Gavin MacLeod

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Gavin MacLeod
Born Allan George See
(1931-02-28) February 28, 1931 (age 83)
Mount Kisco, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actor, Christian activist
Years active 1955–present
Religion Christianity
Spouse(s)
  • Joan Rootvik (m. 1954–72)
  • Patti Kendig (m. 1972–82)
  • Patti Kendig (m. 1985)
Children 4
Website
www.gavinmacleod.com

Gavin MacLeod (born February 28, 1931) is an American character actor notable for playing Joseph "Happy" Haines on McHale's Navy, Murray Slaughter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and for his lead role as Captain Merrill Stubing on The Love Boat.

Early life[edit]

MacLeod was born as Allan George See in Mount Kisco, New York, the older of two children. His mother, Margaret (née Shea) See (1906–2004), a middle school dropout, worked for Reader's Digest.[1] His father, George See (1906–1945), an electrician, was part Chippewa (Ojibwa).[2] He grew up in Pleasantville and studied acting at Ithaca College, graduating in 1952. After serving in the Air Force, he moved to New York City and worked at Radio City Music Hall while looking for acting work. At about this time he changed his name, drawing "Gavin" from a physically disabled victim in a TV drama, and "MacLeod" from his Ithaca drama coach, Beatrice MacLeod.

Career[edit]

MacLeod made his television debut in 1957 on The Walter Winchell File at the age of 26. His first movie appearance was a small, uncredited role in The True Story of Lynn Stuart in 1958. Soon thereafter, he landed a credited role in I Want to Live!, a 1958 prison drama starring Susan Hayward. He was soon noticed by Blake Edwards, who in 1958 cast him as a nervous harried navy yeoman in Operation Petticoat with Cary Grant and Tony Curtis. Operation Petticoat proved to be a breakout role for MacLeod, and he was soon cast in two other Edwards comedies, High Time, with Bing Crosby and The Party with Peter Sellers.

Between 1957 and 1961, MacLeod made several television appearances on various shows. In December 1961, he landed a guest role on The Dick Van Dyke Show as Mel's cousin Maxwell Cooley, a wholesale jeweler. This was his first time working with Mary Tyler Moore. MacLeod had three guest appearances on Perry Mason: in 1961 he played Lawrence Comminger in "The Case of the Grumbling Grandfather", and in 1965 he played Mortimer Hershey in "The Case of the Grinning Gorilla", and Dan Platte in "The Case of the Runaway Racer". MacLeod also appeared as the villain on TV shows, including Edwards' private-eye series, Peter Gunn. He played the role of a drug pusher, "Big Chicken", in two episodes of the first season of Hawaii Five-O.

His first regular TV role came in 1962 as Joseph "Happy" Haines on McHale's Navy; leaving after two seasons to appear in the motion picture, The Sand Pebbles with Steve McQueen.[3]

as Murray Slaughter in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, 1970

MacLeod's break-out role as Murray Slaughter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show won him lasting fame, and two Golden Globe nominations. His starring role as Captain Stubing on The Love Boat, his next TV series, brought laughter to 90 countries worldwide, between 1977 and 1986 (9 seasons). His work on that show earned him three Golden Globe nominations. Co-starring with him was familiar actor and best friend Bernie Kopell as Dr. Adam Brinker.

MacLeod became the spokesperson for Princess Cruises in 1986. He has been a representative especially when new ships were launched.

In 1997, MacLeod joined the Love Boat cast on The Oprah Winfrey Show. It was the first full cast appearance since the show canceled nearly ten years prior in 1986.

After The Love Boat, MacLeod traveled with Michael Learned of The Waltons in Love Letters. He made several appearances in musicals such as Gigi and Copacabana between 1997 and 2003.

In December 2008, he conducted the Colorado Symphony in Denver, Colorado.

The MacLeods have been hosts on the Trinity Broadcasting Network for 17 years, primarily hosting a show about marriage called Back on Course.[4] MacLeod appeared in Rich Christiano's Time Changer, a movie about time travel and how the morals of society have moved away from the Bible. He also plays the lead role in Christiano's 2009 film The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry.

Recent activity[edit]

In April 2010, the entire cast of The Love Boat attended the TV Land Awards with the exception of himself, because he had a back operation after he hurt a couple of discs. Co-star Ted Lange called him and received word his beloved TV friend was doing well.[5] In December, MacLeod appeared as a guest narrator with the Florida Orchestra and Master Chorale of Tampa Bay for three concerts.

