Gavin MacLeod

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Gavin MacLeod
Gavin Macleod.jpg
MacLeod, 2006
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 (1954-72) (divorced) - 4 children
Patti Kendig (1972-82) (divorced)
Patti Kendig (1985-present)
Website
Gavinmacleod.com

Gavin MacLeod (born Allan George See, February 28, 1931) is an American character actor who in his six decades of television is 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.

Life and career[edit]

Early years[edit]

MacLeod was born as Allan George See in Mount Kisco, New York in 1931, the older of two children, born to Margaret (née Shea) See (1906–2004), a middle school dropout, who 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]

as Murray Slaughter in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, 1970.

MacLeod's 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.

MacLeod also appeared as the villain on TV shows of the late 1950s and early 1960s, including Edwards's 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] 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's break out role as Murray Slaughter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show won him lasting fame, and two Golden Globe nominations. His star role as Captain Stubing on The Love Boat was his next TV series, which brought laughter to 90 countries worldwide, between 1977 and 1986. His work on that show earned him three Golden Globe nominations. Co-starring are familiar actor and best friend Bernie Kopell as Dr. Adam Brinker, as well as unfamiliar actors Ted Lange, Fred Grandy, Lauren Tewes, and Jill Whelan, who joined the cast for the show's third season. The entire cast got along real great, esp. Tewes, despite suffering from drugs, which led to her firing by the end of the seventh season.

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.[4]

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.[5]

The MacLeods have been hosts on the Trinity Broadcasting Network for 17 years, primarily hosting a show about marriage called Back on Course.[6] 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.

Appearances[edit]

Since the late '80s and the wrap of The Love Boat, Gavin MacLeod has made several solo and entourage promotional appearances.

MacLeod became the spokesperson for Princess Cruises in 1986. In 2011, he celebrated his 80th birthday on board The Golden Princess.

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.

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

On Sunday, September 20, 2009, MacLeod spoke at The Rock Church, in Anaheim, California. He discussed his conversion to Christianity, as well as his role in The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry.

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.[7]

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 3 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 hosts dressed in costumes to commemorate their special guests’ arrivals. Spanish-American actress and flamenco guitarist, Charo also appeared on the reunion special. Charo guest starred on 8 episodes of The Love Boat between 1977-1984. Grammy-award winner Jack Jones performed the famous 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!"[8]

Current work[edit]

MacLeod served as the honorary Mayor of Pacific Palisades for 5 years, before Ray Leonard succeeded him in 2011.[9] He has been a representative for Princess Cruises for 23 years and is a spokesperson for them, especially when new ships are launched. In December 2008, he conducted the Colorado Symphony in Denver, Colorado.

In December 2010, MacLeod appeared as a guest narrator with the Florida Orchestra and Master Chorale of Tampa Bay for three concerts.

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.[10]

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.[11] By January 2013, the video had already received over 2 million views on YouTube.

With the help of a New York writer, Mark Dagostino, he penned his autobiography, This Is Your Captain Speaking: My Fantastic Voyage Through Hollywood, Faith & Life, which went on sale in October 2013.[5]

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,[12] "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."[13] 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.”

Filmography[edit]

Film
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
1974 Only with Married Men Jordan Robbins Made for TV Movie
1977 Ransom for Alice! Yankee Sullivan Made for TV Movie
1980 Murder Can Hurt You Nojack Made for TV Movie
2002 Time Changer Dr. Norris Anderson
2009 The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry Jonathan Sperry

Television[edit]

Gavin MacLeod made his television debut in 1957 on The Walter Winchell File at the age of 26. Between 1957 and 1961, he made several television appearances on various shows. In December 1961, MacLeod 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.

In 1962, MacLeod made his debut as a series regular on McHale's Navy as Joseph Haines and appeared more than 70 times between 1962 and 1964. The Mary Tyler Moore Show debuted on CBS on September 19, 1970. Gavin MacLeod starred as Murray Slaughter alongside Mary Tyler Moore, Edward Asner, Ted Knight and Valerie Harper. MacLeod appeared on all 168 episodes of the series. He received two Golden Globe nominations for his role in this series.

In 1977, The Love Boat premiered on the ABC Television Network’s popular Saturday night lineup. Gavin MacLeod starred as Capt. Merrill Stubing. To date, this has been MacLeod’s most popular leading television role. The Love Boat ran for nine seasons from 1977 to 1986. During its run, MacLeod worked with numerous guest stars including Florence Henderson, Michael J. Fox, Hulk Hogan, Tom Hanks, The Temptations, Andy Warhol, and Gloria Vanderbilt. This role earned Gavin MacLeod three Golden Globe nominations.

The Love Boat and The Mary Tyler Moore Show made MacLeod a member of ABC’s Saturday night primetime for 16 years straight.

See below some of Gavin MacLeod’s television appearances throughout his career:

Footnotes[edit]

External links[edit]

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