Sitcom star Gavin McLeod has died.
Longtime actor Gavin McLeod landed roles in several sitcoms throughout his decades-long career. He played “Happy” Haines on “McHale’s Navy.” And he played the proud Captain Stubing on “The Love Boat.” However, fans may know him best as newswriter Murray Slaughter on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” His upbeat humor made him a star on the show. And he appeared in every one of the show’s 168 episodes from 1970-77.
During the show, Murray was married to Marie but he was in love with Mary. To make matters even harder for Murray, his desk was right next to Mary’s in the WGN newsroom. His character was both endearing and funny – a trait many of the characters on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” shared.
Gavin McLeod Auditioned for Archie Bunker On ‘All In the Family’ and Quickly Regretted It
However, McLeod originally auditioned for a different role on the show, Lou Grant. The role ended up going to actor Ed Asner. He also auditioned for the role of Archie Bunker on “All in the Family.” However, after reading the full script for the show for the first time, McLeod realized that he could never play Archie. In his memoir, “This Is Your Captain Speaking: My Fantastic Voyage Through Hollywood, Faith and Life,” McLeod said he was relieved when he didn’t get the role in “All in the Family.”
“Immediately I thought, ‘This is not the script for me. The character is too much of a bigot. I can’t say these things,'” wrote McLeod. Creator Norman Lear ended up calling McLeod to tell him that actor Carroll O’Connor landed the role of Archie Bunker and MacLeod said he was relieved.
After his time with “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” Gavin McLeod immediately jumped from one hit show to another. He quickly landed the role of Captain Stubing on “The Love Boat.” The romantic comedy set on a cruise ship aired for 10 years from 1977-87. McLeod reprised his role for the television movie, “The Love Boat: A Valentine Voyage” in 1990, and again in 1998 for the reunion episode of the rebooted series “Love Boat: The Next Wave.”
Gavin Mcleod’s nephew, Mark See, confirmed his death. Mcleod died early in the morning on May 29. Gavin McLeod married actress Patti Kendig in 1974. They divorced in 1982 but remarried in 1985. He is survived by Patti and his four children from a previous marriage.