The 90-year-old actor who played the Love Boat’s “Captain Stubing” has passed away. Princess Cruises issued a statement 29MAY on the passing of Gavin MacLeod, who was the cruise line’s beloved global ambassador for 35 years and is credited with popularizing modern cruising as we know it today
According to the statement, MacLeod celebrated his 90th birthday in February. The actor whose professional identity was permanently linked with his portrayal of a captain on the Princess Cruises ship in the popular TV series had become the cruise line’s global ambassador in 1986. The role continued until his passing. He was the longest-serving celebrity spokesperson and brand ambassador in history.
Throughout his 35-year partnership with the cruise line, MacLeod made appearances at numerous special events, travel agent trade shows and onboard Princess cruise ships signing autographs and sharing stories.
He was a trusted and familiar face in marketing and advertising campaigns, conducted thousands of media interviews and helped to launch nearly every new Princess ship that joined the fleet. One of his greatest joys in the second half of his illustrious career was apparently traveling the world communicating his passion for cruising and Princess Cruises.
Prior to being Princess Cruise’s global ambassador, MacLeod was Captain Merrill Stubing in the television series The Love Boat. One of the longest running television shows in history, The Love Boat produced 10 seasons between 1977 and 1986 followed by four, three-hour long TV specials and is still in syndication in 92 countries around the world.
To mark his 20th anniversary serving as Princess Cruises brand ambassador, MacLeod was honoured by the Cruise Lines International Association as an inductee in the “Hall of Fame” in 2006.
In May 2018, MacLeod was also recognized by the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which dedicated an honorary star plaque recognizing him, his original The Love Boat cast members, and Princess Cruises for their contributions to the history of television and support of the preservation of the Walk of Fame.