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8 newsworthy facts about your captain, Gavin MacLeod

From Murray Slaughter to helming the Love Boat, he was an all star.

Image: Associated Press

Gavin MacLeod has appeared in some of the most beloved shows of all time, including The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Love Boat

His affable demeanor won over audiences from the get-go, making him one of the most popular television personalities of all time.

In honor of the special occasion, we're going overboard with a list of facts you might now know about the television star. 

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1

He grew up in Pleasantville.

No, we're not talking about the 1998 film about two teenage siblings that wind up living in a classic sitcom. We're talking about the village in New York, where the future television star spent his childhood.

2

His original name is Allan George See.

MacLeod changed his name upon moving to New York City after serving in the United States Air Force. The actor told Parade in 2013 that he felt his original name, Allan See, was getting in the way of his success.

3

The inspiration for his new name was interesting.

MacLeod took his new last name from his drama coach at Ithaca College, Beatrice MacLeod. He took his new first name, however, from a physically handicapped victim on a TV drama. There you have it: Gavin MacLeod.

4

He worked with Mary Tyler Moore before her show.

MacLeod appeared on The Dick Van Dyke Show in 1961 in the episode "Empress Carlotta's Necklace." He played Maxwell Cooley, a wholesale jeweler who sells Rob Petrie a hideous necklace.

Image: Paul Brownstein Productions

5

He was on 'McHale's Navy.'

Although people remember MacLeod for his roles on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Love Boat, he actually got his big break on the sitcom McHale's Navy in 1962. MacLeod played Happy Haines for the show's first two seasons, eventually leaving to appear in the film The Sand Pebbles.

Image: NBCUniversal

6

He originally auditioned for the role of Lou Grant.

Can you imagine Murray Slaughter uttering the line, "You've got spunk…. I hate spunk!"? It almost happened. TV executive Grant Tinker wanted MacLeod to audition for the role of Lou Grant. However, everyone decided MacLeod was a better fit for the friendly character instead.

Image: Associated Press

7

He's a spokesperson for Princess Cruises.

MacLeod took his role of Captain Merrill Stubing very seriously after The Love Boat wrapped in the late 1980s. Since 1986, MacLeod has served as a spokesperson for Princess Cruises, the cruise line featured in the series.

Image: Associated Press

8

Jerry Lewis' first wife helped reunite him and his second wife.

MacLeod divorced his second wife, Patti Kendig, in 1982. However, in 1985 Patti Lewis, the first wife of the famed comedian, called Kendig and invited her to a prayer group. That set things in motion for the couple to get back together, and they remarried the same year. 

Image: Pinterest

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