Thursday, September 19, 2013

“Love Boat” Captain Pens Memoir

Iconic characters of television are imbedded in our culture and mindset. Two classic and endearing TV characters, “Murray Slaughter” and “Captain Stubing,” have become household names thanks to the actor who lovingly played them, Gavin MacLeod.

In his upcoming autobiography, This Is Your Captain Speaking: My Fantastic Voyage Through Hollywood, Faith & Life (Thomas Nelson/October 22), Gavin MacLeod not only shares stories and memories of his long and distinguished career, but candidly reveals the highs and very lows of his life, and how his discovering faith gave him true happiness.

Gavin MacLeod, in his six decades on television, will always be readily identified for his roles in the groundbreaking Mary Tyler Moore program and the entertaining The Love Boat series. But, like many in the entertainment industry, he was “no overnight success.”

Written with Mark Dagostino, This Is Your Captain Speaking takes readers on a pleasure cruise through MacLeod’s youth, from his childhood in upstate NY and studying acting at Ithaca College, to moving to New York City and his days as a young "starving artist," trying to break onto Broadway while surviving on buttered rolls, hot dogs and "ketchup soup."

MacLeod then goes behind the scenes to provide vivid details and memories of the cast and creators of The Mary Tyler Moore show, where playing Murray Slaughter changed his life forever.

As Captain Merrill Stubing, MacLeod sailed the Pacific Princess into America’s living rooms for nearly 10-years. Indeed, his joy of traveling the world as “The Captain” continues today, serving as an ambassador for Princess Cruise Lines.

Gavin MacLeod does not hold anything back in discussing his personal and professional life in This Is Your Captain Speaking, including:

- His encounters with some of the world’s biggest stars, including Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Ronald Reagan, Steve McQueen, Bette Davis and Robert Redford, among others.

- His battles with depression and near-suicide while working on McHale's Navy, and with alcoholism that led to quitting cold turkey in 1974 (He’s been sober for some 39 years).

- His audition for the role of Archie Bunker in All in the Family.

- The painful divorce from his first wife, finding new love with actress/dancer named Patti Steele, then a second divorce and their miraculous remarriage.

- The emotional moment when he gave his life to Christ.

- MacLeod recalls how he brought longtime friend and Mary Tyler Moore co-star Ted Knight to Christ just before he died.

- His surviving two heart attacks, a quintuple bypass and other health issues.

- Why MacLeod retired from commercial television and film work, and what he focuses those efforts on today.

“My life has taken one incredible turn after another,” writes MacLeod. “I’ve gotten to do what I wanted to do. I’ve been a captain! I’ve been given this incredible gift of life and now I want to use it to give back. That’s why I’m sharing my story here, the fun parts and even some not-so-fun parts, in the hopes that maybe someone will take a nice walk down memory lane with me – and maybe I’ll even give someone a little bit of hope.”

This Is Your Captain Speaking hits bookstores and online outlets nationwide on October 22, 2013.