Bernie Kopell

Actor


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his three-and-a-half hour interview, Bernie Kopell talks about his early years, and stars he encountered as a taxi driver in Los Angeles. He describes his first television gig, on The Jack Benny Program, and later appearing on My Favorite Martian, The Flying Nun, and The Doris Day Show. He recounts making several appearances on The Steve Allen Show, and being cast as “Siegfried” on Get Smart. He discusses his time on Get Smart, working with Don Adams, and creators Mel Brooks and Buck Henry. Kopell outlines his role of “Jerry Bauman” on That Girl, starring and executive produced by Marlo Thomas. He speaks of his long run as “Doc Adam Bricker” on The Love Boat, and details working with the cast and various guest stars, including many Oscar winners. He recalls then-more recent roles on Arrested Development and Hawaii Five-O. Jim Colucci conducted the interview on April 19, 2017 in North Hollywood, CA.

"Filming 'The Love Boat' was remarkable because with other shows, you were filming in Hollywood. But when filming 'Love Boat' you could bring your significant other - boyfriends, girlfriends, wives, husbands, children, even some Academy Award winners." 

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Bernie Kopell on the popularity of The Love Boat, and on the end of the show
Bernie Kopell on appearing in the 1966 television production of Death of a Salesman with Lee J. Cobb and Mildred Dunnock
Bernie Kopell on getting the role of "Siegfried" on Get Smart, and on his friend Don Rickles
Bernie Kopell on his character, "Doc's," prowess with the ladies on The Love Boat, and on Charo and Tom Hanks guest-starring on the show
Bernie Kopell on favorite Get Smart episodes, and on working with Ted Bessell on That Girl
Bernie Kopell on how he would like to be remembered
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on his early interest in acting and on getting into the profession
On famous people he encountered while driving a cab in Los Angeles, and on early auditions he went on; on meeting Danny Thomas and Sheldon Leonard, and being cast on The Jack Benny Program; on trying to make a living while pursuing an acting career, and on appearing on the daytime drama The Brighter Day with his friend Harvey Korman
On doing accents, and on using them on My Favorite Martian, The Flying Nun, and The Doris Day Show; on getting the role of "Siegfried" on Get Smart
On being fired from The Danny Kaye Show, what he learned from it, and on encountering Kaye later in his career; on appearing on The Steve Allen Show; on favorite sketches and characters of his from The Steve Allen Show

Chapter 2

On getting the role of "Siegfried" on Get Smart, and on his friend Don Rickles; on "Siegfried's" accent on Get Smart, and on his look
On "Siegfried's" relationship with "Maxwell Smart" played by Don Adams on Get Smart, and on show producer Leonard Stern; on appearing in the 1966 television production of Death of a Salesman with Lee J. Cobb and Mildred Dunnock; on his friendship with Frank Sinatra
On King Moody as "Starker" on Get Smart; on Get Smart co-creators Mel Brooks and Buck Henry; on favorite Get Smart episodes; on working with Ted Bessell on That Girl
On participating in Get Smart revivals; on the legacy of Get Smart; on appearing in The Lancelot Link Secret Chimp Hour
On playing "Jerry Bauman" on That Girl; on working with Marlo Thomas, who played "Ann Marie" on That Girl and was also a producer on the show; on favorite memories of shooting That Girl
On the end of That Girl, and on producer Danny Arnold; on the legacy of That Girl; on appearing on Bewitched, directed by William Asher and starring Elizabeth Montgomery

Chapter 3

On his friendship with Frank Sinatra; on appearing in When Things Were Rotten created by Mel Brooks and co-starring Dick Van Patten; on his acting process, his preparation for a given role, and on working with Neil Simon
On the made-for-television movie versions of The Love Boat, which served as pilots, and on Lauren Tewes as "Julie McCoy" on the show; on his Love Boat character's name change from "Dr. O'Neil" to "Doc Adam Bricker," and on playing a sex symbol on the show; on working with several Oscar winning actresses on the show
On being cast as "Doc Adam Bricker" on The Love Boat, and on his experience in the Navy; on working with the cast of The Love Boat; on writing some episodes of the show
On the formula of The Love Boat, and on what his character, "Doc," was like as a doctor; on "Doc's" prowess with the ladies on The Love Boat, and on Charo and Tom Hanks guest-starring on the show
On working with Love Boat producer Aaron Spelling; on The Love Boat theme song; on the popularity of The Love Boat, and on the end of the show

Chapter 4

On guest-starring on Arrested Development; on guest-starring on Hawaii Five-O; on how television has changed since he started
On mentors in his career; on his proudest career achievement, and his regrets; on how he would like to be remembered
Shows

Arrested Development

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Bernie Kopell on guest-starring on Arrested Development

Bewitched

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Bernie Kopell on appearing on Bewitched, directed by William Asher and starring Elizabeth Montgomery

