Jeraldine Saunders, ‘Love Boat’ creator, dies at 96

Jeraldine Saunders’ book chronicled her time as the first female cruise director for a major cruise line.

Jeraldine Saunders, ‘Love Boat’ creator, dies at 96
Photo by: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP Jeraldine Saunders, left, co-creator of the television series "The Love Boat," gets a kiss from original cast member Gavin MacLeod at a Friends of Hollywood Walk of Fame honorary star plaque ceremony for the cast and Princess Cruises, Thursday, May 10, 2018, in Los Angeles.

Jeraldine Saunders, author of the 1974 book that inspired the hit ABC series "The Love Boat," died Monday at her home in Glendale, California, her spokesperson confirmed to multiple outlets. She was 96.

Variety and Deadline reported that Saunders died from complications following kidney stone surgery she underwent in December.

Her book, "The Love Boats," chronicled her time as the first female cruise director for a major cruise line, Princess Cruises.

In May, Saunders reunited with the original cast as they were recognized with an honorary Hollywood Walk of Fame plaque.

At the time of her death, she was negotiation plans for a Broadway production based on her book, according to Variety. She was also writing a follow-up book based on her experiences at ports of call while cruising.

“Jeraldine was so happy this year and was basking in the limelight of the celebrations of her 40th anniversary of her TV deal and the first episodes of Love Boat," spokesperson Edward Lozzi said “Jeraldine was an active woman who never lost her interest in dancing, younger men, and the written word.”

“The Love Boat” ran for almost 240 episodes.

Jeraldine Saunders attends the ceremony honoring Princess Cruises and the original cast of "The Love Boat" with a honorary star plaque at the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Thursday, May 10, 2018 in Los Angeles. Casey Rodgers/Invision/AP
Jeraldine Saunders attends the ceremony honoring Princess Cruises and the original cast of "The Love Boat" with a honorary star plaque at the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Thursday, May 10, 2018 in Los Angeles. Casey Rodgers/Invision/AP