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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 in 1970
Allan George See

(1931-02-28)February 28, 1931
Died May 29, 2021(2021-05-29) (aged 90)
Resting place Forest Lawn Cemetery
Alma mater Ithaca College (BFA)
Occupation Actor, author
Years active 1955–2017
Known for Murray Slaughter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show
Captain Merrill Stubing on The Love Boat
  • Joan F. Rootvik
    (m. 1955; div. 1972)
  • Patti Kendig
    (m. 1974; div. 1982)
  • (m. 1985)
Children 4
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Branch United States Air Force
Years 1952–1954
Rank E-2 insignia Airman

Gavin MacLeod (/məkˈld/) (born Allan George See; February 28, 1931 – May 29, 2021) was an American actor best known for his roles as news writer Murray Slaughter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and ship's captain Merrill Stubing on ABC's The Love Boat. After growing up Catholic, MacLeod became an evangelical Christian in 1984. His career, which spanned six decades, included work as a Christian television host, author, and guest on several talk, variety, and religious programs.

MacLeod's career began in films in 1957. In 1965, he starred in The Sword of Ali Baba. He went on to appear in A Man Called Gannon (1968), in The Thousand Plane Raid (1969), and in Kelly's Heroes (1970).

MacLeod also achieved continuing television success co-starring alongside Ernest Borgnine on McHale's Navy (1962–1964) as Joseph "Happy" Haines.

Early life

Born Allan George See in Mount Kisco, New York, he was the elder of two children. His mother, Margaret (née Shea) See (1906–2004), a middle school dropout, worked for Reader's Digest. His father, George See (1906–1945), an electrician, was part Chippewa (Ojibwe). His brother Ronald was three years his junior. 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, 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. 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."


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.

In December 1961, he landed a guest role on The Dick Van Dyke Show, which was his first time working with Mary Tyler Moore. MacLeod also had guest appearances on Perry Mason, The Andy Griffith Show, Ben Casey, The Big Valley, Hogan's Heroes, Ironside, and My Favorite Martian. He played in two episodes of the first season of Hawaii Five-O.

Gavin MacLeod Betty White Mary Tyler Moore Show 1975
MacLeod with Betty White on the 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 as Signalman 2nd Class Crosley in the film The Sand Pebbles with Steve McQueen.

MacLeod's breakout role as Murray Slaughter on CBS's The Mary Tyler Moore Show won him lasting fame and two Golden Globe Award nominations. His starring role as Captain Stubing on The Love Boat, his next television series, was broadcast in 90 countries worldwide, between 1977 and 1986, spanning nine 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 (Grandy) lives in a different state, we're still close, we're still good friends."

MacLeod became the global ambassador for Princess Cruises in 1986. He played a role in ceremonies launching many of the line's new ships. 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. In December 2008, he appeared with the Colorado Symphony in Denver.

MacLeod and his wife were hosts on the Trinity Broadcasting Network for 17 years, primarily hosting a show about marriage called Back on Course. 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.

Later activity

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 that MacLeod was doing well. In December, MacLeod appeared as a guest narrator with the Florida Orchestra and Master Chorale of Tampa Bay.

MacLeod served as the honorary Mayor of Pacific Palisades for five years, until Sugar Ray Leonard succeeded him in 2011. 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-foot-long (1.5 m) 3-D cake replica of the Pacific Princess, the original "Love Boat".

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. 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, he continued his national book tour.

Gavin Macleod
MacLeod in 2006

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. The following year, on February 1, 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 other members of the original cast of The Love Boat. Later that same year MacLeod starred in the play Happy Hour at the Coachella Valley Repertory Theatre (CVRep) in Rancho Mirage, California, a role which earned him critical praise.


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

In 2013, MacLeod released a memoir, This Is Your Captain Speaking: My Fantastic Voyage Through Hollywood, Faith & Life. 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." In the book, MacLeod recounted his stories as a young actor trying to make a name for himself in Hollywood, the lifelong friends he made, divorce, and faith.

Personal life

While working as an usher and elevator operator at Radio City Music Hall, MacLeod met dancer Joan F. Rootvik, who was a Rockette. They married in 1955 and had two sons and two daughters before divorcing in 1972.

In 1974, he married Patti Kendig. The couple divorced in 1982 and remarried in 1985. During the mid-1980s, they became evangelical Protestants and credited their faith for bringing them back together.

On September 20, 2009, MacLeod discussed his conversion to evangelicalism at The Rock Church in Anaheim, California, and was a guest speaker there in 2012.


MacLeod died at his home in Palm Desert, California, on May 29, 2021, aged 90. He is interred at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Cathedral City.


Gavin McLeod Mary Tyler Moore Show 1975
MacLeod with Joyce Bulifant and Michael Higa on The Mary Tyler Moore Show in May 1975


Year Title Role Source
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)
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
1970 The Intruders Warden
1970 Kelly's Heroes Private 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 Source
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 Sgt. 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"

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Gavin MacLeod para niños

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