Gavin MacLeod, the veteran supporting actor who achieved stardom as Murray Slaughter, the sardonic TV news writer on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” before going on to even bigger fame as the cheerful Capt. Stubing on “The Love Boat,” has died. He was 90.
MacLeod died early Saturday, his nephew, Mark See, told Variety. MacLeod’s health had been poor recently but no cause of death was given, the trade publication reported.
Known to sitcom fans for his bald head and wide smile, MacLeod toiled in near anonymity for more than a decade, appearing on dozens of TV shows and in several movies before landing his “Mary Tyler Moore” role in 1970.
He had originally tested for Moore’s TV boss, Lou Grant, a part that went to Ed Asner. Realizing he wasn’t right for playing the blustery, short-tempered TV newsroom leader, MacLeod asked if he could try instead for the wisecracking TV news writer, his jokes often at the expense of the dimwitted anchorman Ted Baxter.
“The Mary Tyler Moore Show” was a smash from the start and remains a classic of situation comedies. It produced two spinoffs, “Rhoda” and “Phyllis,” starring Valerie Harper and Cloris Leachman, who had portrayed Mary’s neighbors.
It was still top-rated when Moore, who played news producer Mary Richards, decided to end it after seven seasons.
MacLeod moved on to “The Love Boat,” a romantic comedy in which guest stars, including such actors as Gene Kelly and Janet Jackson, would come aboard for a cruise and fall in love.
Although scorned by critics, the series proved immensely popular, lasting 11 seasons and spinning off several TV movies, including two in which MacLeod remained at the cruise ship’s helm. It also resulted in his being hired as a TV pitchman for Princess Cruise Lines.
“The critics hated it. They called it mindless TV, but we became goodwill ambassadors,” he told the Los Angeles Times in 2013.
Among his final TV credits were “Touched by an Angel,” “JAG” and “The King of Queens.”
MacLeod’s lighthearted screen persona was in contrast to his private life. In his 2013 memoir, “This Is Your Captain Speaking,” MacLeod acknowledged that he had struggled with alcoholism in the 1960s and ’70s. He also wrote that losing his hair at an early age made it hard for him to find work as an actor.
“I went all over town looking for an agent, but no one was interested in representing a young man with a bald head,” he wrote. “I knew what I needed to do. I needed to buy myself a hairpiece.” A toupee changed his luck “pretty quickly.” By middle age, he didn’t need the toupee.
Tommy Lasorda, who in 20 years as the Dodgers’ manager won two World Series championships, four National League pennants and eight division titles, died of a heart attack at 93. (Richard Drew / Associated Press)
Siegfried Fischbacher, the blond half of the wildly successful big-cat illusionist duo Siegfried & Roy,d ied of pancreatic cancer at his home in the desert. He was 81. (Fabian Bimmer / Associated Press)
Sheldon Adelson, billionaire casino owner and Republican mega-donor, died in Malibu from complications related to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was 87. (Laura Rauch / Associated Press)
Don Sutton, the Hall of Fame pitcher whose uniform number was the last one retired by the Dodgers, died at his Rancho Mirage home after what a Hall of Fame statement said was “a long battle with cancer.” He was 75. (Associated Press)
In a career that spanned half a century, Larry King became one of the most famous talk show hosts. He died at age 87. (Rose M. Prouser / Associated Press)
Cloris Leachman, who won an Oscar for her role in the bleak coming-of-age movie “The Last Picture Show” and Emmy awards during a prolific television career that stretched back to “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” has died at her home in Encinitas. She was 94.
