Who is Patti Steele? Gavin MacLeod married his second wife twice after finding his 'faith'
Gavin MacLeod gained fame because of his unforgettable stints as the cheerful Captain Stubing in 'The Love Boat' and a sardonic TV news writer Murray Slaughter on the 'Mary Tyler Moore Show'. The veteran actor died at the age of 90 on May 29, at his home in Palm Desert, California. MacLeod's stepdaughter, Stephanie Steele Zalin attributed his age to his demise.
The star of 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show', which was immensely successful and remains a classic of situational comedies to this date and the wholesome captain of 'The Love Boat' a romantic comedy, was in and out of the hospital over the past few months. No official cause of his death has been given yet. MacLeod's stepdaughter Stephanie called him the “best, sweetest, purest guy”. Stephanie said, "He (MacLeod) had one of the most amazing, fun blasts of a life of anybody I know. He enjoyed every minute of it. I don’t even think in his wildest dreams he dreamt of the life that he ended up having and creating.”
The renowned '70s star, Gavin MacLeod got married three times and twice to the same woman. Macleod had credited his 'newfound faith' for making him realize his second wife, Patti, was 'the one'.
Gavin MacLeod's early life
Born Allan George See in Mount Kisco, New York, Gavin was the eldest of two children to his parents, Margaret and George See. MacLeod grew up in Pleasantville, New York, and studied acting at Ithaca College. He graduated in 1952 with a bachelor's degree in fine arts. After serving in the United States Air Force, he moved to New York City and started looking for acting gigs while working at Radio City Music Hall. At about this time, he changed his name to 'Gavin MacLeod'. The actor had later reasoned that he changed his name because he felt 'as if his name was getting in the way of my success,' because it wasn’t “strong enough.”
Gavin made his television debut on 'The Walter Winchell File' in 1958, following which, he appeared in many more small roles on TV and films like 'Hawaii Five-O,' 'The Untouchables,' and 'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' Gavin landed his first recurring role as Joseph "Happy" Haines on 'McHale's Nav' in 1962. His breakout role as Murray Slaughter on 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' came along 10 years later, which earned him two Emmy nominations.
Macleod became a household name in the ‘70s when he was offered the leading role of Captain Stubing on 'The Love Boat,' a series that ran for nine seasons over 10 years until 1987. Not only his glorious career, but Gavin MacLeod's personal life was also a headline maker. MacLeod was married to two women, three times.
Who was Gavin MacLeod's first wife?
Gavin MacLeod got married to Joan Rootvik in 1954 while working at Radio City Music Hall. She was a Rockette. The couple had four children, Keith, David, Julie, and Meghan. The marriage came to an end after 18 years. “I was 24 when I married, but emotionally I was 12,” he once told People. After the divorce, Macleod struggled both, mentally and physically. He said, "It was the first [divorce] in my family, and the guilt was killing me."
Who was Gavin MacLeod's second wife?
Gavin MacLeod met his second wife, Patti Steele when he was a mess from his first divorce. Patti had also gone through a bitter divorce like him in her first marriage. Gavin and Patti married in 1974. “Gavin was an alcoholic,” Patti told People in 1978. “He became a different person when he drank. But before we were married he said, ‘I will never take another drink because I don’t want to lose what we have.’”
Turns out, not only alcohol but also MacLeod's busy schedule while working on 'The Love Boat' added to the factors that led to their divorce in 1981. Taking responsibility for the separation, Gavin told Fox News, "I put my work before her. ‘The Love Boat’ became such a giant job. I was all over the place promoting it. I was traveling all over, and I just felt, this sounds very egomaniacal, but I felt that I didn't have time for her anymore."
The couple went through different paths after their split. Patti had a life-changing experience when she decided to commit her life to Jesus Christ and started praying for getting back with Gavin. In 1984, Gavin's mother developed a cyst on the left side of her brain and had to undergo surgery. The morning of the operation, the actor prayed for his mother, asking Jesus “if he would give my mother more time, I'd turn my life over to him.” Right after this, something inside him reportedly inspired him to call Patti. It was the morning of September 15, 1984, as he reminisced, “I called, and she picked up. I said, ‘This is Gavin, can we be friends?’ She said, ‘That's all I ever wanted.’”
Gavin went to Patti’s house soon after, and he recalled that when she opened the door, she said, “I'm sorry, Gavin, your dinner's cold. It's been waiting for three years.” Patti then gifted Gavin a Bible she had engraved with his name the same day. Hearing about Patti's newfound faith, Gavin decided to follow her example. Later, Gavin mentioned that Faith made a huge difference in their marriage. He told Fox News, "The marriage is so solidified. We have what you call a threefold marriage,” and added, "You make a triangle with your hands, and you can see Jesus is at the top, and we're below. That's pretty solid. You're a threefold covenant. There's three people in this marriage.”
According to Stephanie, besides his wife, Patti, MacLeod’s survivors include his children, three stepchildren, 10 grandchildren and his first great-grandchild, who arrived in December.