‘The Love Boat’ captain Gavin MacLeod, dies age 90

May 31, 2021
Love Boat captain Gavin MacLeod has died aged 90. Pictured here with fellow cast member Lauren Tewes. Source: Getty

Tributes have flowed in over the weekend after the news broke that Gavin MacLeod, the beloved and cheerful captain of The Love Boat had died.

MacLeod passed away early Saturday morning at the age of 90 at his home in Palm Desert, California. MacLeod’s nephew, Mark See, confirmed the news with Variety revealing his uncle had been well until very recently, though he did not specify the cause of death.

The veteran actor achieved stardom playing seaman ‘Happy’ Haines on McHale’s Navy, Murray on The Mary Tyler Moore and Captain Stubing on The Love Boat. Macleod achieved international fame for The Love Boat, the much-loved romantic comedy that ran from 1977 to 1986.

The Captain and crew (L-R Lauren Tewes, Fred Grandy, Ted Lange, Gavin Macleod, Jill Whelan and Bernie Kopell) of the television series, ‘The Love Boat’. Source: Getty

Before joining the cast of The Love Boat, he appeared in every single episode of  The Mary Tyler Moore, during its 1970 to 1977 run on CBS. He played newswriter Murray Slaughter, alongside other well-known names including Ed Asner, Valerie Harper, Cloris Leachman, Betty White and Georgia Engel.

Asner, 91, shared a touching 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.”

Also taking to Twitter today to pay tribute to the late actor was Maureen McCormick, best known for her turn as The Brady Bunch’s Marcia Brady. She also played various roles on The Love Boat. “Rest In Peace my dear friend Gavin Macleod,” she wrote. “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 also shared fond memories of growing up with MacLeod’s performances, Tweeting, “As a 70’s/80’s kid, I spent many a Saturday night with my Mom, Dad, Brother and Sister watching LOVE BOAT,” he wrote. “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! #RIP.”

Did you used to watch The Love Boat? Who was your favourite character?

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