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Gavin MacLeod (born February 28, 1931) is an American actor most notable for playing Murray Slaughter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Captain Merrill Stubing on The Love Boat. He is the stepfather of Drew Steele, of the rock band the Surf Punks.

Life and career

Early years

Born Allan George See in Mount Kisco, New Yorkmarker, he grew up in Pleasantvillemarker and studied acting at Ithaca Collegemarker, graduating in 1952. His father, a gas station attendant, was a Chippewa Indian. After serving in the Air Force, he moved to New York Citymarker and worked at Radio City Music Hallmarker while looking for acting work. At about this time he changed his name, drawing "Gavin" from a cerebral palsy victim in a TV drama, and "MacLeod" from his Ithaca drama coach, Beatrice MacLeod.


His first movie appearance was in I Want To Live!, a 1958 prison drama starring Susan Hayward. He was soon noticed by Blake Edwards, who in 1958 cast him as a neurotic 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 another Edwards comedy, High Time, with Bing Crosby.

MacLeod also appeared as the villain on TV shows of the late 1950s and early 1960s. He played the role of a drug pusher, 'Big Chicken', in two episodes of the first season of Hawaii Five-O. His first regular TV role came in 1962 as Joseph "Happy" Haines on McHale's Navy. MacLeod's role as Murray Slaughter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show won him lasting fame, and two Golden Globe nominations, followed by another three nominations for his The Love Boat work.

Conversion to Christianity

During the mid-'80s, MacLeod and his then ex-wife Patti became Evangelical Christians and remarried .

During his time as the Captain on The Love Boat MacLeod "very selfishly" (his words) divorced his wife Patti. She then spent the next 3 years seeking help with psychiatrists on both the west and the east coasts. Then one day, his wife received a telephone call from Patti Palmer, first wife of Jerry Lewis. Patti Palmer then invited her to a Christian prayer group with a number of famous actresses in it. 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.

Following his conversion and remarriage, he and his wife wrote about struggles with divorce and alcoholism in Back On Course: The Remarkable Story of a Divorce That Ended in Remarriage. The MacLeods have been hosts on the Trinity Broadcasting Network for 14 years, primarily hosting a show about marriage called Back on Course . Gavin 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 has the lead role in Rich Christiano's The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry.


On Sunday, 20 September, 2009, MacLeod spoke at The "Rock church," in Anaheimmarker, California. He discussed his conversion to Christianity, as well as his role in the movie, The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry (2009).

Current work

MacLeod currently serves as the honorary Mayor of Pacific Palisadesmarker. He has been a representative for Princess Cruises for 23 years and is an MC for them, especially when new ships are launched. He is also an MC for a travel agent show. In December 2008, he conducted the Colorado Symphony in Denver. With the help of a New York writer, he is working on a biography of his life.




  1. TPE "Conversations 12/25/2005"
  2. Interview on The Bob Rogers Show, Radio 2CH 10:29 AEDT 27 October 2008.
  3. TBN "Our Programs"

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