Gavin MacLeod

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Gavin MacLeod
Gavin MacLeod Mary Tyler Moore Show 1970.jpg
MacLeod in a publicity photo for The Mary Tyler Moore Show (July 1970)
Allan George See

(1931-02-28) February 28, 1931 (age 90)
Alma materIthaca College (BFA)
OccupationActor, Christian activist, author
Years active1955–2017
Known forMurray Slaughter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show
Captain Merrill Stubing on The Love Boat
Joan Rootvik
(m. 1954; div. 1972)

Patti Kendig
(m. 1974; div. 1982)

(m. after 1985)
Military service
Allegiance United States
BranchUnited States Air Force
RankE-2 insignia Airman

Gavin MacLeod (born Allan George See; February 28, 1931) is an American actor and Christian activist and author whose career spans six decades. He has also appeared as a guest on several talk, variety, and religious programs.

MacLeod's career began in films in 1957. In 1965, he played opposite Peter Mann in The Sword of Ali Baba. He went on to play opposite Anthony Franciosa in A Man Called Gannon (1968), opposite Christopher George in The Thousand Plane Raid, and opposite Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, and Carroll O'Connor in Kelly's Heroes (1970).

MacLeod achieved continuing television success co-starring opposite Ernest Borgnine on McHale's Navy (1962–1964) as Joseph "Happy" Haines, and on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970–1977) as Murray Slaughter. He is also starred on ABC's The Love Boat (1977–1986), in which he was cast as ship's Captain Merrill Stubing.

Early life[edit]

MacLeod was born in Mount Kisco, New York, the elder of two children. His mother, Margaret (née Shea) See (1906–2004), a middle school dropout, worked for Reader's Digest.[citation needed] His father, George See (1906–1945), an electrician, was part Chippewa (Ojibwa).[1] He grew up in Pleasantville, New York, and studied acting at Ithaca College, from which he graduated in 1952 with a bachelor's degree in fine arts.

After serving in the United States Air Force,[2] 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 television drama, and "MacLeod" from his Ithaca drama coach, Beatrice MacLeod.[3] MacLeod said in a 2013 interview with Parade about his stage name, he "felt as if my name was getting in the way of my success." Allan, he wrote, "just wasn’t strong enough," and See was "too confusing."[4]


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 in the pilot episode of his NBC series Peter Gunn, two guest roles on the Edwards CBS series Mr. Lucky in 1959, and 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. He was cast as the devious Dandy Martin in the 1960 episode, "Yankee Confederate", of the syndicated anthology series, Death Valley Days, hosted by Stanley Andrews and starring alongside Tod Andrews and Elaine Devry.[5]

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". He played the role of a drug pusher, "Big Chicken", in two episodes of the first season of Hawaii Five-O. Other guest roles include The Untouchables, Dr. Kildare, Rawhide, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., The Man from U.N.C.L.E., My Favorite Martian, Hogan's Heroes, Combat!, The Big Valley, The Andy Griffith Show, It Takes a Thief, The Flying Nun, The King of Queens, and That '70s Show.

MacLeod with Betty White on set of The Mary Tyler Moore Show in August 1975

His first regular television role began in 1962 as Joseph "Happy" Haines on McHale's Navy; he left this role after two seasons to appear in the motion picture, The Sand Pebbles with Steve McQueen.[6] Between the years of 1965 – 69, MacLeod appeared in many weekly episodes in multiple roles on the TV series Hogan's Heroes including Major Zolle (season 1, episode 19), General Metzger (season 3, episode 27) Major Kiegel (season 4, episode 1) and General von Rauscher (season 4, episode 23).[7] Each role was usually a stern and discerning officer of the Schutzstaffel (SS), Luftwaffe or Geheime Staatspolizei (Gestapo) which are vastly different from the lovable characters he portrayed in his subsequent TV roles.

MacLeod's breakout role as Murray Slaughter on CBS' 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 was broadcast in 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 a familiar actor and best friend Bernie Kopell as Dr. Adam Bricker and Ted Lange as bartender Isaac Washington. Lange said in a 2017 interview with The Wiseguyz Show of MacLeod that "Oh yeah, sure, Gavin was wonderful. Gavin lives down here in Palm Springs and we're still tight, all of us, Gavin and Bernie and Jill; we still see each other. Fred lives in a different state, we're still close, we're still good friends."[8]

MacLeod became the global ambassador for Princess Cruises in 1986. He has played a role in ceremonies launching many of the line's new ships.[9] In 1997, MacLeod joined the Love Boat cast on The Oprah Winfrey Show. After The Love Boat, MacLeod toured with Michael Learned of The Waltons in Love Letters. He made several appearances in musicals such as Gigi and Copacabana between 1997 and 2003.[10][11] In December 2008, he appeared with the Colorado Symphony in Denver.[12]

