Birth Date: January 1, 1948 / Age: 69
Biography: Fred Grandy (born June 29, 1948) was an actor on the U.S. television series, The Love Boat, before his election in 1986 to the United States House of Representatives from the state of Iowa.
Grandy received his bachelor's degree in English from Harvard University in 1970, and is fluent in both French and Arabic. He played the dimwitted Burl "Gopher" Smith for nine years on The Love Boat, but his political interests preceded his acting career. Prior to college, he was the roommate of David Eisenhower (grandson of President Eisenhower) at Phillips Exeter Academy and later was best man at Eisenhower's wedding to Julie Nixon. He also served as a speechwriter for Congressman Wiley Mayne (R-Iowa).
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 the House Ways and Means, Agriculture, Standards of Official Conduct, and Education and the Workforce. While a member of Congress, Fred won eight "Watchdog of the Treasury" awards. In 1994, he entered the race for Governor of Iowa against incumbent Terry Branstad; he lost the election by 4%. 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 light current-events chat show on 630 WMAL-AM in Washington, D.C. His co-host is radio veteran Andy Parks. He has also stated that he is a vegan.