Born: February 28, 1931
Birthplace: Mount Kisco, New York, U.S.
Gavin MacLeod (born Allan George See; February 28, 1931) is an American film and television character actor, ship's ambassador, Christian activist and author, whose career spans six decades of television. He has also appeared as a guest on several talk, variety and religious shows.
MacLeod's long career began in films in 1957, playing opposite Peter Mann in The Sword of Ali Baba (1965), Anthony Franciosa in A Man Called Gannon (1968), Christopher George in The Thousand Plane Raid, and Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas along with Carroll O'Connor in Kelly's Heroes (1970). He then achieved continuing television success co-starring opposite Ernest Borgnine on McHale's Navy (1962-1964), as Joseph "Happy" Haines, and on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970-1977) as Murray Slaughter. He is best known for his starring role on The Love Boat (1977-1986), in which MacLeod played Captain Merrill Stubing.
Gavin MacLeod was born as Allan George See on February 28, 1931, in Mount Kisco, New York, the elder of two children. His mother, Margaret (née Shea) See (1906-2004), a middle school dropout, worked for Reader's Digest. His father, George See (1906-1945), an electrician, was part Chippewa (Ojibwa). He grew up in Pleasantville and studied acting at Ithaca College, graduating in 1952. After serving in the United States Air Force, he moved to New York City and worked at Radio City Music Hall while looking for acting work. At about this time he changed his name, drawing "Gavin" from a physically disabled victim in a TV drama, and "MacLeod" from his Ithaca drama coach, Beatrice MacLeod. MacLeod said in a 2013 interview with Parade Magazine about his stage name, he "felt as if my name was getting in the way of my success." Allan, he wrote, "just wasn’t strong enough," and See was "too confusing."
MacLeod made his television debut in 1957 on The Walter Winchell File at the age of 26. His first movie appearance was a small, uncredited role in The True Story of Lynn Stuart in 1958. Soon thereafter, he landed a credited role in I Want to Live!, a 1958 prison drama starring Susan Hayward. He was soon noticed by Blake Edwards, who in 1958 cast him in the pilot episode of his NBC series Peter Gunn, two guest roles on the Edwards CBS series Mr. Lucky in 1959, and as a nervous harried navy yeoman in Operation Petticoat, with Cary Grant and Tony Curtis. Operation Petticoat proved to be a breakout role for MacLeod, and he was soon cast in two other Edwards comedies, High Time, with Bing Crosby and The Party with Peter Sellers.
Between 1957 and 1961, MacLeod made several television appearances on various shows. In December 1961, he landed a guest role on The Dick Van Dyke Show as Mel's cousin Maxwell Cooley, a wholesale jeweler. This was his first time working with Mary Tyler Moore. MacLeod had three guest appearances on Perry Mason: in 1961 he played Lawrence Comminger in "The Case of the Grumbling Grandfather", and in 1965 he played Mortimer Hershey in "The Case of the Grinning Gorilla", and Dan Platte in "The Case of the Runaway Racer". He played the role of a drug pusher, "Big Chicken", in two episodes of the first season of Hawaii Five-O. Other guest roles include The Untouchables, Dr. Kildare, Rawhide, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., The Man from U.N.C.L.E., My Favorite Martian, Hogan's Heroes, Combat!, The Big Valley, The Andy Griffith Show, It Takes a Thief, The Flying Nun, The King of Queens, and That '70s Show.
His first regular TV role came in 1962 as Joseph "Happy" Haines on McHale's Navy; leaving after two seasons to appear in the motion picture, The Sand Pebbles with Steve McQueen. Between the years of 1965 - 69, MacLeod appeared in many weekly episodes in multiple roles on the TV series Hogan's Heroes including Major Zolle (season 1, episode 19), General Metzger (season 3, episode 27) Major Kiegel (season 4, episode 1) and General von Rauscher (season 4, episode 23). These roles were usually a stern and discerning officer of the Schutzstaffel (SS), Luftwaffe or Geheime Staatspolizei (Gestapo) which are vastly different from the lovable characters he portrayed in his subsequent TV roles.
MacLeod's breakout role as Murray Slaughter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show won him lasting fame, and two Golden Globe nominations. His starring role as Captain Stubing on The Love Boat, his next TV series, brought laughter to 90 countries worldwide, between 1977 and 1986 (9 seasons). His work on that show earned him three Golden Globe nominations. Co-starring with him was familiar actor and best friend Bernie Kopell as Dr. Adam Bricker and unfamiliar actor and best friend Ted Lange as bartender Isaac Washington. Lange said in a 2017 interview with The Wiseguyz Show of MacLeod that "Oh yeah, sure, Gavin was wonderful. Gavin lives down here in Palm Springs and we're still tight, all of us, Gavin and Bernie and Jill; we still see each other. Fred lives in a different state, we're still close, we're still good friends."
MacLeod became the spokesperson for Princess Cruises in 1986. He has been a representative especially when new ships are launched.