MacLeod and his wife have been hosts on the Trinity Broadcasting Network for 17 years, primarily hosting a show about marriage called Back on Course.[13] 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 MacLeod, due to a back operation to repair a couple of injured discs. Former co-star and long-term friend Ted Lange contacted him and received word MacLeod was doing well.[14] 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, until Sugar Ray Leonard succeeded him in 2011.[15] On February 28, 2011, MacLeod celebrated his 80th birthday aboard 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 Pacific Princess, the original "Love Boat".[16]

MacLeod appeared on the special for Betty White's 90th birthday on January 17, 2012. He reunited with White to film "Safety Old School Style", an in-flight safety video for Air New Zealand in 2013.[17] By January 2013, the video had been viewed two million times on YouTube. In October 2013, MacLeod appeared on Today to begin the 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 MacLeod's 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 MacLeod'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 continued his book tour throughout 2014.

MacLeod in June 2006

On November 5, 2013, MacLeod joined his Love Boat castmates 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.[18]

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.

In January 2015, MacLeod appeared in the Rose Parade along with several members of the original cast of The Love Boat.[19]

In 2017, MacLeod starred in the play Happy Hour at the Coachella Valley Repertory Theatre (CVRep) in Rancho Mirage, California. He received a best acting award for his work on the project.


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,[20] 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 more than fifty 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."[21] 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.

Personal life[edit]

MacLeod married his current wife Patti in 1974. Both were previously divorced. The couple divorced in 1982, but remarried in 1985. During the mid-1980s, they became Evangelical Protestants and credit their faith for bringing them back together.[22]

During his time as the Captain on The Love Boat, MacLeod "very selfishly" (his words) divorced 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 who started to pray for Gavin. MacLeod later 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 Jesus Christ.[23]

On September 20, 2009, MacLeod discussed his conversion to Christianity at The Rock Church in Anaheim, California with further guest appearances in 2012.[24]



MacLeod with Joyce Bulifant and Michael Higa on The Mary Tyler Moore Show in May 1975
Year Title Role
1958 I Want to Live! The Lieutenant
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)[citation needed]
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
1965 Deathwatch Emil
1966 Baby Makes Three Dr. Charles Norwood
1966 The Sand Pebbles Crosley
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


Year Title Role Notes
1957 The Walter Winchell File Crook Episode: "Act of Folly"
1958 U.S. Marshal Buck Episode: "The Arraignment"
1958 The Walter Winchell File Stone Ballston Episode: "The Walkout"
1958–60 Peter Gunn George Fallon / Mitch Borden 2 episodes
1959–60 Mr. Lucky Salesman / Bugsy McKenna 2 episodes
1959 Men Into Space Dave Parsons "Lost Missile"
1959–62 The Untouchables Three-Fingered Jack White / William 'Porker' Davis / Whitey Metz 3 episodes
1960–68 Death Valley Days Phil Arnold / Dandy Martin 2 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
1964 The Munsters Paul Newmar Episode: "The Sleeping Cutie"
1965 Rawhide Rian Powers Episode: "The Meeting"
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
1966–69 Hogan's Heroes Gen. von Rauscher / Maj. Kiegel / Gen. Metzger / Maj. Zolle 4 episodes
1967 Combat! British Cpl. Tommy Behan Episode: "The Masquers"
1966 The Rat Patrol Sgt. Gribs Episode: "The Fatal Chase Raid"
1967 The Road West Nick Marteen Episode: "The Eighty-Seven Dollar Bride"
1967–69 The Big Valley Clute / O'Leary / Mace 3 episodes
1968–70 It Takes a Thief Gen. Contell / Seymour / Maj. Kazan 3 episodes
1968 Death Valley Days prospector Phil Arnold Episode: "The Great Diamond Mines"
1969 The Flying Nun Harold Harmon Episode: "A Star Is Reborn"
1968–69 Hawaii Five-O Big Chicken 2 episodes
1970–77 The Mary Tyler Moore Show Murray Slaughter 168 episodes
1974 Only with Married Men Jordan Robbins Movie
1974 Tattletales Himself Games Show/One Week (5 episodes) with wife Patti
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
1985 Hotel Martin 'Merrick' Brenner Episode: "Fallen Idols"
1986 The Greatest Adventure: Stories from the Bible Daniel Episode: "Daniel and the Lion's Den"
1987 Student Exchange Vice Principal Durfner Movie
1990 Murder, She Wrote Art Sommers Episode: "The Big Show of 1965"
1991 The General Motors Playwrights Theater Michael Holmes Episode: "The Last Act Is a Solo"
1993 CBS Schoolbreak Special Robert Carter Episode: "If I Die Before I Wake"
1994 Burke's Law Jerry Marz Episode: "Who Killed the Host at the Roast?"
1998 Love Boat: The Next Wave Captain Merrill Stubing Episode: "Reunion"
2000 Oz Cardinal Frances Abgott Episode: "Works of Mercy"
2001–02 The King of Queens Uncle Stu 2 episodes
2002–03 JAG Raymond Harrick Episode: "Standards of Conduct"
2003 Touched by an Angel Calvin Episode: "The Show Must Not Go On"
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"


