Fred Grandy to Newsmax: Gavin MacLeod Was ‘Quiet Commander’

Fred Grandy to Newsmax: Gavin MacLeod Was 'Quiet Commander'

Fred Grandy remembered fellow actor and “Love Boat” cast member Gavin MacLeod on Newsmax as a friend, paternal influence and “quiet commander,” praising him as a “work horse, not a show horse.”

MacLeod, who played the affable yet stern Capt. Merrill Stubing on the nine-year drama/romantic comedy, died of an undisclosed illness on Saturday at 90.

“He was more than a friend,” said Grandy, 72, who played purser “Gopher” Smith on the show before becoming a four-term Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives. “He was well, let me put it this way, when I had to tell my two children that Gavin had passed, they both said they felt like they had lost a grandparent.

“And he had a paternal influence on all of us. And I guess I would just describe him – and I think I can speak pretty safely for all the cast here – he was our quiet commander. And he was he was a guy that did not assert himself in a leadership role to aggrandize himself.

MacLeod had many roles before Capt. Stubing, including roles in feature-length films such as “Operation Petticoat” and “Kelly’s Heroes” as well as TV news writer Murray Slaughter on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”

Appearing on “American Agenda,” Grandy said MacLeod was a friend to many “Love Boat” cast members, including ship’s Dr. Adam Bricker Bernie Kopell and Jill Whelan, who played his daughter Vicky in the latter seasons.

“He was always, I think, there for all of us,” Grandy said. “Whether it was Jill, who played his daughter, or Bernie, or me, or anybody, and he is somebody that just, just emanated joy. And I was thinking, ‘You know, I’ve been very lucky in my life. I’ve been able to meet a lot of people from a lot of different walks of life from political, economic, religious, racial backgrounds, I’ve never met anybody who didn’t love Gavin MacLeod.’”

Although he downplayed it, Grandy said MacLeod leaned “right of center” politically and helped him in his campaigns.

“When I told him that I was going to leave the show and run for office he understood immediately,” Grandy said. “And he was very supportive. I know he came to a fundraiser I did in California before I went back to Iowa. He came to Sioux City, when I was, when I was in the middle of my campaign and endorsed me.

“And we would occasionally talk from time to time about politics. I would say that, you know, he was very quiet about it, but he probably leaned a little right of center, which is something you don’t necessarily broadcast, when you’re out in Hollywood, trying to earn a living. But in terms of influence, I think I would go back to what I said earlier about being a quiet commander. I mean, Gavin was a work horse, not a show horse.”

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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.