Lange as Isaac Washington, 1977
Theodore William Lange
January 5, 1948
Oakland, California, U.S.
|Education||City College of San Francisco|
Merritt College (AA)
Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
|Occupation||Actor, director, screenwriter|
|Known for||Isaac Washington - The Love Boat|
(m. 1979; div. 1989)
(m. after 2001)
Lange was born in Oakland, California, in 1948, the son of Geraldine and Ted Lange, both working in theatre and television. Lange graduated from Oakland Technical High where he was class and student body president before majoring in Drama at San Francisco City College, completing an associate of arts degree at Merritt Junior College in Oakland.
At San Francisco City College, Lange was particularly active on the theatre scene and named Best Actor by the Black Students Association as well as winning a scholarship to the University of Colorado Shakespearean Festival in the summer of 1968.
After college, Lange started in theatre appearing in local Oakland productions and as guest artist in residence at the University of Santa Clara. Later, he joined the New Shakespearan Company, acting in plays at the University of California, Berkeley.
Lange made his Broadway debut in the musical Hair and was featured in the first national touring of that show. He also performed in a one-man show, Behind the Mask: An Evening with Paul Laurence Dunbar.
Lange's first screen appearance was in the documentary film Wattstax in 1973. After starring in the film Black Belt Jones in 1974, he portrayed Junior on the series That's My Mama before landing the role of the ship's bartender, Isaac, on The Love Boat in 1977, opposite Gavin MacLeod.
In the early 1980s, following a letter of recommendation from Lynn Redgrave (who he met on an episode of Love Boat), Lange attended a summer school at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art to perfect his Shakespeare acting skills.
After he left the show in 1987, Lange appeared in various films and guest roles on 227, The Cleveland Show, Glitch!, Evening Shade, Scrubs, Drake & Josh, The King of Queens, Boy Meets World, Psych and Are We There Yet.
In 1977, he wrote the screenplay for the 1977 drama Passing Through, starring Cora Lee Day and Marla Gibbs. During the run of The Love Boat, Lange also served as director and screenwriter on various episodes of the series. In 1999, Lange directed two episodes of Love Boat: The Next Wave, the UPN series based on The Love Boat. He also directed episodes of Moesha, Dharma & Greg, and Eve. In 2008, he directed the drama For Love of Amy.
Lange has also done extensive theater work as playwright and stage director. He has penned 17 plays, including George Washington's Boy, a historical drama about the relationship between the first president and his favorite slave, along with the comedy Lemon Meringue Facade.
Lange remains close to Gavin MacLeod, his acting mentor, who is a Palm Springs resident, and sees his plays. He said in a 2014 interview with CBS New York.com of his long-running friendship with him, "Gavin lives in Palm Springs, I'm in LA. So, when I do my plays, he comes down and sees my plays or I'll go see what he's doing!"
Lange also said in a 2017 interview with The Wiseguyz Show, if his mentor enjoyed all the acting/dancing on The Love Boat series was: "Oh yeah, sure, Gavin was wonderful. Gavin lives down here in Palm Springs and we're still tight, all of us, Gavin and Bernie and Jill; we still see each other. Fred lives in a different state, we're still close, we're still good friends."
Lange married Sheryl Thompson in 1978, and they divorced in 1989. The couple has two children, Ted IV and Turner Wallace Lange. Lange remarried in 2001 to Mary Ley. His mother is Geraldine Lange, who was a personal secretary to a San Francisco mayor and was public affairs director of KBHK-TV in San Francisco in the early 1970s. She also hosted television programs on KBHK-TV.
For his work theater directing, Lange received the NAACP's Renaissance Man Theatre Award, the Heroes and Legends HAL Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Dramalogue Award. Lange has also been the recipient of the James Cagney Directing Fellow Scholarship Award from the American Film Institute along with the Paul Robeson Award from Oakland's Ensemble Theatre.
|Trick Baby||Melvin the Pimp||Alternative title: The Double Con|
|1974||Black Belt Jones||Militant||Uncredited|
|1975||Friday Foster||Fancy Dexter|
|1978||Record City||The Wiz|
|1987||Terminal Exposure||Fantastic||Alternative title: Double Exposure|
|1990||Penny Ante: The Motion Picture||The Deacon|
|1992||The Naked Truth||The Flower Peddler|
|2002||Is This Your Mother?|
|2003||Banana Moon||Prof. Williams||Co-producer|
|Gang of Roses||Bartender #2|
|2006||Uncle Tom's Apartment||Pops|
|National Lampoon's Dorm Daze 2||Celebrity Judge #2|
|2007||Last of the Romantics||Cole Henderson|
|2008||Senior Skip Day||Reverend||Alternative title: High School's Day Off|
|Who Shot Mamba?||Dr. Crazy|
|The Adventures of Umbweki||Airline Captain Boka|
|Phil Cobb's Dinner for Four||Old Friend|
|For Love of Amy||Director|
|1974-1975||That's My Mama||Junior||39 episodes|
|1976||Mr. T and Tina||Harvard||5 episodes|
|1977-1986||The Love Boat||Bartender Isaac Washington||246 episodes, director, writer|
|1977||The Love Boat II||Bartender Isaac Washington||Television movie|
|The New Love Boat||Bartender Isaac Washington||Television movie|
|1979||Fantasy Island||The Great Scott||1 episode|
|Charlie's Angels||Bartender Isaac Washington||1 episode|
|1983||The Fall Guy||Bartender||1 episode|
|Fantasy Island||1 episode, director|
|1984||Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer||2 episodes, director|
|1986||That's My Mama Now!||Junior||Television movie|
|1986||John Grin's Christmas||Ghost of Christmas Present||Television movie|
|1987||Starman||1 episode, director|
|1988||Christmas||Ghost of Christmas Present||Television movie|
|In the Heat of the Night||James Jeffson||1 episode|
|1989||It Nearly Wasn't Christmas||Napoleon||Television movie|
|1990||The Love Boat: A Valentine Voyage||Bartender Isaac Washington||Television movie|
|1993||Evening Shade||Mr. Taxerman||1 episode|
|1995||Platypus Man||Mr. Angel||1 episode|
|1996||Weird Science||Isaac||1 episode|
|1996-2000||Moesha||Director, 5 episodes|
|1997||Martin||Bartender Isaac Washington||2 episodes|
|Family Matters||Frank Winslow||1 episode|
|1998||Love Boat: The Next Wave||Bartender Isaac Washington||1 episode|
|The Wayans Bros.||Director, 1 episode|
|1999||L.A. Heat||Frank Millan||1 episode|
|Love Boat: The Next Wave||Director, 2 episodes|
|2001||Cody: An Evening with Buffalo Bill||Director|
|Dharma & Greg||Director, 2 episodes|
|2002||The Hughleys||Mr. Henderson||1 episode|
|Scrubs||Mr. Blair||1 episode|
|2003||Half & Half||Repairman||1 episode|
|2004||Eve||Director, 1 episode|
|2004-2005||Drake & Josh||Mr. Calvert||2 episodes|
|2005||All of Us||Director, 1 episode|
|The King of Queens||Himself||1 episode|
|2007||General Hospital||Judge||2 episodes|
|2010||The Cleveland Show||As himself||1 episode|
|2011||A Russell Peters Christmas||As himself||1 episode|
|2012||Betty White's Off Their Rockers||Various Characters||Main Cast|
|2012||The First Family||Director, 2 episodes|
|2014||Maron||Wise Stranger||1 episode|