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Gavin MacLeod Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (2)  | Trade Mark (3)  | Trivia (90)  | Personal Quotes (31)

Overview (4)

Born in Mount Kisco, New York, USA
Died in Palm Desert, California, USA
Birth NameAllan George See
Height 5' 11" (1.8 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Gavin MacLeod's pleasing, agreeable manner on two hit TV series in the 70's and 80's belied a number of shady villains he portrayed in his early career. Born Allan George See in Mt. Kisco, New York, on February 28, 1931, and raised in Pleasantville, he was the son of Margaret (Shea) and George See, a gas station owner who was part Chippewa Indian (Ojibwa). He followed his 1952 graduation from Ithaca College (Fine Arts major) with Air Force military duty, then moved to New York City and worked for a while as an usher and elevator operator at Radio City Music Hall. Focusing on acting, he changed his stage name to "Gavin McLeod."

A solid break on Broadway in "A Hatful of Rain" in 1956 led to a move to Los Angeles in an attempt to break into film and TV. He began to earn a minor reputation as a second-string heavy in such crime shows as "The Thin Man," "Steve Canyon," "Manhunt," "Mr. Lucky," "Peter Gunn," "Michael Shayne," "The Untouchables" and "Perry Mason." This led to a regular comedy role as part of the McHale's Navy (1962) TV series. He also managed several film roles, although far down the credits, with I Want to Live! (1958), Compulsion (1959), Pork Chop Hill (1959), Operation Petticoat (1959), Twelve Hours to Kill (1960), High Time (1960), War Hunt (1962) and McHale's Navy (1964). He was a member of the superb supporting cast of The Sand Pebbles (1966). He returned to Broadway in "The Captains and the Kings" in 1962.

Gavin's career more or less flowed and ebbed until 1972, when his shiftless typecast was shattered forever. As Murray Slaughter, the balding, beaming, wisecracking, gleaming-toothed news writer on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970), Gavin became a happy household name. From then on, he could only be envisaged as a lovable schmuck and nice guy. From there he went on to another benign starring role with the TV series, The Love Boat (1977), 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 they both wrote a book called "Back on Course" (1987). Gavin continued sporadically on the musical stage ("Gypsy," "Annie Get Your Gun," "Gigi"), in TV reunions ("Love Boat" specials) and as a TV guest ("Murder, She Wrote," "Touched by an Angel," "The King of Queens," "Oz," "That 70s Show," "JAG," "The Comeback Kid").

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Family (2)

Spouse Patti MacLeod (30 June 1985 - 29 May 2021)  (his death)
Patti MacLeod (22 February 1974 - 8 December 1982)  (divorced)
Joan F. Rootvik (1955 - August 1972)  (divorced)  (4 children)
Parents George See
Margaret See

Trade Mark (3)

His bald pate
His encouraging salute
His mellifluous, commanding voice

Trivia (90)

