Love Boat child star Jill Whelan said she is broke and has only $5,000 in assets. Whelan played little Vicki Stubing on the hit television show, which ran from 1978 through 1987. Jill also parlayed the persona into a cameo appearance in the 1980 blockbuster comedy movie Airplane!
Jill Whelan is maintaining that her lack of financial resources necessitates the need for her husband, Michael Chaykowsky, to help support her as they work out the terms of their divorce. Whelan’s husband reportedly earns about $126,000 annually. He lives in a mansion in New Jersey that encompasses 14 acres and boasts a grand total of 10 bedrooms.
— People and Stars (@PeopleStarsNewz) January 7, 2016
The 49-year-old Love Boat star moved away from Hollywood more than a decade ago to make a home with her husband and son on the East Coast. The couple’s child, Grant, is 10-years-old. Whelan launched her own jewelry line in 2002.
Fred Grandy, Ted Lange, Jill Whelan, Gavin Mcleod, Lauren Tewes & Bernie Kopell – The Love Boat then and now. pic.twitter.com/y719ij3o9O
— Killer Kitsch (@killer_kitsch) January 7, 2016
The Love Boat child star has found it difficult to garner acting work at her age, according to a Daily Mail report. She is starring in podcast, but the money generated from the endeavor is believed to be extremely low or nonexistent. Once her long stint on the popular television series ended, Jill Whelan earned geust star spots on The Young and the Restless and other sitcoms of the era. In 2003, Whelan appeared in A Christmas Tree Miracle, IMDb notes. She ultimately began appearing in NYC cabaret in a one-woman show entitled Jill Whelan: An Evening in Dry Dock at the Metropolitan Room. She once again made use of her sea legs during a 1998 Love Boat: The Next Wave reunion show.
In 2005, Jill Whelan was listed in the number 66 spot on the VH1 list of “100 Greats Kid Stars.” She got her start in show business after appearing in an M&M’s commercial. Whelan was back in the limelight in the fall of 2014 when she rejoined her Love Boat cast members for a reunion, which included many popular former guest stars, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The reunion event coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Princess Cruise ship line. The television series was filmed on a Princess cruise ship.
The Vicki Stubing actress was joined at the event by her on-screen father and Captain Merrill Stubing actor Gavin MacLeod; Fred Grandy, who played the head purser on the Love Boat, Gopher; Ted Lange, who played the affable bartender Isaac; Bernie Kopell, the ship’s doctor, Adam Bricker, known simply as Doc; and cruise director Julie, played by Lauren Tewes.
— Jill Whelan (@WhelanJill) December 25, 2015
The Airplane! cameo by Jill Whelan was short but often regarded as one of the funniest scenes in the movie. The young actress portrayed a gravely ill passenger who kept getting IV knocked out by a flight attendant playing a guitar to soothe her but was completely oblivious of the harm she caused.
According to Biography, Jill Whelan also became a young spokeswoman for Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” anti-drug campaign in the 1980s. Although she made good money playing Vicki Stubing on Love Boat, the paychecks had been placed in a trust for her to use once she had reached adulthood. Several failed business ventures by her first husband reportedly wiped out a lot of the money she had earned acting on the hit series. To help make ends meet between acting jobs, Whelan has reportedly worked as an investigative journalist, an events producer, and an associate producer.
Jill Whelan is not the only former Love Boat actor who has faced financial issues. Tori Spelling was a guest star on the television show multiple times; her father Aaron Spelling was the series’ creator. Spelling’s money problems have been addressed in a reality series she stars in, Tori & Dean: Inn Love, and another reality show, True Tori.
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[Photo by Casey Rodgers/Invision for Princess Cruises/AP Images]