Gavin MacLeod was raised in Pleasantville, New York, the son of a Chippewa Indian and gas station owner. He followed his 1952 graduation from Ithaca College with military service, then moved to New York City and worked for a while as an usher and elevator operator at Radio City Music Hall. A solid break on Broadway in "A Hatful of Rain" in 1956, led him to move to Los Angeles to attempt film and TV. For awhile he earned a minor reputation as a second-string heavy in crime stories.
His career more or less flowed and ebbed with these minor dramatic roles until 1972, when his typecast as a shady, dangerous character was shattered forever. As Murray Slaughter, the balding, beaming newswriter on "Mary Tyler Moore" (1970) wisecracking, humble and un-hip to a fault, Gavin (and Murray) became friendly household names in the 70s. From then on, he could only be envisaged as a loveable schmuck and nice guy.
This image was later cast in stone with the enduring success of another TV series, "The Love Boat" (1977), in his role as the ingratiating Captain Stubing. On the down side, "Love Boat" marred his chances to be considered for more challenging work, and his inability to cope with success led to alcoholism and divorce from second wife Patti. However, he later turned his life around, remarried his wife, and wrote a biography called "Back on Course." Today he appears occasionally on the summer stock/dinner theater stage and as a guest performer on TV.
|Patti MacLeod||(30 June 1985 - present)|
|Patti MacLeod||(22 February 1974 - 8 December 1982) (divorced)|
|Joan F. Rootvik||(1955 - August 1972) (divorced) 4 children|
His bald pate
His encouraging salute.
His mellifluous, commanding voice.
His "The Love Boat" (1977) captain exposure led to a long-running gig promoting the Princess Cruises.
His autobiography "Back on Course, the Remarkable Story of a Divorce That Ended in Remarriage" details his problems with alcohol and subsequent recovery and remarriage to second wife Patti MacLeod.
Met first wife Joan at Radio City Music Hall when he was an usher and she was a Rockette. They had four children before they divorced after 18 years of marriage.
Took his stage name from his college drama coach Beatrice Macleod, and from an affecting TV drama in which a cerebral palsy victim was named "Gavin".
Stepfather of Stephanie Steele. He also has two other stepchildren, Andrew and Tommy, with his wife Patti.
January 19, 2004: featured on "Late Show with David Letterman" (1993) in their segment "Is It Potatoes or Gavin MacLeod?". It was, in fact, Gavin MacLeod.
Graduate of Ithaca College in upstate New York.
Holds an Honorary Doctorate from his Alma Mater Ithaca College.
Honorary Mayor of Pacific Palisades, California.
The oldest of two children.
Graduated from Pleasantville High School in Pleasantville, New York, in 1947, and received a scholarship to Ithaca College.
Before he was a successful actor, he did everything from janitor to lawn mowing.
While he was playing football at Pleasantville High School, he received word from his family, about his father, who had died in 1945, from cancer. After his father's death, his quit the football team, and went back to acting.
Started acting when he was in Kindergarten.
Has been going bald since he was 18, at that time, he wore toupees.
His ancestry includes Irish, part Chippewa-Indian, Swedish and English.
His father, George See, dropped out of grade school in the fifth grade, looking for work as a gas station attendant. His mother Margaret See, also dropped out of middle school in the seventh grade. She went on to work for Reader's Digest.
Was not the first choice to audition for the lead role as Capt. Merrill Stubing on "The Love Boat" (1977), it was when Aaron Spelling approached Dick Van Patten to play that role, when he was already doing "Eight Is Enough" (1977) at the time.
Former child actor Robert Blake once said MacLeod was his favorite actor to date.
Before he was an actor, he served in the Air Force, where he wrote, produced and directed the plays.
When he was just a little boy, he used to go to the movie theaters, where he paid 7 cents, being fascinated by character actors, which led to MacLeod playing character parts in various shows.
Alcohol ran in his family, stretching to his elder ancestors, before himself.
His mother, Margaret See, died on January 4, 2004, she lived to be 97.
Friends with: Bernie Kopell, Betty White, Mary Tyler Moore, Edward Asner, Bill Bixby, Andy Griffith, Michele Lee, Betsy Palmer, Marion Ross, Florence Henderson, Robert Urich, Carol Channing, Charlotte Rae, Marla Gibbs, Robert Guillaume, Harry Morgan, Ernest Borgnine, Tim Conway, Ted Knight, Aaron Spelling, Raymond Burr, Beverly Garland and Richard Dawson.
