Gavin MacLeod, ‘Love Boat’ Captain, Dies At 90 : NPR

Actor Gavin MacLeod, pictured in 2018, has died at the age of 90. He was best known for his roles in The Love Boat and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Chris Pizzello / Invision / AP Hide caption

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Chris Pizzello / Invision / AP

Actor Gavin MacLeod, pictured in 2018, has died at the age of 90. He was best known for his roles in The Love Boat and The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Chris Pizzello / Invision / AP

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Gavin MacLeod, the veteran supporting actor who rose to fame as Murray Slaughter, the sardonic television news writer on the Mary Tyler Moore Show, before becoming the cheerful Capt. Stubing on The Love Boat became even more popular. died. He was 90 years old.

MacLeod died early Saturday, said his nephew Mark See diversity. MacLeod’s health had been poor recently, but no cause of death was given, the journal reported.

Known to sitcom fans for his bald head and big smile, MacLeod worked nearly anonymously for more than a decade, appearing in dozens of television shows and in several films before taking on his role as Mary Tyler Moore in 1970.

He had originally tested for Moore’s TV boss Lou Grant, a part that went to Ed Asner. When MacLeod realized he wasn’t right to play the boisterous, quick-tempered TV news editor, he asked if he could try the clever TV news writer instead. His jokes were often at the expense of the idiot presenter Ted Baxter.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show was a blast from the start and remains a sitcom classic. There were two spin-offs, Rhoda and Phyllis, with Valerie Harper and Cloris Leachman, who had portrayed Mary’s neighbors.

It was still top rated when Moore, who played news producer Mary Richards, decided to end it after seven seasons.

MacLeod switched to The Love Boat, a romantic comedy in which guest stars from Gene Kelly to Janet Jackson came on board for a cruise and fell in love.

The cast of The Love Boat was pictured on the Great Wall of China near Beijing, China in 1983. Gavin MacLeod, center, died Saturday aged 90. Liu Heung Shing / AP hide caption

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Liu Heung Shing / AP

The cast of The Love Boat was pictured on the Great Wall of China near Beijing, China in 1983. Gavin MacLeod, center, died Saturday aged 90.

Liu Heung Shing / AP

Though despised by critics, the series proved hugely popular, lasting eleven seasons and making several television films, including two in which MacLeod remained at the helm of the cruise ship. It also resulted in his being hired as a TV pitchman for Princess Cruise Lines.

“The critics hated it. They called it pointless television, but we became ambassadors of goodwill,” he told the Los Angeles Times in 2013.

His recent TV credits included Touched by An Angel, JAG and The King of Queens.

MacLeod’s carefree screen personality contrasted with his personal life. In his 2013 memoir This Is Your Captain Speaking, MacLeod admitted that he struggled with alcoholism in the 1960s and 1970s. He also wrote that the loss of his hair at a young age made it difficult for him to find work as an actor.

“I was all over town looking for an agent, but no one was interested in representing a bald young man,” he wrote. “I knew what to do. I had to buy a hairpiece.” A toupee changed his luck “pretty quickly”. Until middle age he no longer needed the toupee.

MacLeod, whose first name was Allan See, got his first name from a French film and his last from an acting teacher at New York’s Ithaca College who had encouraged him to pursue an acting career.

After college, the Mount Kisco, New York-born gamer became a minor player in A Hatful of Rain and other Broadway plays, as well as in films such as I Want to Live! and Operation Petticoat.

In the 1960s, he appeared on television shows including Hogan’s Heroes, Hawaii Five-O, and The Dick Van Dyke Show. From 1962 to 1964 he also appeared with McHale’s Navy as seaman Joseph “Happy” Haines.

A major role he auditioned for: Archie Bunker in All in the Family. But he quickly realized that the character that Carol O’Conner immortalized was wrong for him. “Immediately I thought, ‘This is not the script for me. The character is too much of a fanatic.’ I cannot say these things, “wrote MacLeod in his memoir.

Other film credits included Kelly’s Heroes, The Sand Pebbles, and The Sword of Ali Baba.

MacLeod had four children with his first wife, Joan Rootvik, whom he divorced in 1972. He was the son of an alcoholic and his drinking problems led to a second divorce, Patti Steele. After MacLeod stopped drinking, he and Steele remarried in 1985.

The couple later hosted a Christian radio show called Back on Course: A Ministry of Marriages.

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