Lovable actor Gavin MacLeod, known for his television roles on “The Love Boat” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” has died at his home in Palm Desert at the age of 90
The sitcom star died Saturday surrounded by loved ones, according to his family.
The actor, author and Christian activist had a career that spanned six decades.
MacLeod’s success on the small screen included playing Joseph “Happy” Haines in “McHale’s Navy” in the early 1960s, then Murray Slaughter on the 1970s “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” He also starred on “The Love Boat” through the mid-1980s, cast as memorable Captain Merrill Stubing.
Santa Clarita-based Princess Cruises released a statement Saturday afternoon in tribute to MacLeod.
“It is with sadness felt to the depth of the oceans that we mourn the passing of actor Gavin MacLeod our beloved global ambassador, dearest friend and treasured member of the Princess Cruises family for more than 35 years,” the statement reads.
“From his 10 seasons staring as Captain Merrill Stubing on the hit TV show `The Love Boat’ (1977 to 1986) and for more than three decades following the show’s final season, Gavin enthusiastically shared his passion about the joys and adventures of exploring the world while cruising. He always reminded us that — like the popular TV series, `cruising gives people something to dream about.”’
MacLeod officially became Princess Cruises’ global ambassador in 1986, appearing in advertising campaigns and making countless public and media appearances for the company, a relationship that continued until his death.
Though best known for his TV roles, MacLeod’s career also included stage and film credits. On the big screen, he played opposite Peter Mann in “The Sword of Ali Baba” and opposite Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, and Carroll O’Connor in “Kelly’s Heroes,” among other roles. His most recent TV credits were appearances on “Touched by An Angel,” “JAG” and “That 70s Show.”
Before taking on his stage name, MacLeod’s given name was Allan George See. Born on Feb. 28, 1931, in Mount Kisco, New York, he grew up in Pleasantville and later studied acting at Ithaca College — graduating in 1952 with a degree in fine arts. He also served in the United States Air Force.
He wrote a memoir in 2013 called “This Is Your Captain Speaking: My Fantastic Voyage Through Hollywood, Faith & Life,” in which he recounted stories from his time as a young actor — without much hair — trying to make a name for himself in Hollywood, as well as the lifelong friends he made, his struggle with alcoholism, a divorce, and his relationship with faith and Christianity.
MacLeod had four children with his first wife and is also survived by his wife, Patricia, and his grandchildren.