Sophie, innovative producer and musician and trans icon, died at age 34. (Burak Cingi / Redferns)
Dianne Durham, the first Black woman to win a USA Gymnastics national championship, died in Chicago following a short illness. She was 52. (Lisa Genesen / Associated Press)
A bankable and widely respected stage and film actor for half a century, Christopher Plummer died at his home in Connecticut. He was 91. (Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times)
Beset with health issues since being shot by a white supremacist as he was arriving for a 1978 obscenity trial in Georgia, Larry Flynt died of heart failure at his Hollywood Hills home. Flynt was 78. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Hal Holbrook, the actor best known for his amazingly accurate portrayal of Mark Twain in the renowned one-man show he performed on stages for more than five decades, died at age 95. (John Shearer / WireImage)
Mary Wilson, the longest-reigning original Supreme, has died at 76. Wilson died at her home in Las Vegas (Carlos Osorio / Associated Press)
Marty Schottenheimer, who won 200 regular-season games with four NFL teams thanks to his “Martyball” brand of smash-mouth football, has died at age 77. (K.C. Alfred / San Diego Union-Tribune)
Former NFL wide receiver Vincent Jackson, a Pro Bowl player with the Chargers and Buccaneers, was found dead in a Florida hotel room. Jackson was 38. (Chris Park / Associated Press)
In poor health for years, Rush Limbaugh died of lung cancer, his wife confirmed on his radio show. He was 70. (Shepard Sherbell / Getty Images)
Twelve years into a 150-year prison sentence, the 82-year-old Bernie Madoff died of natural causes at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, N.C. (Louis Lanzano / Associated Press)
Prince Philip died two months shy of his 100th birthday at Windsor Castle in England. (John Stillwell / Associated Press)
G. Gordon Liddy, the tough-guy Watergate operative who went to prison rather than testify and later turned his Nixon-era infamy into a successful television and talk show career, died at age 90. (Associated Press)
Beverly Cleary, beloved and prolific author of children’s books, died in Carmel, where she had lived since the 1960s. She was 104. (Vern Fisher / Associated Press)
Larry McMurtry, author of ‘Lonesome Dove’ and ‘The Last Picture Show,’ died of heart failure at his home in Tucson at 84. (LM Otero / Associated Press)
Elgin Baylor, Lakers legend and former Clippers executive, died at 86. (Reed Saxon / Associated Press)
DMX, the raspy, growling New York rapper who rose to fame with his 1998 blockbuster debut, “It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot,” and became a chart and tabloid mainstay for years after, died at age 50. He was hospitalized on April 2 after suffering a heart attack following a reported drug overdose, and had been in a vegetative state, according to his manager. (Matt Smith / For NJ Advance Media via Tribune News Service)
Mike Marshall, who set a major league standard for endurance during an iconoclastic but award-winning career, died. He was 78. (Richard Drew / Associated Press)
Eric Carle, the beloved children’s author and illustrator whose classic “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and other works gave millions of kids some of their earliest and most cherished literary memories, died at age 91. (Richard Drew / Associated Press)
Robert F. Maguire III, who changed the Los Angeles skyline as the developer of prominent high-rises including downtown icon U.S. Bank Tower, died at his home in Studio City. Maguire died from complications from pneumonia. He was 86. (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)
Paul Mooney, the boundary-pushing comedian who was Richard Pryor’s longtime writing partner and whose bold, incisive musings on racism and American life made him a revered figure in stand-up, died at his home in Oakland. He was 79. (Patrick Downs / Los Angeles Times)
Cruz Reynoso, a son of migrant workers who labored in the fields as a child and went on to become the first Latino state Supreme Court justice in California history, died. Reynoso passed away May 7 at an elder care facility in Oroville. Reynoso was 90. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)
Paul Van Doren, cofounder of Vans, a shoe brand that became a multi-billion-dollar action-sports empire thanks to the SoCal skate community and a focus on custom kicks, died at age 90. (Vans)
Eli Broad, billionaire who poured wealth into reshaping L.A., died at age 87. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
John McAfee, an antivirus software pioneer who became a frequent fugitive from the law, died in a prison cell in Spain hours after a court approved his extradition to the United States. He was 75. (Alan Diaz / Associated Press)