  1. ^ Kessler, Judy (February 27, 1978). "Gavin Mac Leod, Love Boat (and Jump Rope) Skipper, Graduates from Mtm with a Hit". People. Retrieved April 22, 2013.
  2. ^ "MacLeod, Gavin 1930- (Gavin Mac Leod, Gavin McLeod, O. D. Warbux)". 2004. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  3. ^ MacLeod, Gavin (October 29, 2013). This is Your Captain Speaking: My Fantastic Voyage Through Hollywood, Faith & Life. Thomas Nelson. p. 32. ISBN 978-0849965289.
  4. ^ "The Love Boat Captain Gavin MacLeod Reveals Struggle With Alcohol Abuse". Parade. October 19, 2013. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  5. ^ "Yankee Confederate on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  6. ^ "Gavin MacLeod – The Interview". Flamingnose. October 13, 2009. Retrieved 2011-03-10.
  7. ^ "Gavin MacLeod". IMDb. Retrieved 2015-11-26.
  8. ^ "Wiseguyz interview Ted Lange". The Wiseguyz Show. March 15, 2017. 1:10:00 minutes in. DDV Radio. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
  9. ^ "Princess Cruises Honors Love Boat Captain Gavin MacLeod for 30 Years Serving as Global Ambassador" (Press release). Princess Cruises. July 6, 2016. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
  10. ^ Lefkowitz, David (January 15, 1998). "MacLeod & Montevecchi, Together Again at TUTS' Gigi". Playbill.
  11. ^ Ehren, Christine; Lefkowitz, David (December 15, 2000). "Though Skipper MacLeod Has Left, Copacabana Tour Plays On". Playbill.
  12. ^ "Cleo Parker Robinson Dance steps in for the holidays". The Denver Post. December 10, 2008. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
  13. ^ Banks, Adelle M. (October 23, 2013). "Gavin McLeod, 'Love Boat' Captain, Now An 'Ambassador For Christ'". HuffPost. Religion News Service.
  14. ^ Harris, Will (April 23, 2010). "A chat with Ted Lange…? You got it!". Premium Hollywood. Retrieved 2011-03-10.
  15. ^ Cotal, Sharon (June 17, 2011). "Pacific Palisades Welcomes New Honorary Mayor". Pacific Palisades Patch. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
  16. ^ "Princess Cruises Celebrates Gavin MacLeod's 80th Birthday" (Press release). Princess Cruises. March 2, 2011.
  17. ^ Safety Old School Style. United States: Air New Zealand. 9 October 2013.
  18. ^ Takeda, Allison (November 5, 2013). "Love Boat Reunion! See Gavin MacLeod, Bernie Kopell, and Other Cast Members Together Again After 27 Years". Us Weekly. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
  19. ^ Irwin, Richard (December 27, 2014). "Rose Parade 2015: 'Love Boat' cast reunites for Princess Cruise float". San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Retrieved 2018-08-31.
  20. ^ King, Susan (November 8, 2013). "Gavin MacLeod captains a memoir". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2018-08-31.
  21. ^ Sortal, Nick (November 11, 2013). "In town to promote Princess Cruises, Gavin MacLeod talks 'Love Boat' and new book". Sun-Sentinel. Deerfield Beach, Florida. Retrieved 2018-08-31.
  22. ^ Tucker, Ernest (February 27, 1987). "'Chapter Two' ends happily for MacLeods". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on June 11, 2014. Retrieved 2018-08-31 – via HighBeam Research.
  23. ^ Presenter: Bob Rogers (October 27, 2008). "Interview on The Bob Rogers Show". The Bob Rogers Show. 10:29 AEDT minutes in. 2CH.
  24. ^ Sanchez, Steve (4 June 2012). "The One Minute Gospel: Gavin McLeod (From the Love Boat!)". Retrieved 31 March 2019.

External links[edit]

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