Entertainment Celebrity Love Boat star Gavin MacLeod dead at 90

Love Boat star Gavin MacLeod dead at 90

Generations of viewers knew and loved Love Boat skipper Gavin MacLeod. Photo: US ABC
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Hollywood and fans the world over are mourning beloved US television actor Gavin MacLeod.

The veteran performer, best known for his roles in hit series The Love Boat and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, was 90 when he passed away  on Saturday, his nephew, Mark See, told Variety.

The actor’s health had been poor recently but no cause of death was given, the trade publication reported.

MacLeod achieved stardom as Murray Slaughter, the sardonic TV news writer on the 1970s comedy The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

He went on to a lead role, and bigger fame, as the cheerful Captain Merrill Stubing on The Love Boat, which rode in the ratings through nine series in the US and three movie-length specials.

Early in his career, MacLeod was featured on McHale’s Navy from 1962 to 1964 as seaman Joseph “Happy” Haines.

His movie credits included Kelly’s Heroes, The Sand Pebbles, The Sword of Ali Baba, War Hunt and The Crime Busters.

Among his more recent TV credits were Touched By An Angel, JAG and The King of Queens.

MacLeod had four children with his first wife, Joan Rootvik, whom he divorced in 1972.

The son of an alcoholic, his own drinking problems helped lead to a second divorce, from Patti Steele. But after MacLeod quit drinking, he and Steele remarried in 1985.

The couple later hosted a Christian radio show called Back on Course: A Ministry for Marriages.

-with AAP