Donald Rumsfeld, who had a storied career in government under four presidents and nearly a quarter century in corporate America, died at 88. For all Rumsfeld’s achievements, it was the setbacks in Iraq while he was Defense secretary that will likely etch the most vivid features of his legacy. (Associated Press)
Robert Downey Sr., an actor and director who made a name for himself with radical, anti-establishment films, died at 85. Downey, the father of actor Robert Downey Jr., was known for roles in “To Live and Die in L.A.” and “Boogie Nights.” He launched his directing career with three experimental comedy films in the 1960s. (Larry Busacca / WireImage)
Biz Markie, a New York rapper best known for his endearingly warbly 1989 single “Just a Friend,” died at 57. Markie was a pivotal figure in early hip-hop, and his bawdy charisma made him one of the most idiosyncratic hip-hop figures ever to break into the top 10. (John Shearer /Invision / Associated Press)
Rodney Alcala, who was dubbed the “Dating Game” killer, died at 77. Alcala, a former photographer, was convicted by an Orange County jury in 2010 of killing four women and a 12-year-old girl in California. (Associated Press)
Jackie Mason, a comedian known for his sharp wit and piercing social commentary, died at 93. The former rabbi started in show business as a social director at a resort in the Catskills and eventually became a reliable presence on TV talk shows and Broadway shows. (Associated Press)
Ron Popeil, a TV pitchman and inventor who hawked products such as the Veg-O-Matic and Mr. Microphone, died at 86. Popeil helped create many of the gadgets he sold and pioneered what became known as the infomercial. (Associated Press)
Richard Trumka, who had been AFL-CIO president since 2009, died at 72. A former coal miner in Pennsylvania, Trumka used his power to push for healthcare legislation, expanded workers’ rights and infrastructure spending. (Associated Press)
Dave Severance, a Marine company commander whose troops planted the American flag on Iwo Jima during World War II, died at 102. Severance, whose unit out of Camp Pendleton spent 33 of the battle’s 36 days on the front lines, earned a Silver Star. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
Bobby Bowden, who built one of the most prolific college football programs in history at Florida State, died at 91. Bowden piled up 377 wins during 40 years as a major college coach and won two national championships. (Associated Press)
Markie Post, a longtime television regular who appeared in shows that included “Night Court” and “Cheers,” died at 70. Post’s first series regular role was in the Lee Majors action adventure series “The Fall Guy,” in which she played Terri Michaels from 1982 to 1985. (Richard Shotwell /Invision / Associated Press)
Nanci Griffith, a Grammy-winning folk singer-songwriter from Texas, died at 68. Griffith’s first major-label release, 1987’s“Lone Star State of Mind,” featured her recording of “From a Distance,” which would later become a well-known Bette Midler tune. (Associated Press)
Maki Kaji, best known for creating the numbers puzzle Sudoku, which became a global hit in 2004, died at 69. Known a the “Godfather of Sudoku,” he traveled to more than 30 countries spreading his love of puzzles. (Associated Press)
Sonny Chiba, who rose to stardom in Japan in the 1960s and later wowed the world with his martial arts skills in more than 100 films, died at 82. Tarantino cast Chiba in the role of Hattori Hanzo, a master swordsmith, in “Kill Bill.” (Associated Press)
Tom T. Hall, a country singer-songwriter who composed hundreds of songs, including the 1968 international hit “Harper Valley P.T.A.”, died at 85. Known as “The Storyteller,” Hall helped usher in a literary era of country music in the early ’70s with songs that were political and personal. (Wade Payne / Invision / Associated Press)
Don Everly, right, a rock ‘n’ roll pioneer and surviving member of the Everly Brothers, died at 84. Don and his younger brother Phil were in the first group to be inaugurated in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, alongside Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and others. (Associated Press)
Charlie Watts, the steadfast Rolling Stones drummer who helped anchor one of rock’s greatest rhythm sections, died at 80. Watts joined the band in the 1960s and was respected worldwide for his swinging style. (Victoria Will / Invision / Associated Press)
Ed Asner, a prolific character actor who became a star as the gruff but lovable newsman Lou Grant, died at 91. Grant’s role in the 1970s situation comedy “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” led to his own Emmy Award-winning starring role in the spinoff dramatic series “Lou Grant.” (Associated Press)