MacLeod served as the honorary Mayor of Pacific Palisades for five years, before Ray Leonard succeeded him in 2011.[6]

On February 28, 2011, MacLeod celebrated his 80th birthday aboard The Golden Princess on Princess Cruises in Los Angeles, California. His friends and family, wished him a Happy Birthday, and presented him with a 5 ft. long, 3D replica in cake of the original "Love Boat", representing The Pacific Princess.[7]

Gavin appeared on the special for Betty White's 90th birthday on January 16, 2012. He reunited with White to film "Safety Old School Style," an in-flight safety video for Air New Zealand in 2013.[8] By January 2013, the video had already received over 2 million views on YouTube.

In October 2013, MacLeod appeared on the Today Show to kick off his promotional tour for his new book This Is Your Captain Speaking: My Fantastic Voyage Through Hollywood, Faith & Life. This appearance included a special set change to honor MacLeods appearance on the show. In addition to television appearances, his book tour continued in New York, Los Angeles, and Central Florida. Loretta Swit and Ted Lange were both present at Gavin’s first Barnes & Noble book signing in New York City. This signing was the largest such event held at that particular location in three years. He will continue his book tour throughout 2014.

On November 5, 2013, MacLeod joined his Love Boat cast mates live on the CBS daytime show The Talk. A full one hour episode was dedicated to the cast reunion. The Talk co-hosts dressed in costumes to commemorate their special guests' arrivals. Spanish-American actress Charo also appeared on the reunion show. Charo guest starred in eight episodes of The Love Boat. Jack Jones performed the Love Boat theme song, which he introduced in 1977.

In December 2013, MacLeod appeared on The 700 Club to discuss his life and career.

On February 1, 2014, MacLeod was honored with a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars in downtown Palm Springs, California.

Next to Bernie Kopell, who played the doctor on The Love Boat series, another one of his co-stars, his lifelong fan and one of his acting students, Ted Lange, who played the bartender in the same series, still remains close friends, who in turn invites MacLeod to one of the plays, he directs, when not making his own appearances. He said in a 2014 interview with CBS New York.com, about his long-running friendship with MacLeod, whom he runs into, "Gavin lives in Palm Springs, I'm in LA. So, when I do my plays, he comes down and sees my plays or I'll go see what he's doing!"[9]

Writing[edit]

In 1987, following MacLeod's conversion and remarriage, he and his wife, Patti, wrote about struggles with divorce and alcoholism in Back On Course: The Remarkable Story of a Divorce That Ended in Remarriage.

In 2013, MacLeod released his memoir,[10] "This Is Your Captain Speaking: My Fantastic Voyage Through Hollywood, Faith & Life". The book recalls his upbringing in upstate New York during The Great Depression, as well as his life after over 50 years in Hollywood. He said, "...all my living has been based on what other people have written...I hope it can help others, how I overcame and never gave up. There are so many lessons in life."[11] In the book, MacLeod recounts his stories as a young actor trying to make a name for himself in Hollywood, the lifelong friends he has made, his bout with alcoholism and divorce and his journey through faith and Christianity.

The book has received great reviews amongst the general public as well as from some of Gavin’s longtime Hollywood friends. Kathie Lee Gifford of the Today Show said, "Gavin epitomizes the old-fashioned concept of a gentleman. He is a loving, generous, and authentic seeker of God’s truth. His life story speaks for itself." Television icon, Florence Henderson said, "You will love this book. It's filled with fun, faith, and hope. Just like my friend Gavin MacLeod!" Governor Mike Huckabee said, "Like everyone else in America, I knew he was a great actor and always seemed like the kind of man you'd love to live next door to and have as a friend. after reading his compelling and candid story, I understand why I felt this way."

Personal life[edit]

MacLeod married his current wife Patti in 1974. Both were previously divorced. The couple divorced in the 1980s, but were remarried in 1985. During the mid-1980s, MacLeod and Patti became Evangelical Christians and credit their religion for bringing them back together.[12]

During his time as the Captain on The Love Boat, MacLeod "very selfishly" (his words) divorced his wife Patti. She then spent the next three years seeking help from psychiatrists on both the west and the east coasts. Then one day, his wife received a telephone call from Patti Lewis, first wife of Jerry Lewis, inviting her to a Christian prayer group which contained a number of famous actresses – they started to pray for Gavin. Gavin said, "From that day, I started to think about her. Something told me to call Patti. I called Patti. I went back to see her the following Monday and things haven't been the same since." MacLeod asked her what had happened. She then explained everything to him including that she had given her life to Christ.[13]

On Sunday, September 20, 2009, MacLeod spoke at The Rock Church, in Anaheim, California. He discussed his conversion to Christianity.

