Tuesday, June 01, 2021

Remembering Gavin MacLeod of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Love Boat; Mr. Big Returns in New Sex and the City Chapter

Gavin MacLeod

Actor Gavin MacLeod, who starred as Murray Slaughter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and as Captain Merrill Stubing on The Love Boat, has died. He died on May 29 at his home in Palm Desert, California, after a period of ill health. No cause of death was given. Mr. MacLeod was 90.

MacLeod made his television debut in 1957 on the crime drama The Walter Winchell File. Some of his early drama guest appearances included The Thin Man, U.S. Marshal, Steve Canyon, Manhunt, Peter Gunn (2 episodes), Mr. Lucky (2 episodes), Men Into Space, The Untouchables (5 episodes), Dr. Kildare, Death Valley Days (2 episodes), Perry Mason (3 episodes), Rawhide, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Ben Casey, The Rat Patrol, Combat!, Death Valley Days (2 episodes), The Big Valley (3 episodes), It Takes a Thief (3 episodes) and Hawaii Five-O (2 episodes).

Gavin MacLeod - McHale's Navy

His first sitcom starring role was as Joseph "Happy" Haines on the ABC sitcom McHale's Navy. He appeared on the show for the first two seasons from 1962 to 1964 before leaving to appear in the film The Sand Pebbles (1966). He also played Seaman Joseph Haines in the films McHale's Navy (1964) and McHale's Navy Joins the Air Force (1965). The series cast in the first two seasons included Ernest Borgnine, Joe Flynn, Tim Conway, Carl Ballantine, Gary Vinson, Billy Sands, Edson Stroll, Jane Dulo (1962-1964) and Yoshio Yoda.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show

MacLeod's breakout role was as Murray Slaughter on the 1970-1977 CBS sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show, which ran for 7 seasons and 168 episodes. Murray Slaughter was the head writer of WJM-TV's Six O'Clock News in Minneapolis. MacLeod received two Golden Globe nominations for Best Supporting Actor in 1975 and 1977 for the role. The series also starred Mary Tyler Moore, Edward Asner, Ted Knight, Valerie Harper (1970-1974), Cloris Leachman (1970-1975), Georgia Engel (1972-1977) and Betty White (1973-1977).

The Love Boat

He next starred as Captain Merrill Stubing on the 1977-1986 ABC sitcom The Love Boat, which ran for 9 seasons and 250 episodes. Merrill Stubing was the captain of the luxury passenger cruise ship MS Pacific Princess. MacLeod received three Golden Globe nominations for the role in 1979, 1981 and 1982. The series also starred Bernie Kopell, Fred Grandy, Ted Lange, Lauren Tewes (1977-1984), Jill Whelan (1979-1986), Pat Klous (1984-1986) and Ted McGinley (1984-1986). MacLeod reprised the role of Captain Merrill Stubing in a 1998 episode of Love Boat: The Next Wave.

Some of his sitcom guest appearances included The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Munsters, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., The Andy Griffith Show (2 episodes), My Favorite Martian (2 episodes), The Flying Nun, Hogan's Heroes (4 episodes), Love, American Style (1974), Rhoda (as Murray Slaughter), The King of Queens (2 episodes), That '70s Show (2 episodes) and The Suite Life on Deck (2 episodes).

Some of his other drama guest appearances included Wonder Woman, Charlie's Angels, Hotel, Murder, She Wrote (1990), Burke's Law, Oz, JAG and Touched by an Angel.

MacLeod's first credited film role was as The Lieutenant in I Want to Live! (1958). Some of his other film credits included Operation Petticoat (1959), Twelve Hours to Kill (1960), The Sword of Ali Baba (1965), The Sand Pebbles (1966), A Man Called Gannon (1968), The Thousand Plane Raid (1969) and Kelly's Heroes (1970).

He was interviewed for The Interviews: An Oral History of Television on January 3, 2003.

Mr. MacLeod had a great run for a combined 16 seasons on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Love Boat. He was very funny and memorable in his roles as Murray Slaughter and Captain Merrill Stubing. He was a dependable actor who made everything he appeared in much better. We thank him for the many laughs and entertainment he brought us during his long career. He will be greatly missed.

Share your memories on our The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Love Boat message boards. View photos in our galleries.


Chris Noth

Chris Noth will reprise the role of Mr. Big in the HBO Max original series And Just Like That... This new chapter of the groundbreaking HBO series Sex and the City follows Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte (Kristin Davis) as they navigate the journey from the complicated reality of life and friendship in their 30s to the even more complicated reality of life and friendship in their 50s. The ten-episode, half-hour series is scheduled to begin production in New York this summer. Credits: Executive producers Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Julie Rottenberg, Elisa Zuritsky, John Melfi and Michael Patrick King. Writers include King, Samantha Irby, Rachna Fruchbom, Keli Goff, Rottenberg and Zuritsky. The HBO series Sex and the City was created by Darren Star and based on the book Sex and the City by Candace Bushnell. Previously Announced Cast: Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis and Sara Ramírez.