Is one of the three actors to have appeared in every episode of "The Love Boat" (1977).
Had a back operation in 2010.
Had quit his role on "McHale's Navy" (1962), due to his battle with alcoholism in 1964. It was suggested by his family and best friend Robert Blake that he to go to an alcohol clinic, where he was getting help. Right around the same time, he also left to do The Sand Pebbles (1966).
Has made $20,000-plus for each "The Love Boat" (1977) episode.
Father of Keith, Julie, David and Meghan.
Is a lacto-vegetarian.
Enjoys public speaking, traveling, playing tennis, watching movies, golfing, sailing, reading the Bible, praying, cruising, reading and dancing.
Starred in the pilot of 3 shows that didn't sell.
Used to be a spokesperson for Princess Cruises in the 1980s.
Used to be the spokesperson of ELKS - National Foundation Drug Awareness Council in 1984.
His favorite "The Love Boat" (1977) episodes are: The Love Boat Follies, with Van Johnson, Carol Channing and Cab Calloway, the one where Jill Whelan's character came aboard and the ones where he was working with Marion Ross.
Had purchased his first house, right at the same time Ted Knight purchased his, in the same area.
His father encouraged him to be an accountant.
Has a younger brother.
Attended Betty White's 90th Birthday Party in 2012.
Had celebrated his 80th Birthday, aboard The Golden Princess on Princess Cruises in Los Angeles, California on 28 February 2011. The entire "The Love Boat" (1977) cast, along with 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.
Had lost his father to cancer when he was age 14.
After his birth, his mother no longer worked for Reader's Digest.
Acting mentor and friend of Ted Lange.
Though he was born in Mt. Kisco, New York, he and his family were raised in Pleasantille, just 35 mi. north of New York City.
Began working since he was age 13.
His mother, Margaret See, underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor in 1985.
Attended the 90th birthday party of longtime friend Carol Channing, on 21 February 2011.
On "The Love Boat" (1977), he played the Captain of a cruise ship, in real-life, he is the Ambassador of Pacific Princess Cruises.
Was nominated in 1980 as one of the '10 Most Watchable Men in the World.'.
Appeared on the front cover of TV Guide 4 times.
Neighbor of Nancy Sinatra.
Began working at age 13.
Used to live in Desi Arnaz's house.
Since the late 1970s, he resides in Rancho Mirage, California.
Was honored as Humanitarian of the Year by the Gift of Life Foundation in 1992.
Was initially slated to audition for the role of Lou Grant on "Mary Tyler Moore" (1970) but decided to read for the part of Murray instead.
No matter where I go, I'm Murray to some people and captain to other people. Mostly the captain.
I've worked with some of the biggest names in Hollywood, Cary Grant, Tony Curtis, Gregory Peck, Mary Tyler Moore. But the biggest honor I have ever had was to play the role of Jonathan Sperry in this simple but special film.
[on the death of John Ritter in 2003]: No, are you kidding? You can see what he's done --- he's commits to whatever he's doing; and that's the kind of a guy he was, and that's the kind of an actor he was, kind of a father and a man he was. It's such a sad, sad, sad thing. He was so inventive and so full of life. Made me struck down like that. You can imagine what he would have continued to do if he'd not died. So, his kids will do it.
[on working with Dylan Sprouse and his twin brother, Cole Sprouse, while teasing both of them on a cruise]: The 16-year-old Dylan and his twin, Cole, are really wonderful young actors. Some people have it instinctively, and some have to go to school. You can't just put anyone in front of a camera and say, 'Go!' but these two, well, there's a reason for the success of that program. I felt more love on their soundstage than I have anywhere since The "Mary Tyler Moore" (1970) Show.
[on starring in a Christian movie]: The film is about forgiveness. Forgiveness is one of the greatest tools God has given us.
[The popularity of "The Love Boat" (1977) television show turned the Pacific Princess, the show's cast and cruising into household names overnight]: What I enjoyed most about 'The Love Boat' was interacting with the variety of guest stars we had on the show each week. The producers did a fantastic job of appealing to a wide audience range by combining legendary stars like Lana Turner, Cesar Romero and Ethel Merman, with current celebrities of the day like Andy Warhol, Melissa Gilbert and Michael J. Fox, as well as future stars Vanessa Williams and Kirstie Alley in each episode.