Actor Michael K. Williams, who was lauded for his work as a drug-money Robin Hood named Omar Little on “The Wire” and as Chalky White in “Boardwalk Empire,” died at 54. Williams was nominated for an Emmy Award in his most recent project, HBO’s sci-fi/horror series “Lovecraft County.” (Jesse Dittmar / For The Times)
Comedian Norm Macdonald, best known as a writer, performer and three-season “Weekend Update” anchor on “Saturday Night Live,” died at 61. Macdonald emerged in more recent years on social media as a sports fanatic, live-tweeting golf tournaments in exquisite detail and amassing 1.1 million followers on Twitter. (Associated Press)
Jane Powell, the operatic-voiced star of Hollywood’s golden age musicals, died at 92. Powell made her film debut as a teenager in 1944’s “Song of the Open Road” and later sang with Howard Keel in “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” and danced with Fred Astaire in “Royal Wedding.” (Associated Press)
Willie Garson, who played Carrie Bradshaw’s friend Stanford Blatch on TV’s “Sex and the City” and its movie sequels, died at 57. Blatch made hundreds of appearances on TV and in motion pictures and had been filming an upcoming series revival for HBO Max called “And Just Like That.” (Associated Press)
Jo Lasorda, widow of former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda, died at 91. A breast cancer survivor, Jo Lasorda threw herself into community activism, particularly in bringing attention to Thomas Lasorda Jr. Field House in Yorba Linda. (Los Angeles Times)
Eddie Robinson, whose more than six decades in professional baseball included being general manager for the Atlanta Braves and the Texas Rangers, died at 100. Robinson was the oldest living former major league player. (Associated Press)
Colin Powell, who spent 35 years in the Army and rose to the rank of four-star general before becoming the first Black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, died at 84. Powell’s stellar reputation at the most senior echelons of government was eventually tarnished by his decision to lead his country into the war in Iraq, a decision he came to regret. (Associated Press)
Peter Scolari, who was nominated for three Emmy Awards for his performance on “Newhart” and starred alongside Tom Hanks on the TV show “Bosom Buddies,” died at 66. Scolari’s more than four-decade career included numerous guest roles on series including “ER,” “White Collar” and “Blue Bloods.” (Dan Steinberg /Invision / Associated Press)
Jeff Page, a West Coast hip-hop pioneer who earned the name “mayor of skid row” while fighting to reclaim skid row from its city designation as a homelessness “containment zone,” died at 56. A proud native of of South Los Angeles, Page helped change the narrative on skid row, which he championed as one of the city’s last majority-Black neighborhoods. (Los Angeles Times)
Dean Stockwell, an Oscar-nominated actor who appeared in more than 200 roles that spanned film, television and theater, died at 85. The former child actor found fame on TV in the sci-fi series “Quantum Leap” and “Battlestar Galactica” and earned cult status in the films “Blue Velvet” and “Married to the Mob.” (Alan Greth / Associated Press)
Mick Rock, whose iconic portraits of rock stars saw him dubbed “the man who shot the ’70s,” died at 72. Rock’s portraits appeared on essential album covers including Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll,” Queen’s “Queen II” and the Ramones’ “End of the Century.” (Angela Weiss / Getty Images)
Stephen Sondheim, an award-winning composer-lyricist who reshaped the American musical theater in the second half of the 20th century, died at 91. Sondheim launched his Broadway career in 1957 and took musicals to a higher level of emotional complexity than his predecessors in shows such as “Company,” “Follies” and “Sweeney Todd.” (Charles Krupa / Associated Press)
Lee Elder, who overcame many obstacles to become the first Black golfer to play in the Masters, died at 87. Elder had four victories on the PGA Tour, including the 1974 Monsanto Open in Pensacola, Fla., which earned him an invitation to the Masters. Elder received death threats and was accompanied by security guards during that Florida tournament. (Associated Press)
Jacqueline Avant, an L.A. philanthropist best known as the wife of music industry titan Clarence Avant, died at 81. She was described as a quiet force who helped guide her husband to unite powerful figures from the worlds of sports, entertainment and politics, usually to benefit the less fortunate. (Mark Von Holden/ invision / Associated Press)
Bob Dole, a veteran disabled in World War II and a leader in the political dramas that shaped the country, died at 98. Dole rose through the Senate ranks to become a long-serving Republican leader and was national spokesman for a sturdy brand of common-sense conservatism. (Associated Press)