In 2011, he celebrated his 80th birthday on board The Golden Princess.

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1958 I Want to Live! The Lieutenant Acting debut
1959 Compulsion Padua - Horn's Assistant
1959 Pork Chop Hill Private Saxon
1959 Operation Petticoat Seaman Ernest Hunkle, USN
1959 The Gene Krupa Story Ted Krupa (uncredited)
1960 Twelve Hours to Kill Johnny
1960 High Time Professor Thayer
1961 The Crimebusters Harry Deiner
1962 War Hunt Pvt. Crotty
1964 McHale's Navy Seaman Joseph Haines
1965 The Sword of Ali Baba Hulagu Khan
1965 McHale's Navy Joins the Air Force Seaman Joseph Haines
1966 Deathwatch Emil
1966 Baby Makes Three Dr. Charles Norwood
1966 The Sand Pebbles Crosley
1967 The Rat Patrol
1968 A Man Called Gannon Lou
1968 The Party C.S. Divot
1969 The Thousand Plane Raid Sgt. Kruger
1969 The Comic 1st Director
1969 The Intruders Warden
1970 Kelly's Heroes Moriarty, Oddball's bow machine-gunner and mechanic
2002 Time Changer Dr. Norris Anderson
2009 The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry Jonathan Sperry

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1958 U.S. Marshal Buck Episode: "The Arraignment"
1958/60 Peter Gunn Mitch Borden / George Fallon 2 episodes
1959/60 Mr. Lucky Salesman / Bugsy McKenna 2 episodes
1959/61/62 The Untouchables Three-Fingered Jack White / William 'Porker' Davis / Whitey Metz 3 episodes
1961 Dr. Kildare Lorenzo Lawson Episode: "Winter Harvest"
1961 Straightaway Episode: "The Heist"
1961 The Dick Van Dyke Show Maxwell Cooley Episode: "Empress Carlotta's Necklace"
1961 The Investigators Frankie Giff Episode: "Style of Living"
1961/65 Perry Mason Dan Platte / Mortimer Hershey / Lawrence Comminger 3 episodes
1962–64 McHale's Navy Seaman Joseph "Happy" Hanes 73 episodes
1965 Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. Fred Fay Episode: "Dance, Marine, Dance"
1965 The Andy Griffith Show Bryan Bender / Gilbert Jamel 2 episodes
1965 The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Cleveland Episode: "The Hong Kong Shilling Affair"
1965/66 My Favorite Martian Alvin Wannamaker 2 episodes
1966/68/69 Hogan's Heroes Gen. von Rauscher / Maj. Kiegel / Gen. Metzger / Maj. Zolle 4 episodes
1967 Combat! British Cpl. Tommy Behan Episode: "The Masquers"
1967 The Road West Nick Marteen Episode: "The Eighty-Seven Dollar Bride"
1967/68/69 The Big Valley Clute / O'Leary / Mace 3 episodes
1968/69/70 It Takes a Thief Gen. Contell / Seymour / Maj. Kazan 3 episodes
1969 The Flying Nun Harold Harmon Episode: "A Star Is Reborn"
1970–77 The Mary Tyler Moore Show Murray Slaughter 168 episodes
1974 Only with Married Men Jordan Robbins Movie
1977 Ransom for Alice! Yankee Sullivan Movie
1977–87 The Love Boat Captain Merrill Stubing 250 episodes
1980 Murder Can Hurt You Nojack Movie
1980 Scruples Curt Arvey Miniseries
2000 Oz Cardinal Frances Abgott Episode: "Works of Mercy"
2001/02 The King of Queens Uncle Stu 2 episodes
2006 That '70s Show Smitty 2 episodes
2009 The Suite Life on Deck Mr. Barker 2 episodes
2011 Pound Puppies Captain Gumble (voice) Episode: "Bone Voyage"

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Steve Guttenberg
Honorary mayor of Pacific Palisades, California
2006-2011
Succeeded by
Sugar Ray Leonard