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Gavin MacLeod: 5 Things About The ‘Love Boat’ Icon Who Died At 90

Gavin MacLeod was also known for his role on ‘The Mary Tyler Moore’. Learn more about the iconic actor who passed away.

Gavin MacLeod has died at 90. The actor, who is best known for his roles on The Love Boat and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, passed away on Saturday, May 29 his nephew Mark See confirmed to TMZ. Gavin was suffering from various illnesses and had help from loved ones and caretakers, the report added, noting that his death was not COVID related. Here’s 5 things to know about Gavin.

Gavin MacLeod passed away at the age of 90. (Shutterstock)

He was the star of The Love Boat

Gavin played Captain Merrill Stubing on The Love Boat from 1977-1987, reprising the iconic role in several films and reboots. He last played the character in a 1998 version titled Love Boat: The Next Wave. “I think when life gets heavy, people look for an escape. “The Love Boat” is an escape. We have happy endings. You don’t see many of those around,” he wrote in his memoir of the series.

Gavin MacLeod
Gavin MacLeod was honored by Princess Cruises for his long running role on ‘The Love Boat’. (Shutterstock)

The show also gained somewhat of a reputation for a “curse” pertaining to its stars getting divorced, which he commented about in the past. “Every regular character on The Love Boat, including little Jill, my daughter, has been divorced once in real life,” he wrote in the same book. “I’m surprised some tabloid journalist hasn’t jumped on that fact and dubbed it ‘The Love Boat Curse’ or something!” he joked, adding they all found “new love.” He appeared on The Mary Tyler Moore Show

He was on The Mary Tyler Moore Show

Gavin played Murray Slaughter on the forever iconic series, which ran from 1970 – 1976. Murray was the head writer of the fictional series that Mary worked at, and as in all 168 episodes of the show. Before being cast as Murray, however, he auditioned for Ed Asner‘s role! “Lou Grant is a fantastic character,” MacLeod noted in his book. “But the truth is, I wouldn’t believe myself as him … but I really like the character of Murray,” he explained. The rest is history!

Gavin MacLeod
Gavin MacLeod was the star of ‘Love Boat’ from 1977 – 1987. (Shutterstock)

He was married 3 times

Gavin tried his hand at marriage several times, leaving behind his wife Patty MacLeod, also 90. The two married twice: once from 1974–1982 and again in 1985, but do not share any children together (she has three of her own with Harry Steele). Prior to Patty, he was married to Joan Devore from 1954–1972 and the two have four kids: Meghan, David, Julie and Keith.

He was born in New York

Gavin was actually born Allan See to parents Margaret and George See on February 28, 1931 in Mount Kisco, New York. He explained in his book that he “felt as if my name was getting in the way of my success” and “wasn’t strong enough,” therefore going with Gavin MacLeod. The name was inspired by his drama teacher Beatrice MacLeod and a character on the show Climax called Gavin.

He struggled with alcohol abuse

Gavin wrote openly about his struggles with alcohol in his book, admitting he started to drink to “ease the pain” when he had a small role on military comedy McHales’s Navy. “That worthlessness stayed with me and started eating me up, until finally, I started drinking to ease the pain,” he writes. “My marriage [to Joan] began to suffer. Sometimes I wasn’t sure which came first, the drinking or the unhappiness, but either way it wasn’t pretty. I got ugly when I drank. I said some rotten things. I was irritable,” he explained in his memoir. He swore drinking off in 1974 as part of an ultimatum from his second wife Patti.


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