Vicente Fernández, an iconic Mexican signer whose romantic rancheras and timeless folk anthems defined the grit and romance of his turbulent homeland, died at 81. The self-taught troubadour recorded more than 50 albums, all in Spanish, and sold tens of millions of copies, nearly half in the United States. (Los Angeles Times)
bell hooks, a bestselling writer, feminist, poet and cultural critic, died at 69. She wrote more than 30 books, published in 15 languages, exploring the nature of love and the convergence of race, class and gender. (Karjean Levine/Getty Images)
Michael Nesmith, a singer-songwriter who came to stardom in the 1960s when he was cast as a member of the Monkees, a made-for-television rock ‘n’ roll group, died at 78. The Monkees became one of the most successful rock bands of the 1960s, selling more than 75 million records worldwide. (Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
Anne Rice, a bestselling gothic novelist best known for 1976’s “Interview With the Vampire,” her first novel, died at 80. Rice would write more than 30 books and sell more than 150 million copies worldwide in a career that spanned decades. (Los Angeles Times)
Eve Babitz, a Los Angeles-born author who chronicled her native world in the 1960s and 1970s, died at 78. Babitz’s books, which included “Eve’s Hollywood,” “Sex and Rage” and “Black Swans,” wove back and forth between fiction and nonfiction, but all of it was rooted in her own experiences. (Los Angeles Times)
Joan Didion, an author, essayist and screenwriter who examined culture and consciousness with a brittle awareness of disorder before turning her lens on herself in books, died at 87. Didion bridged the worlds of Hollywood, journalism and literature in a career that arced most brilliantly in the realms of social criticism and memoir. Two of her last books, “The Year of Magical Thinking” and Blue Nights,” were her most personal. (For the Times)
Desmond Tutu, a cleric who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his campaign against apartheid in South Africa, died at 90. For two decades, Tutu was an inspiring symbol of courage, dignity and hope in a nation that seemed doomed to civil war. His fervent pleas for peace and racial justice were a constant balm to a country on the edge of catastrophe. (Mark Wessels / Associated Press)
John Madden, a Hall of Fame coach, award-winning sports broadcaster and video game icon, died at 85. Madden led the Oakland Raiders to a Super Bowl victory in the’70s and dazzled TV viewers with his unique broadcasting style, but his most successful career was his last: helping create a video-game empire that bore his name, Madden NFL. (Uncredited / Associated Press)
Harry Reid, who went from poverty in Nevada to the pinnacle of the U.S. Senate, died at 82. Reid became one of the most influential Democrats of his generation, whose mastery of the Senate gave him a major role as majority leader in enacting the chief legislative accomplishments of Barack Obama’s presidency, including the Affordable Care Act. (Dennis Cook / Associated Press)
Betty White, whose saucy charm made her a television mainstay for more than 60 years, died at 99. White was best known for the characters she played in a pair of long-running TV series — the conniving “happy homemaker” Sue Ann Nivens on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” in the 1970s and Rose Nylund on “The Golden Girls.” (Matt Sayles / Associated Press)
MacLeod, whose given name was Allan See, took his first name from a French movie and his last from a drama teacher at New York’s Ithaca College who had encouraged him to pursue an acting career.
After college, the Mount Kisco, N.Y., native became a supporting player in “A Hatful of Rain” and other Broadway plays, and in such films as “I Want to Live!” and “Operation Petticoat.”
He made guest appearances on TV shows throughout the 1960s, including “Hogan’s Heroes,” “Hawaii Five-0” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” He also appeared on “McHale’s Navy” from 1962 to 1964 as seaman Joseph “Happy” Haines.
One major role he auditioned for: Archie Bunker in “All in the Family.” But he quickly realized that the character, immortalized by Carroll O’Connor, was wrong for him. “Immediately I thought, ‘This is not the script for me. The character is too much of a bigot.’ I can’t say these things,” MacLeod wrote in his memoir.
Other movie credits included “Kelly’s Heroes,” “The Sand Pebbles” and “The Sword of Ali Baba.”
MacLeod had four children with his first wife, Joan Rootvik, whom he divorced in 1972. He was the son of an alcoholic and his 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.”