh before her family relocated to Whittier, California.
Lauren went to Ada S. Nelson Elementary School, then joined Pioneer High School where she studied drama., and won three consecutive Best Actress Awards before her matriculation. Thereafter, Lauren enrolled for an Associate of Arts (AA) degree at Rio Hondo College, in Whittier, and where the Pennsylvanian actress scooped the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Theater, which is a 12-month scholarship program to the University of California, Riverside. After her scholarship expired in 1973, she joined Pacific Conservatory Theater (PCPA), in Santa Monica, California, and performed in several plays including “The Most Happy Fella” before leaving PCPA for Birdcage Theater Company, located at Knott’s Berry Farm theme park; in her four-month-stint there, the actress worked alongside several famous stage actors, such as Dean Jones and Steve Martin.
Tewes made her professional stage debut in Joseph Kesselring’s play “Arsenic and Old Lace” at the Pacific Conservatory Theater in 1973, and in the following year, she made her first screen appearance in a commercial for Lipton Ice Tea, and shortly afterward joined Screen Actors Guild. Lauren appeared in over 20 TV commercials before she was cast for a small role in the ABC TV series “Charlie’s Angels.” She then caught the attention of the late American producer and occasional actor, Aaron Spelling, with her portrayal of Sharon Freemont in the action TV series “Starsky & Hutch.”
Rise to Stardom
Lauren was among the hundreds of actresses who auditioned for the role of Julie McCoy in the ABC adventure-drama “The Love Boat.” She was selected to appear in the pilot episode of the series in 1977, and then continued making regular appearances for seven seasons until she left the show in 1984, following her highly publicized battle with drug addiction, and was replaced by Pat Klous, who portrayed her character’s sister, Judy). However, she made a comeback as a guest after successfully overcoming her addiction and appeared until 1987.
Concurrently, Lauren appeared in several other projects, such as the film “Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders” in 1979 and “Eyes of a Stranger” in 1981, and later in the ‘80s, Lauren landed guest roles in TV shows such as “Murder She Wrote,” “The New Mike Hammer” and several others.
Lauren renewed her stage career in the early ‘90s – in 1990, she appeared in the play “Independence,” performed at Burbank Little Theater, and in the same year directed William S. Leavengood’s dark-comedy play “The Head.” In the years that followed, she transitioned to performing and directing in regional theaters; her most notable performances were in Tacoma Actors Repertory Theater, Seattle Repertory Theater, and ACT Theater in Seattle, appearing in many plays including “My Fair Lady,” “Side Man,” and “The Prisoner of Second Avenue.”
Lauren has lent her voice in several video games, such as “Police Quest: SWAT 2” and “Pajama Sham3: You Are What You Eat from Your Head to Your Feet.” She is also credited for her appearances in four episodes of the TV show “The Fugitive” in 2000 and 2001, and an episode of “Twin Perks” in 2017. Most recently, in 2021 she played Nina Ivanova in the narrative film “Potato Dreams of America.”
When she’s not acting, Tewes serves as a sous-chef at a Seattle-based catering company. She has attended culinary school, and is a cheese specialist.
— ThisDayInTwinPeaks (@PeaksCalendar) October 26, 2018
In 1982, Tewes was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in “The Love Boat.” Moreover, she was nominated for a TV Land Fan Favorite Award for her role in the same show.
Lauren met the American TV commercials director John Wassel, during the auditions of one of Hickory Farms’ dairy commercials in 1977. The duo began a long-distance relationship, and Wassel popped the question three months later at his parents’ home. They walked the aisle in November 1977 but parted ways a few years later due to Lauren’s drug problem, and finalized their divorce in 1982 ending their five years of togetherness.
Tewes was still married to Wassel when she first met the Italian drummer, Paolo Nonnis. They began dating shortly after her divorce and eventually exchanged vows four years later in 1986. In 1987, Tewes gave birth to a premature baby girl who sadly passed away a month later. It’s reported that the loss of their daughter weakened her relationship with Nonnis, which resulted in their divorce.
Lauren met the American actor, Robert Nadir, a native of New Jersey in 1998. Nadir has appeared in several stage productions and films such as “Mad Love,” and “Jack Reed: Badge of Honor.” The couple were in a-year-long long-distance relationship before Lauren relocated to Seattle to be with him. After dating for two more years, the couple wed on 1 May 1996. Sadly, Nadir died of complications caused by the nervous system disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), on 25 April 2002 (at the age of 46) in Seattle. Lauren hasn’t remarried since his death; she doesn’t have any children.
Rumors and Controversy
Lauren had a serious cocaine addiction in the early ’80s, and her drug problem worsened after she was dismissed from the show “The Love Boat” in 1984. She eventually overcame the addiction, but which had cost her a job and a husband.
Height, Weight, and Physical Appearance
Tewes is of Caucasian ethnicity and has blue eyes, and long dark brown hair. She is 5ft 6ins (1.68m) tall, her weight is approximately 155lbs (70kgs), and her vital statistics 38-25-38.
Lauren has been active in the American showbiz industry since the ‘70s, which has made her famous and wealthy. She’s also accumulated a good sum from her side job as a chef, and is worth approximately $2 million, as of 2023.