Ray Jessel, ‘Love Boat’ Writer, Dies at 85

Ray Jessel Dead
Ryan Miller/Getty

Ray Jessel, who had TV writing credits for many decades on such shows as “The Love Boat” and “Head of Class,” died July 17 of natural causes at his home in Studio City, Calif. He was 85.

He was also a writer and eHe was a writing partner with his wife Cynthia Thompson on several episodes of that show as well as “Love Boat.”

Jessel also wrote for “The Carol Burnett Show,” “The Jacksons” and “The Bob Newhart Show.” He also was a contestant on “America’s Got Talent” in 2014.

He is survived by his widow.

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  1. Guilherme Chagas says:

    Oh Dear Lord I was searching for his songs after listen “She’s got that” wich he performed at America’s got talent. Aw I really feel sorry for the lost. That song makes me laught everytime I listen to it. Rest In Peace Old Ray. I will never miss you.

  2. Selvin Gootar says:

    A wonderful songwriter and witty man. His CD, “Ray Jessel: The First 70 Years,” is a delight. “Whatever Happened to Melody,” written with Cynthia Thompson,” is a beautiful and touching song. “A Married Man,” written with Marian Grudeff for the Broadway play “Baker Street,” is also very good. It was originally recorded by Richard Burton.

  3. God bless you Ray,,,,thank you for the laughs….hope you are making them laugh in the great beyound!!!

  4. MIKE F says:

    He was on americas got talent google it he was hilarious and very entertaining

  5. Will says:

    He was the mostra young old man I e ver saw.

  6. Wesley dubois says:

    After agt in 2014, I we
    As trying to find him. Rip

  7. Danny McKnight says:

    What a fun and witty man Mr. Jessel was! I have played every youtube video I can find and tell my musician friends to look him up. He always made me laugh with his great sense of humor and seemed
    to be at home performing his wonderful music.
    God bless his family

  8. Ann Eds says:

    Oh Man! It sucks. I’ve just this last 20 minutes discovered him, only to learn he’s already gone. God Bless him and Welcome him Home. RIP.

  9. Greg Smith says:

    Ray Jessel was fresh even at 85. This guy will be missed. Guaranteed.

  10. O.T. New says:

    Funny, Kindly, Talented Genius. Knew him well!

    Our loss; Heaven’s gain!


  11. Dave says:

    Ray, sorry to see you go. I only know of you from your appearance on America’s Got Talent and you were great! I now see that you’ve been very successful in life working for Hollywood and such. Thanks for the years of hard work you’ve done to bring joy to our lives, I will remember your very funny song for the rest of my life and every time I see it on YouTube I laugh. Great job, Ray!!

  12. Bill Berry says:

    Variety forgot to mention: As a composer and songwriter Ray Jessel wrote for Broadway (Baker Street), had numerous stand out songs cut by Louis Armstrong, Michael Feinstein, and many others. At 70 years old he reinvented himself as a cabaret performer with SRO audiences in New York and LA, released two albums and became a household name after a performance last year (at 84) on America’s Got Talent, with his own “What She’s Got (The Penis Song)”. Look him up on YouTube. He was great. GREAT. One of the best songwriters in the Los Angeles scene. He will be missed by many.

    • Paul Seawind says:

      I saw that episode of AGT – it was really funny and very entertaining. I am so glad he got that huge standing ovation and delighted so many people, before he (sadly) passed away. Nothing lasts forever and Ray Jessel had a very good innings to last until 85.

  13. Paully says:

    LBoat was a genius TV show.. On at 10PM on a Saturday night lonely people watched this show for a virtual date..

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