Gavin MacLeod Jumped From Mary Tyler Moore to Love Boat

Actor said cruise show would make viewers 'forget their own problems'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 29, 2021 4:05 PM CDT
Gavin MacLeod Figured Love Boat Would Be a Hit
Gavin MacLeod salutes the crowd at a Friends of Hollywood Walk of Fame honorary star plaque ceremony for the cast in 2018.   (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

Television actor Gavin MacLeod of the Love Boat and the Mary Tyler Moore Show has died. He was 90. MacLeod died Saturday, his nephew, Mark See, told Variety. No cause of death was given. MacLeod achieved stardom as Murray Slaughter, the sardonic TV news writer on the 1970s comedy the Mary Tyler Moore Show. He went to a lead role, and bigger fame, as the cheerful Capt. Stubing on the Love Boat. Early in his career, per the AP, he was featured on McHale's Navy as seaman Joseph "Happy" Haines. His movie credits included Kelly's Heroes, the Sand Pebbles, the Sword of Ali Baba, War Hunt, and the Crime Busters. Among his more recent TV credits were Touched By an Angel, JAG, and the King of Queens. "My heart is broken," Ed Asner, a costar on Mary Tyler Moore, tweeted Saturday. "Gavin was my brother, my partner in crime (and food) and my comic conspirator."

MacLeod grew up Allan George See in Pleasantville, NY, and studied acting at Ithaca College. He was in the Air Force, then worked at Radio City Music Hall as an usher and elevator operator while looking for acting work. While there, he changed his name, per Variety. After minor roles, he played a central character in Slaughter on Mary Tyler Moore, appearing in all 168 episodes. He then moved immediately to the Love Boat, which ran for 10 years, smiling and saluting as his cruise ship passengers looked for romance. Critics were less kind to his new show. People in the industry would ask him, "How could you do a mindless show like this?" MacLeod once told Entertainment Weekly. "I said, 'I did it because I believe in it and I'm going to make people forget their own problems and vicariously see the rest of the world. I did it because I thought it would be a hit.'"

(More obituary stories.)

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