Brighter Day, The

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Bernie Kopell on trying to make a living pursuing an acting career, and on appearing on the daytime drama The Brighter Day with his friend Harvey Korman

Danny Kaye Show, The

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Bernie Kopell on being fired from The Danny Kaye Show, what he learned from it, and on encountering Kaye later in his career

Death of a Salesman

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Bernie Kopell on appearing in the 1966 television production of Death of a Salesman with Lee J. Cobb and Mildred Dunnock

Doris Day Show, The

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Bernie Kopell on doing accents, and on using them on My Favorite Martian, The Flying Nun, and The Doris Day Show

Flying Nun, The

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Bernie Kopell on doing accents, and on using them on My Favorite Martian, The Flying Nun, and The Doris Day Show

Get Smart

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Bernie Kopell on getting the role of "Siegfried" on Get Smart
Bernie Kopell on getting the role of "Siegfried" on Get Smart, and on his friend Don Rickles
Bernie Kopell on "Siegfried's" accent on Get Smart, and on his look
Bernie Kopell on "Siegfried's" relationship with "Maxwell Smart" played by Don Adams on Get Smart, and on show producer Leonard Stern
Bernie Kopell on King Moody as "Starker" on Get Smart
Bernie Kopell on Get Smart co-creators Mel Brooks and Buck Henry
Bernie Kopell on favorite Get Smart episodes, and on working with Ted Bessell on That Girl
Bernie Kopell on participating in Get Smart revivals
Bernie Kopell on the legacy of Get Smart

Hawaii Five-O

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Bernie Kopell on guest-starring on Hawaii Five-O

Jack Benny Program, The

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Bernie Kopell on meeting Danny Thomas and Sheldon Leonard, and being cast on The Jack Benny Program

Lancelot Link Secret Chimp Hour, The

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Bernie Kopell on appearing in The Lancelot Link Secret Chimp Hour

Love Boat, The

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Bernie Kopell on the made-for-television movie versions of The Love Boat, which served as pilots, and on Lauren Tewes as "Julie McCoy" on the show
Bernie Kopell on his Love Boat character's name change from "Dr. O'Neil" to "Doc Adam Bricker", and on playing a sex symbol on the show
Bernie Kopell on Shelley Winters guest-starring on The Love Boat
Bernie Kopell on Eva Marie Saint, Shirley Jones, and Ray Milland guest-starring on The Love Boat
Bernie Kopell on working with Juliet Prowse on The Love Boat
Bernie Kopell on being cast as "Doc Adam Bricker" on The Love Boat, and on his experience in the Navy
Bernie Kopell on working with Gavin MacLeod as "Captain Merrill Stubing" on The Love Boat
Bernie Kopell on working with Scatman Crothers on The Love Boat, in a script Kopell wrote with Fred Grandy
Bernie Kopell on working with Ted Lange as "Issac 'The Bartender' Washington" on The Love Boat
Bernie Kopell on the formula of The Love Boat, and on what his character, "Doc," was like as a doctor
Bernie Kopell on his character, "Doc's," prowess with the ladies on The Love Boat, and on Charo and Tom Hanks guest-starring on the show
Bernie Kopell on working with Love Boat producer Aaron Spelling
Bernie Kopell on The Love Boat theme song
Bernie Kopell on the popularity of The Love Boat, and on the end of the show

My Favorite Martian

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Bernie Kopell on doing accents, and on using them on My Favorite Martian, The Flying Nun, and The Doris Day Show

Steve Allen Show, The (1956-61)

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Bernie Kopell on appearing on The Steve Allen Show
Bernie Kopell on favorite sketches and characters of his from The Steve Allen Show

That Girl

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Bernie Kopell on playing "Jerry Bauman" on That Girl
Bernie Kopell on working with Marlo Thomas, who played "Ann Marie" on That Girl and was also a producer on the show
Bernie Kopell on favorite memories of shooting That Girl
Bernie Kopell on the end of That Girl, and on producer Danny Arnold
Bernie Kopell on the legacy of That Girl

When Things Were Rotten

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Bernie Kopell on appearing in When Things Were Rotten created by Mel Brooks and co-starring Dick Van Patten
Topics

Characters & Catchphrases

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Bernie Kopell on his character, "Doc's," prowess with the ladies on The Love Boat, and on Charo and Tom Hanks guest-starring on the show

Creative Influences and Inspiration

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Bernie Kopell on mentors in his career

Pivotal Career Moments

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Bernie Kopell on mentors in his career

Pop Culture

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Bernie Kopell on his character, "Doc's," prowess with the ladies on The Love Boat, and on Charo and Tom Hanks guest-starring on the show
Bernie Kopell on The Love Boat theme song

TV Theme Songs

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Bernie Kopell on The Love Boat theme song

Television Industry

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Bernie Kopell on how television has changed since he started
Professions

Actor

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Bernie Kopell on doing accents, and on using them on My Favorite Martian, The Flying Nun, and The Doris Day Show
Bernie Kopell on his acting process, his preparation for a given role, and on working with Neil Simon

