Capt. Merrill Stubing, a.k.a. actor Gavin MacLeod, of TV's "The Love Boat," will appear at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on April 19 to talk about his memoir and how the show influenced an industry.
MacLeod, 84, and the popular "Love Boat" series popularized cruising during the show's run on ABC from 1977-87.
"It is safe to say that 'The Love Boat' single-handedly introduced the concept of vacation cruising to the masses and made it synonymous with romance," MacLeod told Cruise Critic in an interview.
The show was sponsored by Princess Cruises and initially was shot aboard the line's Sun Princess in Mexico.
MacLeod's character was so popular that he became the cruise line's global ambassador for more than three decades. He has sailed on most Princess ships and attended many christenings of new ships too, according to the interview.
In November, MacLeod joined "Love Boat" cast members, including Fred Grandy (Gopher) and Ted Lange (Isaac the bartender), for a christening of the line's new Regal Princess.
The cover of his newest book -- "This Is Your Captain Speaking: My Fantastic Voyage Through Hollywood and Life" -- shows him dressed in his captain's uniform.
In this memoir, MacLeod relives the "Love Boat" years as well as the celebrities he met during his time in Hollywood: Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Ronald Reagan and Fred Astaire, among others.
MacLeod also writes about finding God and remaining true to his Christian faith.
He will be appearing at 3:30 p.m. April 19 in conversation with Travel Editor Catharine Hamm.
Check out the full Festival of Books schedule on April 18 and 19 at USC.