Who is Bernie Kopell?

An actor with nearly 150 acting credits to his name, Bernard Morton ‘Bernie’ Kopell is still perhaps known best for his portrayal of Doctor Adam Bricker in the comedy series “The Love Boat”. Bernie was born on 21 June 1933, which makes him 89 years old, but his age hasn’t stopped him from continuing his acting career.

If you are one of those who would like to know more about this prominent character actor, let us tell you the naked truth about his life and work.

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Early life, family, and education

Bernie was raised in Brooklyn, New York City USA, by his parents, Al Bernard and Pauline, both of Jewish descent. He attended Erasmus Hall High School, and upon matriculating in 1951, he enrolled at New York University. There he met James Drury, who later became famous for his role in “The Virginian”, and after Bernie graduated from college with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts (Drama) in 1955, Drury promised that he would find him an agent in Los Angeles,.

However, before launching his acting career, Bernie fulfilled his military service, serving as a librarian in Norfolk, Virginia, and then during 1956 and 1957, he was stationed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Acting career-beginning

Bernie moved to Los Angeles, but before he made his acting debut, he worked as a taxi driver and was selling vacuum cleaners to provide for himself. He made his first television appearance in 1961, portraying the small role of a Roulette Game Operator in an episode of the series “Whispering Smith”.

Two years later, he was seen as Finnerty in “Our Man Higgins”, and in the same year, he made his big-screen debut in “The Man from the Diner’s Club”, but his role was uncredited.

The year 1963 seemed to be a good year for him, since he was cast to play numerous roles, however, the truth is that he made uncredited appearances in the movies “The Thrill of It All” and “The Wheeler Dealers”, and when it comes to his television roles, he was seen in an episode of series such as “The Alfred Hitchcock Hour” and “McHale’s Navy”, among others.

In the following year, Bernie had another uncredited role in the movie “Good Neighbor Sam”, and then finally got the lead role in the 1965 TV movie “Sally and Sam”, followed in the same year with his role as an Assistant to the Guru Brahmin (Lionel Stander) in “The Loved One”.

Bernie made appearances in numerous series (mostly an episode or two), including “Ben Casey”, “The Beverly Hillbillies”, “My Favorite Martian”, and “The Farmer’s Daughter”, among others.

Breakthrough role

The series “Get Smart” aired from 1965 until 1970, and followed the story of Maxwell Smart, an intelligent but lively spy who worked for the CONTROL agency, and Bernie was cast to play Siegfried, one of the main antagonists, making recurring appearances in 14 episodes from 1966 until 1969. The stars of the series were Don Adams, Edward Platt, and Barbara Feldon, and this action comedy had over 20 award nominations and won 11, including seven Primetime Emmys.

Before “The Love Boat”

From 1969 until 1972, Bernie had another recurring role in “Bewitched”, and concurrently he voiced the character of Baron von Butcher in the series “Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp” in 1970.

He was also seen in “Love, American Style” (1970-1971), and from 1970 until 1973, Bernie was seen in “The Doris Day Show” portraying various characters.

During 1973 and 1974, he portrayed Charlie Miller in “Needles and Pins”, followed by his role as Alan-A-Dale in “When Things Were Rotten” in 1975.

Hey, Bernie Kopell, what was it like to be on "The Love Boat"?"It was heaven. It was absolutely heaven, and they pay…

Posted by Cinema Shorthand Society on Sunday, June 21, 2020

Two years later, he was cast to play his most notable role, as Doctor Adam Bricker in “The Love Boat”, also starring Ted Lange and Gavin MacLeod. The series followed the story of comic and romantic tales of the crew and passengers of the ‘Pacific Princess’, a delightful cruise ship.

This romantic comedy-drama had 21 award nominations, including five for Primetime Emmy. Bernie starred in 250 episodes, but didn’t score any nominations for his performance, although fans of the series adored his funny character.

Notable movie roles

Concurrently, Bernie reprised his role as Dr. Adam Bricker in the TV movie “The Love Boat II”, and then in the 1989 TV movie “Get Smart, Again!”, Bernie reprised his role as Siegfried.

In the following year, he was seen as Doc in “The Love Boat: A Valentine Voyage”, followed by his roles in “Land of the Free” (1998), “The Stoneman” (2002), and “A Light in the Forest” (2003).

In the 2008 movie “Get Smart”, Bernie was seen as Opel Driver, while the role of Siegfried was played by Terence Stamp.

Where is he now?

Bernie has never stopped acting, and since the list of his roles numbers over 30 films and over 120 TV appearances, we mention just some of his most significant appearances – his role as Mr. Knudsen in the series “B Positive” (2020-2021), while he also made an appearance as Father  Christopher in an episode of the series “Grey’s Anatomy” in 2021.

In April 2022, the romantic comedy “Our Almost Completely True Story” saw Bernie as one of the lead roles opposite Jerry Sroka and Mariette Hartley, who co-wrote the scenario, while the movie was directed by Don Scardino.

Bernie’s most recent role was his portrayal of Marvin Beedleman in the series “The Lincoln Lawyer”, in the episode entitled “He Rides Again” – symbolic, don’t you think?

Love life and relationships

we could say that Bernie’s had an interesting love life; he was married twice before he met his now-wife. Bernie’s first wife was actress, Celia Whitney, but for just a year in 1962 until 1963.

His second wife was Yolanda Veloz, also an actress – they married on 2 November 1974, and divorced on 19 January 1995.

On 29 April 1997, Bernie married his third wife, Catrina Honadle, and the two have two children together. Their first son, Adam, was born in 1998, and was named after Bernie’s character in “The Love Boat”, while their second son, Josh, was born in 2003.

As of September 2022, Bernie and Catrina are still in marriage.

Net worth

As mentioned, Bernie has had numerous roles, and you would think that during his more than 60 years-long career, he has earned an enormous amount of money. However, the truth is that his net worth has been estimated at just over $3 million.

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