Performers

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Bernie Kopell on doing accents, and on using them on My Favorite Martian, The Flying Nun, and The Doris Day Show
Bernie Kopell on his acting process, his preparation for a given role, and on working with Neil Simon
Genres

Comedy Series

View Genre
Bernie Kopell meeting Danny Thomas and Sheldon Leonard, and being cast on The Jack Benny Program
Bernie Kopell on doing accents, and on using them on My Favorite Martian, The Flying Nun, and The Doris Day Show
Bernie Kopell on being fired from The Danny Kaye Show, what he learned from it, and on encountering Kaye later in his career
Bernie Kopell on playing "Siegfried" on Get Smart
Bernie Kopell on appearing in The Lancelot Link Secret Chimp Hour
Bernie Kopell on playing "Jerry Bauman" on That Girl
Bernie Kopell on appearing on Bewitched, directed by William Asher and starring Elizabeth Montgomery
Bernie Kopell on playing "Doc" on The Love Boat
Bernie Kopell on guest-starring on Arrested Development

Cop/Detective/Mystery Series

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Bernie Kopell on guest-starring on Hawaii Five-O

Daytime/Primetime Serials

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Bernie Kopell on trying to make a living while trying to be an actor, and on appearing on the daytime drama The Brighter Day with his friend Harvey Korman

TV Movies/Miniseries/Dramatic Specials

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Bernie Kopell on appearing in the 1966 television production of Death of a Salesman with Lee J. Cobb and Mildred Dunnock

Talk Shows

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Bernie Kopell on appearing on The Steve Allen Show
People

Don Adams

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Bernie Kopell on "Siegfried's" relationship with "Maxwell Smart" played by Don Adams on Get Smart

Steve Allen

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Bernie Kopell on appearing on The Steve Allen Show

Danny Arnold

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Bernie Kopell on That Girl producer Danny Arnold

William Asher

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Bernie Kopell on appearing on Bewitched, directed by William Asher and starring Elizabeth Montgomery

Mel Brooks

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Bernie Kopell on appearing in When Things Were Rotten created by Mel Brooks and co-starring Dick Van Patten

Lee J. Cobb

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Bernie Kopell on appearing in the 1966 television production of Death of a Salesman with Lee J. Cobb and Mildred Dunnock

Scatman Crothers

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Bernie Kopell on working with Scatman Crothers on The Love Boat, in a script Kopell wrote with Fred Grandy

Fred Grandy

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Bernie Kopell on working with Scatman Crothers on The Love Boat, in a script Kopell wrote with Fred Grandy

Shirley Jones

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Bernie Kopell on Eva Marie Saint, Shirley Jones, and Ray Milland guest-starring on The Love Boat

Danny Kaye

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Bernie Kopell on being fired from The Danny Kaye Show, what he learned from it, and on encountering Kaye later in his career

Harvey Korman

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Bernie Kopell on trying to make a living pursuing an acting career, and on appearing on the daytime drama The Brighter Day with his friend Harvey Korman

Ted Lange

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Bernie Kopell on working with Ted Lange as "Issac 'The Bartender' Washington" on The Love Boat

Sheldon Leonard

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Bernie Kopell on meeting Danny Thomas and Sheldon Leonard, and being cast on The Jack Benny Program

Gavin MacLeod

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Bernie Kopell on working with Gavin MacLeod as "Captain Merrill Stubing" on The Love Boat

Ray Milland

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Bernie Kopell on Eva Marie Saint, Shirley Jones, and Ray Milland guest-starring on The Love Boat

Elizabeth Montgomery

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Bernie Kopell on appearing on Bewitched, directed by William Asher and starring Elizabeth Montgomery

Dick Van Patten

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Bernie Kopell on appearing in When Things Were Rotten created by Mel Brooks and co-starring Dick Van Patten

Don Rickles

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Bernie Kopell on his friend Don Rickles and his appearances on Get Smart

Eva Marie Saint

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Bernie Kopell on Eva Marie Saint, Shirley Jones, and Ray Milland guest-starring on The Love Boat

Frank Sinatra

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Bernie Kopell on his friendship with Frank Sinatra
Bernie Kopell on his friendship with Frank Sinatra

Aaron Spelling

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Bernie Kopell on working with Love Boat producer Aaron Spelling

Leonard Stern

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Bernie Kopell on Get Smart producer Leonard Stern

Lauren Tewes

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Bernie Kopell on the made-for-television movie versions of The Love Boat, which served as pilots, and on Lauren Tewes as "Julie McCoy" on the show

Marlo Thomas

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Bernie Kopell on working with Marlo Thomas, who played "Ann Marie" on That Girl and was also a producer on the show

Danny Thomas

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Bernie Kopell on meeting Danny Thomas and Sheldon Leonard, and being cast on The Jack Benny Program

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