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GAVIN MACLEOD’S VOYAGE ENDS

Gavin MacLeod, the beloved actor whose bald head and infectious smile were instantly familiar to several generations of Americans from his constant presence on the small screen, died on 5/29 at his home in Palm Desert. He was 90.

MacLeod was best-known for his memorable roles as Murray Slaughter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Captain Merrill Stubing on The Love Boat, but we at HITS knew him as the dad of Keith MacLeod, who has been designing and handling production since the magazine’s early days more than three decades ago. All of us here mourn Keith’s loss.

Ed Asner, 91, who played Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, tweeted that “My heart is broken. 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.”

Maureen McCormick, a regular on The Love Boat, wrote, “Rest In Peace my dear friend Gavin Macleod. Thank you for all the special and beautiful heart filled conversations about life. I will always treasure the time I was lucky enough to spend with you. Love you #GavinMacleod."

Filmmaker Kevin Smith tweeted, “As a ’70s/80s kid, I spent many a Saturday night with my mom, dad, brother and sister watching Love Boat. So I was unexpectedly sad to see Gavin MacLeod has cruised on to that Puerto Vallarta in the sky! Thanks for the many memories, Captain Stubing—here and at WJM-TV!”

After starting his career as a supporting actor on Broadway, MacLeod was part of the ensemble cast of McHale’s Navy from 1962 to 1964 as seaman Joseph “Happy” Haines. He also guested on such ’60s series as Hogan’s Heroes, Hawaii Five-O and The Dick Van Dyke Show. But it wasn’t until MacLeod landed the role of Murray in 1970 that he became a virtual member of millions of American households.

His movie credits included Kelly’s Heroes, The Sand Pebbles, The Sword of Ali Baba, War Hunt and The Crime Busters. More recently, he appeared on the TV series Touched by an Angel, JAG and The King of Queens.

Born Allan See on 2/28/31, the Mount Kisco, N.Y., native took his first name from a French movie and his last from a drama teacher at Ithaca College who had encouraged him to pursue an acting career.

In a 2013 interview with AP, MacLeod frequently invoked the word “grateful” as he reflected on his Christianity, surviving two heart attacks and his robust life. “That’s a big word in my life,” he said. “I’m just so grateful I’ve had another day, another day, another day, and that my kids are doing so well.”

MacLeod had four children with his first wife, Joan Rootvik, before they divorced in 1972. He was the son of an alcoholic, and his drinking problems helped lead to a second divorce, to actor/dancer Patti Steele. After MacLeod quit drinking, he and Steele remarried in 1985.

Besides his wife, MacLeod is survived by his children Meghan, Julie, David and Keith, three stepchildren, 10 grandchildren and his first great-grandchild, who arrived in December.

Our condolences and love go out to Keith and his mishpuchah as they absorb this loss.

You can read more about Gavin’s illustrious life and career here.

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