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Fred Grandy

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Iowa's 6th and 5th district
In office
January 3, 1987 – January 3, 1995
Preceded by Berkley Bedell
Succeeded by Tom Latham

Born June 29, 1948 (1948-06-29) (age 61)
Sioux City, Iowa
Political party Republican
Profession Actor, Politician, and Radio Personality
Religion Episcopalian

Fredrick Lawrence "Fred" Grandy (born June 29, 1948) is a former actor best known for his role as 'Gopher' on the sitcom The Love Boat and who became a member of the United States House of Representatives from the state of Iowa in 1986.

Grandy was born in Sioux City, Iowa. He received his bachelor's degree in English studies from Harvard University in 1970 and is conversant in both French and Arabic. He was 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 years on the American television series The Love Boat. In 1982, while visiting Turkey to film scenes for the show, Grandy suffered severe burns when a balloon filled with hydrogen exploded.[1]

Grandy appeared in a number of Match Game episodes in the mid-1970s, at first sitting in the male guest star seat in the top row left, then later filling in for Charles Nelson Reilly when he was working on other projects.

Unknown to most television viewers during the height of his The Love Boat stardom, Grandy's political interests preceded his acting career. Prior to college, he was the roommate of David Eisenhower (grandson of President Dwight D. Eisenhower) at Phillips Exeter Academy and later was best man at Eisenhower's wedding to Julie Nixon. He also served as a speechwriter for Iowa Congressman Wiley Mayne.

Grandy, who campaigned as a Republican, won the election in 1986 by 3,000 votes. Although he tried to distance himself from his acting career, he told People magazine, "If there were no Gopher, there would be no Fred Grandy for Congress."

During his four terms in Congress he served on a variety of committees, including House 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.

Grandy has three children: Marya, Monica, and Charlie.

Grandy later served as president and CEO of Goodwill Industries from 1995–2000, became a political commentator on National Public Radio, and served as a visiting professor teaching a course on non-profit organizations at the University of Maryland, College Park, School of Public Affairs. In 2003, Grandy was named co-host of The Grandy & Andy Morning Show, a conservative radio talk show on 630 WMAL-AM in Washington, D.C. His co-host is radio veteran Andy Parks. Grandy is a member of the Episcopal Church. Grandy is also currently the host of a show on Retirement Living TV called Daily Cafe with MSNBC anchor Alex Witt.[2]

References

External links

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

1987–1993
Succeeded by
none; district eliminated
Preceded by
Jim Ross Lightfoot
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Iowa's 5th congressional district

1993–1995
Succeeded by
Tom Latham
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