Everyone’s favorite “Love Boat” captain, Gavin MacLeod, was feted by Princess Cruises with a special 80th birthday party aboard Golden Princess yesterday in Los Angeles. Crew members, along with his friends and family, sang “Happy Birthday” and presented him with a massive cake—a 5-foot-long, 3D replica of the original “Love Boat,” Pacific Princess.
MacLeod is perhaps best known for his role as “Captain Merrill Stubing” in the popular television series, The Love Boat. One of the longest running television shows in history, The Love Boat cruised through ten seasons from 1977 to 1986 and is still in syndication in 92 countries worldwide. This year also marks MacLeod’s 25th anniversary serving as Princess Cruises’ spokesperson.
MacLeod’s impressive career spans television, theater and film. Before he took the helm of The Love Boat, he spent seven years on the award-winning television series The Mary Tyler Moore Show as “Murray Slaughter,” the acid-tongued newswriter. His other well-known television roles include “Happy” on McHale’s Navy and “Big Chicken” on Hawaii Five-O, and he also appeared in The Dick Van Dyke Show, Hogan’s Heroes, The Big Valley, Ironside, To Catch a Thief, Run For Your Life, Hotel, and Murder She Wrote.
MacLeod’s film debut was in 1958 with Susan Hayward in the Oscar-winning film I Want to Live. His subsequent 35 film credits include Compulsion with Orson Welles, Operation Petticoat with Cary Grant, High Time with Bing Crosby, The Party with Peter Sellers, The Sand Pebbles with Steve McQueen and Kelly’s Heroes with Clint Eastwood.