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Shore Leave : After Years Aboard 'The Love Boat,' Bernie Kopell Retreats to the Desert, and Tennis

June 29, 1986|VIRGINIA GRAY | Virginia Gray is an associate editor of Los Angeles Times Magazine.

Given their choice, actor Bernie Kopell, who for 9 years has starred in ABC-TV's "The Love Boat," and his wife, Yolanda, a San Fernando Valley real estate executive, are never far from a tennis court. Whether at home in Los Angeles or at their condominium at the Desert Princess Country Club and Resort in Palm Springs (where the first annual Bernie Kopell Celebrity Tennis Classic was held last Thanksgiving), the couple are serious about the game.

Their two-bedroom desert retreat is an oasis of cool sherbet colors, as unpretentious as its inhabitants. The bedrooms are connected by a living room that opens onto a patio and golf course at one end and a kitchen at the other.

Both here and in their Los Angeles kitchen, the Kopells often try their hands at healthful cooking. "I eat no red meat," Bernie says. "When I'm the chef, we eat a lot of beans, rice, pasta and salads." Yolanda admits that she's "happy to relinquish kitchen duties to Bernie. He's a very creative cook who enjoys being in the kitchen."

The condominium was designed to provide a restful contrast to their more traditional and somewhat more formal Los Angeles home. Filled with prized antiques, including an ornate belle epoque piano from the Normandie, parts of the rambling L.A. house are 40 years old. And, of course, the Kopells have installed a tournament-quality tennis court on the large, shaded lot.

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