The Heartbreaking Death Of Love Boat Star Gavin MacLeod

Gavin MacLeod, star of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "The Love Boat," has died at the age of 90. The actor passed away at his home surrounded by his loved ones and caretakers (via TMZ). The news outlet spoke to MacLeod's nephew Mark See, who revealed that his uncle had been in and out of the hospital over the past few months. He did not state what caused his death.

MacLeod was born on February 28, 1931 in Mount Kisco, New York. The actor was born Allan George See and lived in the area throughout his life. MacLeod attended Ithaca College and graduated with a fine arts major. After serving in the Air Force, MacLeod moved to New York City where he decided to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. One of his first jobs was as an usher and elevator operator at New York City's Radio City Music Hall (via Biography).

It was during that time that he took on a stage name, Gavin MacLeod and made his film debut under that moniker in the 1958 Susan Hayward classic film "I Want to Live," where he played a police lieutenant. After that he played a military man in the Gregory Peck film "Pork Chop Hill" and in the Blake Edwards films "Operation Petticoat" and "High Time," which starred Bing Crosby (via Deadline).

MacLeod's television career

In 1956, Gavin MacLeod moved to Los Angeles and quickly booked television series work in the popular crime shows of the era, including "The Thin Man," "Steve Canyon," "Manhunt," "Mr. Lucky," "Peter Gunn," "Michael Shayne," "Perry Mason," and "The Untouchables."

MacLeod was hired as a character on the television series "McHale's Navy," where he played the role of Seaman Joseph Haines. The series starred Ernest Borgnine, Joe Flynn, and Tim Conway, and ran for four seasons on ABC, from 1962 through 1968 (via IMDb). Less than two years later, MacLeod was cast as a supporting character on a breakthrough series about a single woman living in Chicago who worked in a busy newsroom.

"The Mary Tyler Moore Show" would change the direction of MacLeod's career. In the role of news writer Murray Slaughter, MacLeod would be a perfect foil for both Mary (Mary Tyler Moore), Lou Grant (Ed Asner), and Ted Baxter (Ted Knight) for the duration of the show's 168 episodes from 1970 through 1977 on CBS (via IMDb).

Taking the helm of The Love Boat

After the success of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," Gavin MacLeod was cast in the role of Captain Merrill Stubing on the ABC television series "The Love Boat." The show featured celebrity guest-stars who boarded the fictitious Pacific Princess cruise ship and found themselves in various adventures, all which were neatly wrapped up in one hour. For 250 episodes, MacLeod led the fictitious crew which included actors Lauren Tewes (Julie McCoy), Bernie Koppel (Doc), Fred Grandy (Gopher), Ted Lange (Isaac Washington), and Jill Whelan (Vicki Stubing).

Many scenes for the series were shot on two real cruise ships, The Pacific Princess and Island Princess. Actual passengers had the chance to play extras on the series, as reported by Mental Floss. When they were not setting sail, the cast filmed on a Los Angeles soundstage that mimicked the look of cabins, dining areas and the hallways of the liner. He also appeared in the TV movie "The Love Boat: A Valentine Voyage" in 1990 and in the reboot, titled "Love Boat: The Next Wave," in 1998.

MacLeod's other accomplishments

Throughout the 1970s, the actor became not only a beloved television character actor, he also parlayed his success into appearances on some of the most popular talk and game shows of the decade, including "The Merv Griffin Show," "Dinah!," "The Jim Stafford Show," "Tattletales," "Celebrity Sweepstakes," "Celebrity Bowling," "Hollywood Squares," "The Mike Douglas Show," "Donny and Marie," and "All-Star Family Feud," to name a few (via TMZ). In his later years, Gavin MacLeod appeared in an episode of the HBO series "Oz," where he played a Roman Catholic cardinal alongside Rita Moreno. He also appeared on the television series "The King of Queens," "JAG," "Touched By an Angel," and "That '70s Show" (via TV Line).

MacLeod was married three times. He was first wed to Joan Devore from 1955-1972. The couple had four children: two sons and two daughters. He then wed actress Patti Kendig in 1974. The twosome divorced in 1982 and remarried in 1985. The couple became Evangelical Christians, which MacLeod reportedly claimed helped to reunite them after their split (via Variety). MacLeod is survived by Kendig and his children.