Gavin MacLeod, the veteran sitcom actor who played Captain Stubing on The Love Boat, died on May 29. TMZ reports that he died early Saturday morning at his home in Palm Desert, California, and that no official cause of death has been given, although he was in and out of the hospital over the past few months.
MacLeod was born Allan George See in 1931, and began acting in minor film and television roles in the late 1950s. He continued acting on a number of sitcoms throughout the 1960s before landing the role of Murray Slaughter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show in 1970, appearing in all 168 episodes of the show’s seven-year run. MacLeod went straight from Mary Tyler Moore to The Love Boat in 1977, playing lead character Merrill Stubing, a.k.a. Your Captain (as in, “this is your captain speaking”) over the course of the show’s nine seasons and five specials. After The Love Boat, MacLeod hosted Evangelical Christian programming on the Trinity Broadcasting Network.
Following the news of MacLeod’s death, Ed Asner memorialized his Mary Tyler Moore Show co-star and friend in a touching tweet, writing, “Gavin was my brother, my partner in crime (and food) and my comic conspirator. I will see you in a bit Gavin. Tell the gang I will see them in a bit. Betty! It’s just you and me now,” referring to the Mary Tyler Moore Show’s Betty White.
MacLeod is survived by his wife, Patti, their four children, and multiple grandchildren.