THE LOVE BOAT Star Gavin MacLeod Dies at 90
By Movieguide® Staff
Veteran actor Gavin MacLeod, known for his popular sitcom THE LOVE BOAT, died on May 29 at the age of 90.
MacLeod’s nephew, Mark See, confirmed his death, according to Variety.
MacLeod’s loyalty to his characters in TV was highly regarded within the industry. The late actor starred in the hour-long romantic comedy THE LOVE BOAT for ten years and 249 episodes, and in other popular sitcoms such as THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW, which ran for seven years and 168 episodes.
MOORE co-star Ed Asner paid tribute to MacLeod on Twitter: “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.”
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. pic.twitter.com/se4fwh7G1G
— Ed Asner (@TheOnlyEdAsner) May 29, 2021
Maureen McCormick, a co-star on THE LOVE BOAT, also honored the late actor.
“Rest In Peace my dear friend Gavin MacLeod,” McCormick wrote in a tweet. “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.”
Nancy Sinatra wrote in a tweet: “Gavin MacLeod will always be a member of our family and the best neighbor anyone could ever have. Our hearts are aching, we will miss him terribly and love him forever. Godspeed, dear friend.”
MacLeod was also known for his conservative-Christian values and starred in several faith-based projects like THE GREATEST ADVENTURE: STORIES FROM THE BIBLE and DANIEL AND THE LION’S DEN.
MacLeod also attended Movieguide®’s annual Award Gala, which honors the movies of Hollywood that contain family-friendly, biblical morals and inspiring content.
MacLeod was born Allan George See in Mount Kisco, N.Y. His mother worked for Reader’s Digest, while his father was an electrician who was part Chippewa. He grew up in Pleasantville, N.Y., and went to Ithaca College, where he studied acting and graduated in 1952. After serving in the U.S. Air Force, he moved to New York City and worked at Radio City Music Hall as an usher and elevator operator while seeking work as an actor. During this time he changed his name.
After a few uncredited film roles, MacLeod made his credited bigscreen debut in the 1958 Susan Hayward vehicle “I Want to Live,” playing a police lieutenant, then played a G.I. in Gregory Peck starrer “Pork Chop Hill” the next year. His supporting role in Blake Edwards’ WWII comedy “Operation Petticoat,” starring Cary Grant and Tony Curtis and focusing on the chaotic goings on aboard a submarine, gave the young actor a flavor of what he would be doing a few years later on “McHale’s Navy.” In the meantime he appeared in the 1960 thriller “Twelve Hours to Kill,” which starred future “I Dream of Jeannie” star Barbara Eden; Blake Edwards’ musical comedy “High Time,” starring Bing Crosby and Fabian; and the critically hailed but now forgotten Korean War film “War Hunt.” He also did a boatload of guest appearances on TV before his stint on “McHale’s Navy.”
MacLeod was first married, from 1955-1972, to Joan Rootvik, with whom he had two sons and two daughters.
He married actress Patti Kendig in 1974. They divorced in 1982 but remarried in 1985.
During the mid-1980s, MacLeod and his second wife became Evangelical Christians, and the pair credited the religion for reuniting them. He wrote about it in his 1987 book “Back on Course, the Remarkable Story of a Divorce That Ended in Remarriage.” He and Kendig appeared in the Christian big-screen time-travel epic “Time Changer,” along with Hal Linden, in 2002, and he played the title role in the 2008 Christian film “The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry.”
In 2013, MacLeod also published a memoir entitled: “This Is Your Captain Speaking: My Fantastic Voyage Through Hollywood, Faith & Life.”
He is survived by Kendig and four children by Rootvik.