Gavin MacLeod, who was the Love Boat captain and played Murray on the Mary Tyler Moore Show, two of the top television shows of the 1970s and 1980s, died today at his home in Palm Desert, CA. MacLeod was 90, and his death was confirmed by his nephew, Mark See.
No cause of death was revealed, but MacLeod had been in ill health during the past few months.
The affable actor played head writer Murray Slaughter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and appeared in all 168 episodes over seven years, ending in 1977. He then pulled off a rarity, moving from one long-running hit show to another.
As Captain Stubing on The Love Boat, he appeared in 249 episodes, and later returned in the role for the TV movie The Love Boat: A Valentine Voyage in 1990 and for the “Reunion” episode of the rebooted series Love Boat: The Next Wave in 1998.
MacLeod was born Allan George See in Mount Kisco, NY. He grew up in Pleasantville, NY. and went to Ithaca College, where he studied acting and graduated in 1952. After a stint in the US Air Force, he moved to New York City and worked at Radio City Music Hall as an usher and elevator operator while pursuing acting.
MacLeod made his film debut in the 1958 Susan Hayward starrer I Want to Live, playing a police lieutenant.
From there, he played a G.I. in Gregory Peck’s Pork Chop Hill and Blake Edwards’ WWII comedy Operation Petticoat, starring Cary Grant and Tony Curtis. Based on that body of work, he became a regular in an assortment of media. He had a minor role in the TV show McHale’s Navy, was in 1960 thriller Twelve Hours to Kill with Barbara Eden, the Blake Edwards’ musical comedy High Time, starring Bing Crosby and Fabian, among other roles.
MacLeod left McHale’s Navy to appear in the film The Sand Pebbles, starring Steve McQueen, and later appeared in a host of films, including A Man Called Gannon and the Peter Sellers comedy The Party in 1968; The Thousand Plane Raid, The Comic and The Intruders in 1969; and in 1970, the World War II caper film Kelly’s Heroes.
During that period, he was also busy in guest roles in top television shows, including Perry Mason, Ben Casey, Ironside, Hawaii Five-O, The Big Valley, The Andy Griffith Show, My Favorite Martian, and Hogan’s Heroes.
He also appeared on the December 1961 The Dick Van Dyke Show, his first time working with Mary Tyler Moore.
His memoir, This Is Your Captain Speaking: My Fantastic Voyage Through Hollywood, Faith & Life, was published in 2013.
MacLeod was first married from 1955-1972 to Joan F. Rootvik, with whom he had two sons and two daughters. He married actress Patti Kendig in 1974. They divorced in 1982 but remarried in 1985.He is survived by Kendig and the four children by Rootvik.