In 1997, MacLeod joined the Love Boat cast on The Oprah Winfrey Show. It was the first full cast appearance since the show was cancelled 11 years prior in 1986.
After The Love Boat, MacLeod traveled with Michael Learned of The Waltons in Love Letters. He made several appearances in musicals such as Gigi and Copacabana between 1997 and 2003.
In December 2008, he conducted the Colorado Symphony in Denver, Colorado.
The MacLeods have been hosts on the Trinity Broadcasting Network for 17 years, primarily hosting a show about marriage called Back on Course. MacLeod appeared in Rich Christiano's Time Changer, a movie about time travel and how the morals of society have moved away from the Bible. He also plays the lead role in Christiano's 2009 film The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry.
In April 2010, the entire cast of The Love Boat attended the TV Land Awards with the exception of himself, because he had a back operation after he hurt a couple of discs. Former co-star and long-term friend, Ted Lange, called him and received word his beloved TV friend was doing well. In December, MacLeod appeared as a guest narrator with the Florida Orchestra and Master Chorale of Tampa Bay for three concerts.
MacLeod served as the honorary Mayor of Pacific Palisades for five years, before Ray Leonard succeeded him in 2011.
On February 28, 2011, MacLeod celebrated his 80th birthday aboard The Golden Princess on Princess Cruises in Los Angeles, California. His friends and family, wished him a Happy Birthday, and presented him with a 5 ft. long, 3D replica in cake of the original "Love Boat", representing The Pacific Princess.
Gavin appeared on the special for Betty White's 90th birthday on January 17, 2012. He reunited with White to film "Safety Old School Style", an in-flight safety video for Air New Zealand in 2013. By January 2013, the video had already received over 2 million views on YouTube.
In October 2013, MacLeod appeared on the Today Show to kick off his promotional tour for his new book This Is Your Captain Speaking: My Fantastic Voyage Through Hollywood, Faith & Life. This appearance included a special set change to honor McLeod's appearance on the show. In addition to television appearances, his book tour continued in New York, Los Angeles, and Central Florida. Loretta Swit and Ted Lange were both present at Gavin’s first Barnes & Noble book signing in New York City. This signing was the largest such event held at that particular location in three years. He continued his book tour throughout 2014.
On November 5, 2013, MacLeod joined his Love Boat cast mates live on the CBS daytime show The Talk. A full one-hour episode was dedicated to the cast reunion. The Talk co-hosts dressed in costumes to commemorate their special guests' arrivals. Spanish-American actress Charo also appeared on the reunion show. Charo guest starred in eight episodes of The Love Boat. Jack Jones performed the Love Boat theme song, which he introduced in 1977.
In December 2013, MacLeod appeared on The 700 Club to discuss his life and career.
On February 1, 2014, MacLeod was honored with a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars in downtown Palm Springs, California.
In January 2015, MacLeod appeared in the 2015 Rose Parade along with several members of the original cast of The Love Boat.
In 1987, following MacLeod's conversion and remarriage, he and his wife, Patti, wrote about struggles with divorce and alcoholism in Back On Course: The Remarkable Story of a Divorce That Ended in Remarriage.
In 2013, MacLeod released his memoir, This Is Your Captain Speaking: My Fantastic Voyage Through Hollywood, Faith & Life. The book recalls his upbringing in upstate New York during the Great Depression, as well as his life after over 50 years in Hollywood. He said, "...all my living has been based on what other people have written...I hope it can help others, how I overcame and never gave up. There are so many lessons in life." In the book, MacLeod recounts his stories as a young actor trying to make a name for himself in Hollywood, the lifelong friends he has made, his bout with alcoholism and divorce and his journey through faith and Christianity.
The book has received great reviews amongst the general public as well as from some of Gavin’s longtime Hollywood friends. Kathie Lee Gifford of the Today Show said, "Gavin epitomizes the old-fashioned concept of a gentleman. He is a loving, generous, and authentic seeker of God’s truth. His life story speaks for itself." Television icon, Florence Henderson said, "You will love this book. It's filled with fun, faith, and hope. Just like my friend Gavin MacLeod!" Governor Mike Huckabee said, "Like everyone else in America, I knew he was a great actor and always seemed like the kind of man you'd love to live next door to and have as a friend. After reading his compelling and candid story, I understand why I felt this way."
MacLeod married his current wife Patti in 1974. Both were previously divorced. The couple divorced in the 1980s, but were remarried in 1985. During the mid-1980s, MacLeod and Patti became Evangelical Christians and credit their religion for bringing them back together.
During his time as the Captain on The Love Boat, MacLeod "very selfishly" (his words) divorced his wife Patti. She then spent the next three years seeking help from psychiatrists on both the west and the east coasts. Then one day, his wife received a telephone call from Patti Lewis, first wife of Jerry Lewis, inviting her to a Christian prayer group which contained a number of famous actresses - they started to pray for Gavin. Gavin said, "From that day, I started to think about her. Something told me to call Patti. I called Patti. I went back to see her the following Monday and things haven't been the same since." MacLeod asked her what had happened. She then explained everything to him including that she had given her life to Christ.