[on his bestest and dearest friend, the late Ted Knight]: He and his wife were both dear friends and I talked to him about the Lord a lot.
[on his happy life]: My life is full. I still represent The Love Boat, cruising and, I think, happy endings. Cruising is a part of our society now. It's a part of life, and I think it's because of our show.
[When he was coping with his then, 78-year-old mother, who was on the verge of having risky surgery for her brain tumor]: I woke up in my bed in Beverly Hills - at that time, I thought a big house would make me happy - and I just prayed to Jesus that if he gave my mom more time, I would turn my life over to him.
[In 2008]: It was bringing a lot of joy to people. Letting them know they had choices so they could have happy endings. We travelled all over the world first class and we had great wonderful fun scripts to work with. It was really a great gig.
[In 2009]: I thought about Patti and wanted to know how she was doing.
[on being typecasted as Murray Slaughter]: It was tough for him in that newsroom with Ted Baxter getting all the glory and this poor guy doing all the work. Murray worried so much he worried his hair off!
[on his remarriage to Patti MacLeod in 1985]: This is so meaningful to me that I really wanted it to be small. But when we decided, or God decided, a week ago Friday to do this ... we just said 'OK' to the idea of sharing the wedding with convention-goers.
I never looked for my own show. I just wanted to work as an actor. Some of the things I was offered I would carry as the star. But the premises were so negative. One reason I love "The Love Boat" (1977) is because of the happy endings. I don't care if it reflects life or not, I love happy endings. Life's so heavy these days that people want to escape.
[In 1978]: I was a happy, carefree guy before I began playing Murray. I never worried about anything. But after a couple of years on Mary's show, I was really a different personality.
[In 1977]: I've always wanted to sing 'I Got Love,' to Miss Piggy.
[on getting used to another TV series other than "Mary Tyler Moore" (1970)]: Oh boy, here goes another beauty.
[In 2010]: There's always one guy there who says, 'Hey, Big Chicken, how's things?'
[In 1985]: It's great. I tried to do a soft shoe with Ginger Rogers. How many people get to do that? That's right in my book of memories. I've played with some of the great old stars, I've have romances. If I had one wish, it's that this could happen to every actor.
I think when life gets heavy, people look for an escape. We're an escape. We have happy endings. You don't see many of those around. I think it gives people a vicarious adventure. We're also very much like a travelogue.
Hair fascinates me because I don't have it.
[Of his best friend Betty White, who celebrated her 60-year career in 2008]: There's something about Betty White, no matter what role she plays, you're intrigued.
[on the death of his best friend Ted Knight in 1986]: We were planning to do a play together. He had been told that he was very sick, but that other people had recover and he planned on doing just that.
[In 1979]: You get rid of one set of passengers and three hours later, you've got a new set. You've got to greet so many people and attend so many parties and dinners and cater to so many wealthy people. I'm sure some of the passengers can be very annoying.
[In 1981]: I called Ted a delightful Polish ham. Look at him when he gets into his car to leave the studio. There's Teddy combing his hair in the mirror before he starts the motor. Who knows how many fans will spot him and wave on the freeway?
[Who was very excited about the "The Love Boat" (1977)'s fifth season]: The original concept of the show was that we would utilize the talents of older stars. I don't refer to them as former stars, as far as the acting profession is concerned.
[As to how he was discussing about "The Love Boat" (1977), which was one of the long-running prime-time TV series of all time]: This has been a nice run. I'm grateful to the show. Nine years of steady work, seeing the world. It's awesome when you see the unemployment among actors.
[on his popularity while playing the forty-five/fifty-something Merrill Stubing on The Love Boat]: It's made me a commodity. Now people will pay to see me in the theater.
[on his early career in acting] I played "heavy" because I was a young man with a bald head, so what else could casting agents do with someone like that? I finally played leading men when I bought my first hairpiece. Eventually with age, I grew into my look without hair. Some of the 'heavies' I played like the ones on The Untouchables, Big Chicken in Hawaii Five-O were delicious roles. They were great fun and I enjoyed every minute of those roles.
[on Blake Edwards] Blake Edwards was instrumental in getting my career cooking. From the first Ivy League heavy in the "Peter Gunn" pilot to the naive Yeomen in "Operation Petticoat," and then on the films "High Time," "The Party" and TV's "Mr. Lucky." A fun and brilliant director to work with!
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