His career in Hollywood was not always smooth sailing, writes actor Gavin MacLeod, who starred in two sea-faring TV series — “McHale’s Navy” and “The Love Boat” — as well as the legendary “Mary Tyler Moore Show.”
MacLeod, 82, reveals in a new memoir coming out this fall that he suffered from depression and nearly committed suicide while working on “McHale’s Navy” (1962-66).
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The book — titled, appropriately, “This is Your Captain Speaking: My Fantastic Voyage Through Hollywood, Faith & Life” and co-written with Mark Dagostino — is due out Oct. 22, according to an announcement on Tuesday.
The “Captain” in the title is, of course, a reference to MacLeod’s best-known role — Capt. Merrill Stubing of “The Love Boat” (1977-86). But the book delves as much into the career path that led him to “The Love Boat” as it does the show itself.
“This is Your Captain Speaking” traces MacLeod’s life from his upbringing in the New York City suburb of Westchester, through his acting education at Ithaca College and into his early years in New York as a struggling actor. He then takes readers through his career in Hollywood and the shows that made him famous in millions of American households.
Along the way, he struggled with alcoholism, finally achieving and maintaining his sobriety in 1974 — during the years he played the role of Murray Slaughter alongside Ed Asner, Mary Tyler Moore, Ted Knight and Betty White on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” (1970-77).
The book reveals his two divorces, and a life-changing religious epiphany. He even reveals that he once auditioned for the role of Archie Bunker on “All in the Family.”
“My life has taken one incredible turn after another,” MacLeod writes. “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.”