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Gavin MacLeod: When Your Door Closes, Another Will Open

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"It's been a great, great ride," says Gavin MacLeod about the career that started out slowly but went on to include roles on two iconic series, as Murray on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and Capt. Stubing on "The Love Boat."

Sure, the ride's had a few bumps for MacLeod. He lost his father when he was 13. He suffered through years of alcoholism, which led to the end of his first marriage -- a tale he tells without self-pity in his new book, "This Is Your Captain Speaking."

"I was ugly when I drank," he told CNN. "The fighting was miserable, and very much my fault."

Until finally breaking through in his late 30s on the MTM Show, he had a steady but unexceptional career as a character actor. He got his start on stage in the drama "A Hatful of Rain" and later attracted notice in Los Angeles for playing a drug dealer in a play called "The Connection," which led to roles as villains on such shows as "Hawaii Five-O."

It was Murray -- and then Capt. Merrill Stubing on "The Love Boat," through which he became a spokesman for Princess Cruises -- that established MacLeod's on-screen good-guy bona fides.  He has found strength in his Christian faith and in his long marriage to his wife, Patti.

Gavin MacLeod joins Steve Edwards and Araksya Karapetyan on Good Day LA

Fun Facts About Gavin MacLeod (Source: Wikipedia)

1) He is an American character actor, mayor, and ship's ambassador, who in his six decades of television is notable for playing Joseph "Happy" Haines on McHale's Navy, Murray Slaughter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and for his lead role as Captain Merrill Stubing on The Love Boat.

2) After serving in the Air Force, he moved to New York City and worked at Radio City Music Hall while looking for acting work. At about this time he changed his name, drawing "Gavin" from a cerebral palsy victim in a TV drama, and "MacLeod" from his Ithaca drama coach, Beatrice MacLeod.

3) MacLeod's first movie appearance was a small, uncredited role in The True Story of Lynn Stuart in 1958. Soon thereafter, he landed a credited role in I Want to Live!, a 1958 prison drama starring Susan Hayward. He was soon noticed by Blake Edwards, who in 1958 cast him as a neurotic harried navy yeoman in Operation Petticoat with Cary Grant and Tony Curtis. Operation Petticoat proved to be a breakout role for MacLeod, and he was soon cast in another Edwards comedy, High Time, with Bing Crosby.

4) MacLeod's role as Murray Slaughter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show won him lasting fame, and two Golden Globe nominations. His role as Captain Stubing on The Love Boat was his next notable role on a hit TV series. His work on that show earned him three Golden Globe nominations.

Twitter: @ItsGavinMacLeod

Facebook: Gavin MacLeod Official

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