Washington: Gavin MacLeod, who played the role of a wise news editor on the classic 1970s American sitcom “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and the hospital cruise ship captain in “The Love Boat,” died Saturday at the age 90.
His nephew, Mark See, confirmed his death to Variety. No cause of death has been given, he said, but MacLeod’s health has deteriorated in recent months.
The bald MacLeod often played villains on television before being cast as Murray Slaughter’s acerbic comedic role on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” which aired on CBS from 1970 to 1977 and was one of the most honored shows of its decade, winning 29 Emmy Awards.
After “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” MacLeod was signed to the lead role of Captain Merrill Stubing in ABC’s “The Love Boat,” which ran for 10 seasons from 1977 to 1987.
The series, which featured guest stars in each episode as passengers seeking romance aboard a cruise ship, was not critics’ favorite – a New York Times reviewer once called it “Dreadful mush” – but it was often fun and popular with viewers.
“I remember TV critics saying, ‘How could you do it?’ MacLeod told Entertainment Weekly in 1997, referring to her stint from ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’ to ‘The Love Boat’. “But I loved it. I said, “It’s going to take people away from the daily burdens of life. It will give them something to dream about. “”
MacLeod also played a regular role in the WWII sitcom “McHale’s Navy” from 1962 to 1964, but often played villains like a character named Big Chicken in the crime drama “Hawaii Five-O”.
He has also appeared in supporting roles in several prominent films, including “Kelly’s Heroes” (1970), starring Clint Eastwood and Telly Savalas, and “Operation Petticoat” (1959) starring Cary Grant and Tony Curtis.
He was born as Allan See on February 28, 1931 in Mount Kisco, New York. For his career in show business, he changed his first name to Gavin because he loved him and his last name to MacLeod as a tribute to his drama teacher in college.
“I was a young kid with a bald head, so I only played pimps, perverts, female beaters, and child molesters,” MacLeod told People magazine in 1978.
That changed forever after he was selected on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” as a news editor for a fictional Minneapolis TV station, joining a talented cast including Moore, Ed Asner, Ted Knight, Betty White. , Valerie Harper and Cloris Leachman.
Some of her character’s best moments have been interacting with Knight’s buffoonish presenter Ted Baxter, and with Sue Ann Nivens, the acidic and man-hungry ‘Happy Homemaker’, who rarely missed the opportunity to comment. Slaughter’s baldness.
On “The Love Boat,” he led a cast that included Fred Grandy, who went on to serve as US Congressman, Bernie Kopell, Ted Lange, Lauren Tewes and Jill Whelan. As Captain Stubing, he wore a white captain’s hat and white captain’s outfit, often with unflattering white shorts.
The show was populated with a seemingly endless stream of guest stars, ranging from some of the most forgettable performers of the era to real big names from Hollywood’s past.
MacLeod struggled with alcoholism during his career and became a devout Christian, starring in the Christian-themed film “The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry” in 2009.
He had four children from his first marriage, which ended in divorce, and three stepchildren from his second marriage.