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', detailed his problems with alcohol and subsequent recovery and remarriage to second wife, Patti MacLeod.
Was a close friend (30 years) of actor Ted Knight long before they appeared together on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970).
Met first wife Joan at Radio City Music Hall when he was an usher and she was a Rockette. They had four children (Keith, Julie, David, and Meghan) 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.
Held an Honorary Doctorate from his Alma Mater Ithaca College.
Best known by the public for his starring roles as Murray Slaughter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970) and as Capt. Merrill Stubing on The Love Boat (1977).
Remained good friends with Ted Lange during and after The Love Boat (1977).
Honorary Mayor of Pacific Palisades, California.
Graduated from Pleasantville High School in Pleasantville, New York, in 1947, and received a scholarship to Ithaca College.
Before becoming 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.
His ancestry included Chippewa, Irish, 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 Aaron Spelling's first choice to audition for the lead role as Capt. Merrill Stubing on The Love Boat (1977), who accepted the role after the cancellation of The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970).
Former child actor Robert Blake once said MacLeod was his favorite actor to date.
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.
His mother, Margaret See, died on January 4, 2004, she lived to be 97.
Was one of the three actors to have appeared in every episode of The Love Boat (1977).
Before he was cast opposite Jack Lord in Hawaii Five-O (1968), he worked with Lord opposite Betsy Palmer in The True Story of Lynn Stuart (1958).
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).
MacLeod was said to be an idol of future actor Ted Lange, who would watch every episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970) before he co-starred with him on The Love Boat (1977).
Met Bernie Kopell on the set of The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970), before he co-starred with MacLeod on The Love Boat (1977).
His The Love Boat (1977) co-star, Jill Whelan, invited him and Bernie Kopell, to her wedding in 2004.
He was paid $20,000-plus for each episode of The Love Boat (1977) .
Enjoyed 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.
Got the lead role on The Love Boat (1977) with the encouragement of Aaron Spelling.
Used to be a spokesperson for Princess Cruises in the 1980s.
Had met Mary Tyler Moore on an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961), years before he worked with her on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970), as her newswriter.
Used to be the spokesperson of ELKS - National Foundation Drug Awareness Council in 1984.
Was the only The Love Boat (1977) actor not to have guest-starred on Fantasy Island (1977).
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 attended the funeral of Robert Urich in 2002. MacLeod reprised his role alongside Urich on Love Boat: The Next Wave (1998).
Met Marion Ross on the stage play of 'Operation Petticoat,' years later, she would work with him on The Love Boat (1977), in the recurring role of MacLeod's wife.
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.
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.
Even after he quit his role on McHale's Navy (1962), MacLeod remained close friends with Ernest Borgnine for over 45 years, until Borgnine's death in 2012.
He and Bernie Kopell were both invited by ex-The Love Boat (1977) co-star, Ted Lange, to see Lange's 20th directorial play, 'George Washington's Boy.'.
Acting mentor and friend of Ted Lange.
Though he was born in Mt. Kisco, New York, he and his family were raised in Pleasantville, just 35 miles north of New York City.
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 a fan of Blue Bloods (2010) and The Good Wife (2009).
His idols when he was very young were Lana Turner and Ginger Rogers.
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.
Was honored as Humanitarian of the Year by the Gift of Life Foundation in 1992.
Met Joyce Bulifant on the set of McHale's Navy (1962). They would later play husband and wife on the 1970s sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970).
Was initially slated to audition for the role of Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970) but decided to read for the part of Murray instead.
He has played the same character (Captain Merrill Stubing) in three different series: The Love Boat (1977), Charlie's Angels (1976) and Love Boat: The Next Wave (1998).
Began his show The Love Boat (1977) at age 46.
Created a wonderful relationship with Ted Lange on The Love Boat (1977).
His The Love Boat (1977) co-star, Ted Lange, lives not too far away from him, in Torrance, California.
His ex-The Love Boat (1977) co-star, Ted Lange and Loretta Swit, 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 continued his book tour throughout 2014.
MacLeod was the last surviving member of the cast of McHale's Navy (1962).
Best friend of Telly Savalas, until Savalas's death in 1994. They worked together in the movie: Kelly's Heroes (1970) and on an episode of The Love Boat (1977).
Best remembered for having taken Ted Lange under his wing, when Lange was 27 years old, at the time, they worked together on The Love Boat (1977). Their friendship has lasted 44 years, until MacLeod's own death in 2021.
Despite being one of the biggest names in television history, he has yet to get a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame, though The Love Boat (1977) has received it.
After his role on The Comeback Kids (2014), he officially retired from acting at age 83, yet, he had filmed Jimmy's Cafe, prior to his retirement.
Despite being good friends with former co-star Mary Tyler Moore for many years MacLeod did not attend her funeral as it was for family only.
Gavin MacLeod died on May 29, 2021, at age 90, only 18 days after Norman Lloyd, who passed away on May 11, 2021, at the age of 106. On an episode of St. Elsewhere (1982), one of the characters referred to Lloyd's character who resembled one of MacLeod's characters on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970).
Gavin MacLeod died on May 29, 2021, just 3 months after he celebrated his 90th birthday. On that day, Princess Cruises presented with a special video tribute from 'Love Boat' cast members, celebrity friends and Princess Cruises colleagues.
Gavin MacLeod was the one of the few actors to star in both successful sitcoms, and a successful religious show, in his six decades of television.
MacLeod, in character as Capt. Merrill Stubing, was at the helm one last time when he and his fellow The Love Boat (1977) cast members cruised down Colorado Boulevard on the bow of a floral Princess ship float in the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade. [1 January 2015].
Just before his death, MacLeod had survived a series of health problems, over the years, from a back surgery, to having both heart attacks, to a quintuple bypass surgery and finally to prostate cancer.
After his long-running role on The Love Boat (1977), MacLeod and his wife (Patti) had hosted another long-running program for couples with marital problems, Back on Course, for 17 years, on the Trinity Broadcasting Network.
Had rang the New York Stock Exchange opening bell, when the P&O Princess was listed. [23 October 2020].
MacLeod credited his long life to exercising in the gym, eating fewer carbs, and living a healthy lifestyle.
1 year before his death, he was reunited by his ex-The Love Boat (1977) co-star, Jill Whelan, served as officiant and matron of honor, respectively, in support of Princess setting a Guinness World Record for the 'largest multi-location vow renewal,' during simultaneous ceremonies across three ships for 1,443 couples. [2020].
Upon his death, he was cremated and his ashes scattered at sea.
Uncle of Mark Jonathan See.
Prior to his death, it was requested he did not want to have a funeral.
Passed away four months after fellow The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970) cast member Cloris Leachman.
He was the second-to-last original star of The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970) to have passed away.
Gavin MacLeod passed away on May 29, 2021, at age 90. Only 3 months after his passing, his ex-The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970) co-star, Ed Asner had passed away on August 29, 2021, at 91, and was the last surviving cast member of the series.
Has ten grandchildren, and one great-grand child.
Was the only then-living regular cast member of The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970) not to appear on Hot in Cleveland (2010) (which had alum Betty White as a regular).

Personal Quotes (31)

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 The Mary Tyler Moore Show (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 The Mary Tyler Moore Show (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 (1977)]: 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 (1959), "Big Chicken" on Hawaii Five-O (1968) 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 (1958) pilot, Peter Gunn: The Kill (1958), to the naive Yeomen in Operation Petticoat (1959), and then on the films High Time (1960), The Party (1968) and TV's Mr. Lucky (1959). A fun and brilliant director to work with!
[on the death of Mary Tyler Moore]: A line from our theme song was 'Love is all around', and that's what it was for 5 days a week for seven years straight on the Mary Tyler Moore set. It was all because of Mary! She was professional; she was extremely creative with a terrific sense of humor and a gifted actress. She set a pace for all of us to follow. So I consider those seven years working with this very special person as a gift from God. It goes with out saying what a wonderful loving and caring person she was to everyone who worked on the show. Mary was America's sweetheart and she was mine also. I was the luckiest guy in the world just sitting next to her and looking at her beautiful face...and legs! One of my favorite shows was when Murray turned 40 years old and woke up thinking he was in love with Mary...but 'Chuckles Bites The Dust' remains one of the classic comedy episodes of all time. Today, 'sadness is all around' for all of us and I will miss Mary...deeply.

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