Princess mourns death of Gavin MacLeod, 'Love Boat' star and longtime ambassador

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Gavin MacLeod celebrated his 80th birthday with Princess Cruises. He was a longtime ambassador for the line, which served as the setting for "The Love Boat" series.
Gavin MacLeod celebrated his 80th birthday with Princess Cruises. He was a longtime ambassador for the line, which served as the setting for "The Love Boat" series. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises mourned the loss of its global ambassador, "Love Boat" star Gavin MacLeod, who died Saturday at age 90. 

MacLeod played Captain Merrill Stubing on the hit TV show "The Love Boat" from 1977 to 1986, after which he became a spokesman for Princess and a promoter of cruising.

He appeared in an array of advertising campaigns and countless public and media appearances for Princess up until his death, including making appearances at many events for travel advisors. MacLeod participated in several ship namings, and he and other members of the "Love Boat" cast were the godparents to the Regal Princess. 

"It is with sadness felt to the depth of the oceans that we mourn the passing of actor Gavin MacLeod our beloved global ambassador, dearest friend and treasured member of the Princess Cruises family for more than 35 years," the line said in a statement. 

The show's pilot was shot aboard Princess' original Sun Princess in Mexico. Princess said the show, which became one of the highest-rated prime-time television shows in the country, made Princess a household name.

The original cast of "The Love Boat," with Gavin MacLeod as Captain Stubing, third from right.
The original cast of "The Love Boat," with Gavin MacLeod as Captain Stubing, third from right. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Princess Cruises

The Pacific Princess and the Island Princess served as the show's original sets, but over the years, episodes were filmed aboard many Princess ships in destinations around the world. 

"All of us at Princess Cruises and our loyal guests around the world whom, to this day, remain avid fans of Gavin's, send our heartfelt condolences to his wife Patricia (Patti) and his entire family who have lost a loving husband, father and grandfather," Princess said. "We offer our sincerest gratitude to them for sharing Gavin with all of us for so many years."

Before "The Love Boat," MacLeod achieved stardom playing TV news writer Murray Slaughter on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." According to the Associated Press, he died at his home in Palm Desert, Calif.
 

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