MacLeod’s nephew Mark See confirmed his death to Variety. MacLeod passed away early in the morning of May 29. No cause of death has been given, but MacLeod’s health has deteriorated in recent months.
MacLeod played a relatively minor character in the ABC hit “McHale’s Navy,” with Ernest Borgnine, but as reporter Murray Slaughter he was certainly one of the stars of “Mary Tyler Moore,” appearing in all 168. episodes of the classic comedy during its 1970-77 on CBS. Murray was married to Marie (Joyce Bulifant) but was in love with Moore’s Mary Richards. Her desk was right next to Mary’s in the WGN newsroom, so MacLeod was frequently involved during the sitcom, and Murray, like all the other characters, was richly developed – a hallmark of MTM shows.
MacLeod first tried out the role of Lou Grant, which went to Ed Asner, but claimed to be happy he ended up playing Murray. He also auditioned for the role of Archie Bunker in “All in the Family,” but after reading the script for the first time, he wrote in his memoir: “Immediately I thought, it’s not the scenario for me. The character is too bigoted. I cannot say these things. When Norman Lear called the actor to tell him Carroll O’Connor got the part, MacLeod was relieved.
The cast of “Moore” – MacLeod, Asner, Valerie Harper, Cloris Leachman, Betty White and Georgia Engel (Ted Knight died in 1986) – remembered with Moore in 2002 on CBS’s “The Mary Tyler Moore Reunion”.
Asner paid homage to MacLeod on Twitter, writing, “My heart is broken. Gavin was my brother, my partner in crime (and food), and my comedic conspirator. I’ll see you in a moment, Gavin. Tell the gang I’ll see them in a moment. Betty! It’s just you and me now.
My heart is broken. Gavin was my brother, my partner in crime (and food), and my comedic conspirator. I’ll see you in a moment, Gavin. Tell the gang I’ll see them in a moment. Betty! It’s just you and me now. pic.twitter.com/se4fwh7G1G
– Ed Asner (@TheOnlyEdAsner) May 29, 2021
MacLeod was very fortunate to switch from one successful series to another in 1977, when “Moore” ended and ABC’s “The Love Boat” began. The hour-long romantic comedy set on a cruise ship lasted 10 years. The actor’s Captain Stubing was known for his iconic salute. Even after the trip ended in 1987, the actor returned for the television show “The Love Boat: A Valentine Voyage” in 1990 and for the episode “Reunion” of the rebooted series “Love Boat: The Next Wave” in 1998. .
MacLeod could, indeed, hold a record of consecutive long-lasting series: he went directly from “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” (168 episodes) to “The Love Boat” (249 episodes).
The New York Times said in 2010: “Maybe no actor has taken on a signing role like Mr. MacLeod did with Captain Stubing. Since “The Love Boat” ceased airing, he has been the spokesperson for Princess Cruises. “
In 1997, the actor joined the rest of the cast of “The Love Boat” on “Oprah” in what was the first full appearance since the series’ cancellation. Another actor meeting took place in 2013 on “The Talk”.
MacLeod was born Allan George See in Mount Kisco, NY. Her mother worked for Reader’s Digest, while her father was an electrician in Chippewa. He grew up in Pleasantville, NY, and went to Ithaca College, where he studied theater and graduated in 1952. After serving in the US Air Force, he moved to New York and worked at Radio City Music Hall as usher and elevator operator. while looking for an acting job. During this time, he changed his name.
After a few uncredited movie roles, MacLeod made his big-screen credited debut in Susan Hayward’s 1958 vehicle “I Want to Live,” playing a police lieutenant, then played a GI in Gregory Peck with “Pork Chop. Hill ”the following year. His supporting role in Blake Edwards’ WWII comedy “Operation Petticoat”, starring Cary Grant and Tony Curtis and focusing on the chaotic events aboard a submarine, gave the young actor an idea of what he would do a few years later in “McHale’s Marine.” 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 “High Time”, starring Bing Crosby and Fabian; and the critically acclaimed but now forgotten Korean War film “War Hunt”. He also made numerous television appearances prior to his stint on “McHale’s Navy”.
MacLeod left “McHale’s Navy” so that he could play a supporting role in the excellent period adventure film “The Sand Pebbles”, starring Steve McQueen, and he appeared in a number of other films throughout. decade-long: “A Man Called Gannon” and Blake Edwards’ Peter Sellers comedy “The Party” in 1968; “The Thousand Plane Raid”, “The Comic” and “The Intruders” in 1969; and, in 1970, the caper film of World War II “Kelly’s Heroes”, in which he played Moriarty, the machine gunner and mechanic of Oddball.
In the meantime, he was the guest of both dramas (“Perry Mason”, “Ben Casey”, “Ironside”, “Hawaii Five-O”, “The Big Valley”) and comedies (“The Andy Griffith Show” , “My Martian Favorite”, “Hogan’s Heroes”). In December 1961, he was a guest on “The Dick Van Dyke Show” in what was his first collaboration with Mary Tyler Moore.
After his years on “Mary Tyler Moore” and “The Love Boat,” MacLeod didn’t work on a regular basis – he didn’t have to.
He made an impression, however, in a 2000 episode of HBO’s prison drama “Oz” in which he played Roman Catholic Cardinal Frances Abgott, with whom Rita Moreno’s nun, Sister Pete, discusses leaving the hospital. order. The actor had assumed a certain gravity as Captain Stubing, even amid the silliness of “The Love Boat,” which made this role possible in a way it couldn’t have been before.
In the 2000s, MacLeod also appeared in series such as “The King of Queens”, “JAG”, “Touched by an Angel” and “That ’70s Show”.
MacLeod, who appeared on Broadway in 1962 in “Captains and Kings,” also returned to the stage after “The Love Boat.” He toured with Michael Learned of “The Waltons” in AR Gurney’s “Love Letters” and appeared in musicals such as “Gigi” and “Copacabana” between 1997 and 2003. At a concert in 2008, he conducted the Colorado Symphony in Denver. .
MacLeod was first married, from 1955 to 1972, to Joan Devore, with whom he had two sons and two daughters.
He married actress Patti Kendig in 1974. They divorced in 1982 but remarried in 1985.
In the mid-1980s, MacLeod and his second wife became evangelical Christians, and the couple credited religion for bringing them together. He wrote about this in his 1987 book “Back on Course, the Remarkable Story of a Divorce that Ended in Remarriage”. He and Kendig appeared in the big-screen Christian time travel epic “Time Changer”, starring Hal Linden, in 2002, and he played the title role in the 2008 Christian film “The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry.” “.
His memoir “This Is Your Captain Speaking: My Fantastic Voyage Through Hollywood, Faith & Life” was published in 2013.
He is survived by Kendig and four children by Devore.