Gavin MacLeod captains a memoir

This post has been corrected. Please see note at bottom for details.

Gavin MacLeod was a fixture on television for years. From 1970 to 1977, he played sweet-natured news writer Murray Slaughter on CBS' "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." No sooner did "MTM" close up shop than he moved over to ABC to appear as Captain Stubing on "The Love Boat," which cruised until 1986. To this day, MacLeod travels the seven seas as an ambassador for Princess Cruise Lines.

The 82-year-old actor has had a diverse career: appearing on Broadway, guest-starring in countless series including "My Favorite Martian" and "Peter Gunn," and working with such directors as Blake Edwards ("Operation Petticoat") and Robert Wise ("I Want to Live," "The Sand Pebbles") and with such actors as Steve McQueen, Barbara Stanwyck, Peter Sellers and Clint Eastwood.

But his life hasn't always been a pleasure cruise. MacLeod grew up poor during the Depression in upstate New York -- his father, who had drinking problems, died when he was 13 -- and he also battled alcoholism, quitting cold turkey in 1974.

FALL TV 2013: Watch the trailers

After his divorce from his first wife, MacLeod married actress-dancer Patti Steele. Though they briefly divorced, they remarried and have been born-again Christians for three decades.

MacLeod's earnest memoir, "This Is Your Captain Speaking: My Fantastic Voyage Through Hollywood, Faith & Life," which he wrote with Mark Dagostino, has just been published. He'll be doing a book signing Nov. 22 at Barnes & Noble in Manhattan Beach.

The actor, who has survived two heart attacks and a quintuple bypass, was in fine fettle during a recent phone interview from his home in Palm Springs.

I was surprised to learn that you were originally in the running to play Archie Bunker in "All in the Family." In fact, it was down to you and Carroll O'Connor.

I didn't feel right for the part. I don't like bigotry in any way, shape or form. Norman Lear's assistant called and said, "Gavin, we made a decision. We are going to go with Carroll." I was so happy. I knew someday my time would come.

And it quickly did when you got the role of Murray in "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." I have to admit, I think Murray was my favorite character on the series, because he wore his heart on his sleeve.

People really identified with Murray. He was Everyman. I love Murray Slaughter to this day. I just kvell a little bit that I had the opportunity to play him. I think "Mary Tyler Moore" did more for women's lib than any show on television.

PHOTOS: Leading ladies of the fall TV season

"The Love Boat" was an even bigger success. The series was on ....

Nine years. And then we came back for a two-hour special.

Wasn't Andy Warhol a guest star on "The Love Boat"?

Andy Warhol: I had a whole lunch hour with him. He was a very shy, kind of quiet person. In that episode, the guests were Warhol, Hulk Hogan and the Temptations.

"The Mary Tyler Moore Show" won numerous Emmys and was a critical favorite, but "The Love Boat" was more of a popular hit.

The critics hated it. They called it mindless TV, but we became goodwill ambassadors. We were on in 90 countries and, as a result, it gave new birth to the cruise industry, where I have been working since 1986.

PHOTOS: Memorable TV series finales