TODAY   |  October 23, 2013

Captain Stubing talks ‘Love Boat,’ life

Kathie Lee and Hoda speak to 82-year-old actor Gavin Macleod about the roles he almost snagged before becoming the iconic captain of “The Love Boat.” Macleod details his struggles as a young actor in his memoir “This Is Your Captain Speaking.”

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: jcpenney in costume to trick-or-treat. jcpenney. love

>> who sang it? i'm going to say jacque jones .

>> yeah.

>> that's the glorious voice of jacque jones and one of the most iconic theme songs from the show "the love boat ."

>> sailed into tv viewers lives and hearts was none other than gavin macleod who, for nine seasons, played captain stubing. take a look. the love boat soon will be making another run

>> as far as cruises go, this one, for one hour every saturday night, could not be beat. the only requirement? to set a course for adventure and your mind on a new romance. doc, gopher, julie and isaac would keep you laughing.

>> here is a list of people you might think of inviting.

>> and who knew which '80s star would be promenading on the promenade. and no show was complete without a visit to the captain's table. a trip aboard "the love boat " was always sunny skies and smooth sailing.

>> yeah.

>> it wasn't always smooth sailing for gavin. he writes all about that in his new memoir called "this is your

captain speaking: my fantastic voyage for hollywood, faith and life." wonderful to see you, my old friend.

>> you, too.

>> oh.

>> you look terrific.

>> lots of little vignettes about your life and when you got the success and struggles with alcoholism. how tough was it to write this book? you're pretty forthcoming about all that.

>> it was easy to right. it was easy to right. i'm 82 now and i have been past all that stuff.

>> you don't remember it anyway.

>> no, i do remember. writing a book, it makes you recall certain things.

>> uh-huh.

>> and some of the things are painful, like my father's death, even to this day. and i was only 13 and he was 39. it still -- i did an audio version of this book that's coming out at the same time, i couldn't get through it.

>> your father was an alcoholic as well.

>> he drank, too. they all drank in those days. they didn't have drugs.

>> you're life is so fascinating. so many interesting things people will take away from the book. one is -- and i didn't know this at all -- that archie bunker could have been you.

>> yeah.

>> tell us about that.

>> i just finished doing another -- i did those big valleys.

>> yes.

>> and this one i was thrown off the horse and i was on a cane, recuperating and i got a call from norman leer's assistant and said gavin, come over and see. i went over to see her. i was on a cane and she said we're doing this thing, till death do us part . that was the one they did in england. she said i think you're perfect for it. it's a big hit and is going to be likable. i said i hate bigotry in any form. she said this is funny.

>> didn't seem possible.

>> but norman has his eyes on carol, you know. and so they flew me to new york. i got a free trip to see my mother, brother, grandmother.

>> it wasn't to be.

>> it just wasn't meant to be. i was so grateful because i knew -- i told my brother before they called me, i said, ron, i don't think i can -- i just can't do that. but it worked out great for carol. he was absolutely brilliant.

>> and you were brilliant as -- you wouldn't have been the captain. we only have a minute left. tell us about what happened in your faith journey.

>> oh, my lord. it just has changed my whole life completely. i know i'm not alone anymore. i know what eternity means. it's like when i brought ted knight to the lord. i know when ted died in 1986 where he went.

>> right.

>> and i was so grateful to be used that way. i walk with jesus christ every single day, lord of my life. he gets me through everything. and we're just having a great life.

>> when did that happen to yofor you?

>> 1984 . how i prayed to jesus and he changed me completely.

>> beautiful book. it's fun. it's funny. it's moving. we're so glad you're still with us.

>> thank you so much.

>> you haven't changed a bit.