Gavin MacLeod (born February 28, 1930) 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.
Born Allan George See
in Mount Kisco, New York
, he grew up in Pleasantville
and studied acting at Ithaca College
, graduating in 1952. His father, a gas station attendant, was a Chippewa (Ojibwa)
Indian. After serving in the 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 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.
During the mid-80's, McLeod and his then ex-wife Patti became Evangelical Christians
and remarried (see TPE "Conversations 12/25/2005"
). Following his conversion and remarriage, he and his wife wrote about struggles with divorce
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
(see TBN "Our Programs"
). 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 Christiano's "The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry"
due out in Spring 2009.
MacLeod currently serves as the honorary Mayor of Pacific Palisades