Bio Summary

Full Name: Cynthia Lauren Tewes

Birthdate: October 26, 1953

Birthplace: Braddock, Pennsylvania, U.S.

Sex: Female

Status: Married

Known for: An American actress. She starred as Julie McCoy in the ABC television comedy anthology series The Love Boat, which ran from 1977 to 1986.

Family: John Wassel (Ex-husband), ​Paolo Nonnis (Ex-husband), Robert Nadir (Ex-husband) Joanne (née Woods) Tewes(Mother), Joseph Robert Tewes (Father)

Cynthia Lauren Tewes

Early Life

Cynthia Lauren Tewes was born around October 26, 1953, in Braddock, Pennsylvania, USA, with the Scorpio Zodiac sign, making her 68 years old in 2021. She is of caucasian ancestry and is an American citizen. She is the youngest of four children born to Joseph Robert Tewes and Joan Woods; her dad is a German immigrant and her mother has Irish ancestry. Lauren’s father was a carpenter and wood pattern maker

Tewes grew up in the industrial Trafford borough of Pittsburgh for the first 8 years of her childhood before her family moved to Whittier, California. Lauren and her three brothers grew up in a comfortable home.

Lauren went to Ada S. Nelson Elementary School and then Pioneer High School, where she studied drama for three years and received the Best Actress award three times. Lauren went on to Rio Hondo College to get an associate arts degree in theatre arts. Tewes received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Theater while in college. Lauren also received a one-year scholarship and transferred to the University of California, Riverside as a sophomore.

When her scholarship ran out in 1973, Tewes dropped out of college and became a trainee at the Pacific Conservatory Theatre in Santa Maria, California. She made her acting debut in Arsenic and Old Lace and The Most Happy Fella before joining the Birdcage Theatre Company at Knott’s Berry Farm, an amusement complex outside of Los Angeles.

The move put her in the company of other well-known theatrical actors including Dean Jones and Steve Martin. In the company’s drama shows, she played two roles: a heroine and a villain.

Lauren moved to Burbank, California in 1974 after 4 months with the company to test her chances on television. Lauren worked as a waitress to supplement her income while continuing to attend film and television seminars and auditions. Lauren became a talent agency and registered with the Screen Actors Guild the same year after filming a commercial.

Lauren had to wait a long time for her presence in Hollywood to be felt. Lauren worked in the hotel industry until 1977 when she appeared in 20 television commercials and became a household name.


Lauren Tewes on Lipton ice tea

Tewes’ first break came in mid-1974 when she appeared in a Lipton Ice Tea commercial, which allowed her to join the Screen Actors Guild and sign with an agency with the hopes of working on film projects.

She endured a tragic loss in 1975, when waiting tables at Sunset Boulevard coffee shops and desperately poor when her mother was stricken with terminal cancer and died a year later.

Tewes played Jill Redfield, a disillusioned Pasadena debutante, in the TV shows Charlie’s Angels, Vega$, and Family (“Mirror, Mirror on the Wall…”). However, it was her appearance as Sharon Freemont, an assistant district attorney for Starsky and Hutch (“Starsky and Hutch Are Guilty”) that caught Aaron Spelling’s eye.

Read: Kristy McNichol

Cruise director Julie McCoy

Tewes was chosen from over 100 American actresses who auditioned for the role of cruise director Julie McCoy on The Love Boat by Douglas Cramer, the executive producer. She was cast in the show’s third and final pilot the day before filming began at the RMS Queen Mary in San Pedro. Tewes recalls the pilot episode this way:

“My ’62 Volkswagen car was not going to make it to San Pedro, so I had to borrow money to purchase a new tyre…. I had to say “Hi, welcome aboard, I’m Julie McCoy, your cruise director” a billion times that first day, standing there in the small suit. But I kept messing it up and saying, “Hi, welcome aboard, my name is Julie MacLeod…” because I was so pleased to be talking to Gavin MacLeod.”

Tewes also acted alongside Jane Seymour in the 1979 TV film Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and made her film debut in the 1981 thriller Eyes of a Stranger, which also starred a teenage Jennifer Jason Leigh.

Lauren Tewes in love boat

Tewes was replaced on The Love Boat after seven seasons in 1984, following a highly public battle with cocaine addiction, which she successfully recovered.

She returned to the show as a guest in a 1985 episode and in the 1986-87 season.

Lauren Tewes, Fred Grandy and other cast members of Love Boat

Anything for Love, a CBS sitcom pilot from 1985, starred Tewes. That summer, the pilot aired as a special, but it was not acquired as a series. She went on to star in shows including My Two Dads, The New Mike Hammer, Murder, She Wrote, T.J. Hooker, and Hunter in the 1980s.

Tewes relocated to Seattle in 1994 and began playing and directing in regional theatres across the country. She worked with the Tacoma Actors Guild and the Seattle Repertory Theatre in Seattle. Tewes continued her TV career, appearing in a 1998 episode of Love Boat: The Next Wave, a revival of the original series, in addition to doing voice-overs for commercials. She had a regular role as a police detective on The Fugitive from 2000 to 2001.

The Imagination Theatre comedy-mystery radio series Murder and the Murdochs, which premiered in 2020, features Tewes as Maxine Murdoch. She has also appeared in episodes of other Imagination Theatre radio series.

Culinary School

In her spare time, Lauren works as a sous chef for a Seattle catering company. She went to culinary school to become a cheese specialist.

Personal Life

Lauren met John Wassel, an advertising director when casting the Hickory Farms dairy campaign in 1977.

Lauren was in a long-distance relationship with John for three months before he asked for her hand in marriage while visiting his parents in Ohio. In November of the same year, they married. Their marriage, however, did not last long, and they split in 1982.

Lauren Tewes met Paolo Nonnis, a percussionist while working on “The Love Boat” (as Julie McCoy) while still married to Wassel. Lauren revealed her love for Nonnis when she divorced her former husband, and the two married in 1986. Lauren gave birth to a premature baby girl a year later, but she died at the age of one month. Her marriage to Nonnis appears to have come to an end as a result of this.

Lauren Tewes met her third husband, co-actor Robert Nadir, in 1993 and they had a year long-distance relationship. Lauren moved to Seattle with Robert in 1994, and the couple married on May 1, 1996. They were married until Nadir died of Lou Gehrig’s Disease on April 25, 2002. Lauren is a single mother with no children.

Lauren Tewes is a former cocaine addict, which resulted in the American actress being sacked from her previous production ‘Love boat’. She was, however, able to overcome her cocaine addiction and resume her acting career without severe problems.