On Sunday, September 20, 2009, MacLeod spoke at The Rock Church, in Anaheim, California. He discussed his conversion to Christianity.
|1958||I Want to Live!||The Lieutenant|
|1959||Compulsion||Padua - Horn's Assistant|
|1959||Pork Chop Hill||Private Saxon|
|1959||Operation Petticoat||Seaman Ernest Hunkle, USN|
|1959||The Gene Krupa Story||Ted Krupa (uncredited)|
|1960||Twelve Hours to Kill||Johnny|
|1960||High Time||Professor Thayer|
|1961||The Crimebusters||Harry Deiner|
|1962||War Hunt||Pvt. Crotty|
|1964||McHale's Navy||Seaman Joseph Haines|
|1965||The Sword of Ali Baba||Hulagu Khan|
|1965||McHale's Navy Joins the Air Force||Seaman Joseph Haines|
|1966||Baby Makes Three||Dr. Charles Norwood|
|1966||The Sand Pebbles||Crosley|
|1968||A Man Called Gannon||Lou|
|1968||The Party||C.S. Divot|
|1969||The Thousand Plane Raid||Sgt. Kruger|
|1969||The Comic||1st Director|
|1970||Kelly's Heroes||Moriarty, Oddball's bow machine-gunner and mechanic|
|2002||Time Changer||Dr. Norris Anderson|
|2009||The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry||Jonathan Sperry|
|1957||The Walter Winchell File||Crook||Episode: "Act of Folly"|
|1958||U.S. Marshal||Buck||Episode: "The Arraignment"|
|1958||The Walter Winchell File||Stone Ballston||Episode: "The Walkout"|
|1958/60||Peter Gunn||George Fallon / Mitch Borden||2 episodes|
|1959/60||Mr. Lucky||Salesman / Bugsy McKenna||2 episodes|
|1959||Men Into Space||Dave Parsons||"Lost Missile"|
|1959/61/62||The Untouchables||Three-Fingered Jack White / William 'Porker' Davis / Whitey Metz||3 episodes|
|1961||Dr. Kildare||Lorenzo Lawson||Episode: "Winter Harvest"|
|1961||Straightaway||Episode: "The Heist"|
|1961||The Dick Van Dyke Show||Maxwell Cooley||Episode: "Empress Carlotta's Necklace"|
|1961||The Investigators||Frankie Giff||Episode: "Style of Living"|
|1961/65||Perry Mason||Dan Platte / Mortimer Hershey / Lawrence Comminger||3 episodes|
|1962-64||McHale's Navy||Seaman Joseph "Happy" Hanes||73 episodes|
|1964||The Munsters||Paul Newmar||Episode: "The Sleeping Cutie"|
|1965||Rawhide||Rian Powers||Episode: "The Meeting"|
|1965||Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.||Fred Fay||Episode: "Dance, Marine, Dance"|
|1965||The Andy Griffith Show||Bryan Bender / Gilbert Jamel||2 episodes|
|1965||The Man from U.N.C.L.E.||Cleveland||Episode: "The Hong Kong Shilling Affair"|
|1965/66||My Favorite Martian||Alvin Wannamaker||2 episodes|
|1966/68/69||Hogan's Heroes||Gen. von Rauscher / Maj. Kiegel / Gen. Metzger / Maj. Zolle||4 episodes|
|1967||Combat!||British Cpl. Tommy Behan||Episode: "The Masquers"|
|1966||The Rat Patrol||Sgt. Gribs||Episode: "The Fatal Chase Raid"|
|1967||The Road West||Nick Marteen||Episode: "The Eighty-Seven Dollar Bride"|
|1967/68/69||The Big Valley||Clute / O'Leary / Mace||3 episodes|
|1968/69/70||It Takes a Thief||Gen. Contell / Seymour / Maj. Kazan||3 episodes|
|1969||The Flying Nun||Harold Harmon||Episode: "A Star Is Reborn"|
|1970-77||The Mary Tyler Moore Show||Murray Slaughter||168 episodes|
|1974||Only with Married Men||Jordan Robbins||Movie|
|1974||Tattletales||Himself||Games Show/One Week (5 episodes) with wife Patti|
|1977||Ransom for Alice!||Yankee Sullivan||Movie|
|1977-87||The Love Boat||Captain Merrill Stubing||250 episodes|
|1980||Murder Can Hurt You||Nojack||Movie|
|2000||Oz||Cardinal Frances Abgott||Episode: "Works of Mercy"|
|2001/02||The King of Queens||Uncle Stu||2 episodes|
|2006||That '70s Show||Smitty||2 episodes|
|2009||The Suite Life on Deck||Mr. Barker||2 episodes|
|2011||Pound Puppies||Captain Gumble (voice)||Episode: "Bone Voyage"|