Two-time Golden Globe® nominee and SAG Award® nominated actor Chris Noth rose to prominence as Detective Mike Logan on the original Law and Order, where he spent five seasons before going on to set hearts aflutter as the iconic Mr. Big on HBO's groundbreaking series Sex and the City. Noth garnered his first Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Comedy playing the unattainable bachelor who gradually evolves into the love of Carrie Bradshaw's life. Meanwhile, Mr. Big became a central point for the Carrie character and the series as a whole, with their tumultuous storyline launching two blockbuster movies Sex and the City and Sex and the City 2, in which he also starred. Next came a critically lauded turn as the flawed and powerful Peter Florrick opposite Juliana Margolis on the CBS hit drama The Good Wife. Noth's complex performance earned him a second Golden Globe nod – this one for Best Actor in a Drama, as well as two SAG nominations for Best Ensemble. He recently starred opposite Sam Worthington and Paul Betany in Discovery's Manhunt: Unabomber and the final season of the FX series Tyrant. Currently Noth can be seen on the popular CBS drama The Equalizer opposite Queen Latifah.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, June 23

Dave - "The Observer" (FXX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Dave and Benny's friendship blossoms in strange and unexpected ways, leading them to confront questions of privilege, race, sexuality, and dermatology; Mike's isolation deepens, and a chance encounter sheds light on the root of his anger.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of June 21)

Wednesday, June 23

  • Billy Crystal (The Comedians/Soap) - Watch Billy on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Henry Winkler (Barry/Out of Practice/Monty/Happy Days) - Henry appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Christine Baranski (Happy Family/Welcome to New York/Cybill) - Christine is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. She also talks about The Good Fight on CBS This Morning sometime between 7-9am.
  • Josh Gad (Central Park/Avenue 5/1600 Penn/Back to You) - Josh will be on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Dana Carvey (One of the Boys) - Dana is a guest on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community) - Ken appears on a repeat of The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Caroline Rhea (Sydney to the Max/Sabrina, the Teenage Witch) and Ruth Righi (Sydney to the Max) - Carolina and Ruth are guests on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Alyssa Milano (Romantically Challenged/Who's the Boss?) - Alyssa discusses how she is inspiring a new generation of female leaders, the latest book of her children's series and her podcast on a repeat of Tamron Hall, so check your local listings.
  • Laura Prepon (Are You There, Chelsea?/That '70s Show) - Laura stops by to chat and shares her new kitchen gadget line on a repeat of The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Abbi Jacobson (Broad City) - Abbi is a guest on a repeat of The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • D. L. Hughley (The Hughleys) - D. L. talks about the onstage collapse that led to his COVID-19 diagnosis on a repeat of The Doctors, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (February-June)

Betty White's Pet Set - The Complete Series Happy Together - The Complete Series 'Til Death - The Complete Series Fuller House - The Complete Series Parks and Recreation - The Complete Series

02/02 - Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In - The Complete Series (2021 Retail Release)
02/16 - Fam - The Complete Series
02/23 - Betty White's Pet Set - The Complete Series
03/02 - Blue Mountain State - The Complete Series
03/02 - Happy Together - The Complete Series
03/02 - Rick and Morty - The Complete Seasons 1-4 (DVD) (Blu-ray)
04/20 - 'Til Death - The Complete Series
05/11 - Dead to Me - Season Two
06/08 - The Critic - The Complete Series
06/08 - Fuller House - The Fifth and Final Season
06/08 - Fuller House - The Complete Series
06/08 - Our Cartoon President - Season 3
06/15 - The Office - Season 1 (Blu-ray) / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9
06/15 - Parks and Recreation - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


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06/05 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Warner Bros. and Discovery Merger Moving Forward; Saturday Night Live Ends Season 46 on Top
06/04 - Fri-Yay: Happy Endings Now on Netflix, a Perfect New Comedy Binge; Remembering Arlene Golonka of Mayberry R.F.D.
06/03 - Leah Remini GSN Game Show Receives 2nd Season; Helen Mirren to Narrate ABC's When Nature Calls
06/02 - black-ish Coming to Freeform in July; TBS Sets Cast for Comedy Pilot Called Space
06/01 - Remembering Gavin MacLeod of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Love Boat; Mr. Big Returns in New Sex and the City Chapter
05/31 - Memorial Day 2021 TV Marathons
05/30 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of May 31, 2021)
05/29 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Looking at the Fall 2021 Lineup; Amazon to Buy MGM
05/28 - Fri-Yay: Friends Reunion Special Thoughts; Breeders Renewed for Season 3 on FX
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05/26 - The CW Gets Nostalgic with The Waltons & Scooby-Doo; A Black Lady Sketch Show Coming Back for Season 3
05/25 - The CW Upfront 2021-22: Fall 2021 Schedule; Former Grey's Star Joins Sex and the City New Chapter
05/24 - TBS Launches Best of Friends Awards; AMC Networks Adds to All-Star Cast of Ultra City Smiths
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