September 29, 1960 – August 24, 1972
378 half hour episodes (12 seasons) in B&W (1960–65)and color (1965–72)
on ABC originally (1960–1965)then switched to CBS (1965–1972)
Produced by: Don Fedderson
Filmed at: Backlot, Desilu Studios, LA, CA (1960-1965)
CBS Television, Hollywood, CA (1966-1972)
- Fred MacMurray — Steven “Steve” Douglas (1960-1972)
- William Frawley — Michael Francis “Bub” O’Casey (1960–1965)
- Tim Considine — Michael “Mike” Douglas (1960–1965)
- Don Grady — Robert “Robbie” Douglas (1960–1971)
- Stanley Livingston — Richard “Chip” Douglas (1960-1972)
- William Demarest — Uncle Charley O’Casey, Bub’s brother
- Barry Livingston — Ernest “Ernie” Thompson/Douglas
- Meredith MacRae — Sally Ann Morrison Douglas
- Tina Cole — Kathleen “Katie” Miller Douglas
- Beverly Garland — Barbara Harper Douglas
- Dawn Lyn — Dorothy “Dodie” Harper Douglas
- Ronne Troup — Polly Williams Douglas
“My Three Sons” Written by: Frank De Vol
(who also scored Family Affair, Gidget, The Brady Bunch and many movies)
Single parent households seemed to be very popular in the 1960s and this show was no exception.
Steve Douglas (Fred MacMurray) was a widowed father who lived with his three sons, Mike (Tim Considine), Robbie(Don Grady),Chip (Stanley Livingston) and their maternal grandfather Bub O’Casey (William Frawley). Raising three boys was trouble enough then add in a cantankerous father-in-law and Steve certainly has his hands full which leads to many comical situations.
This show was on the air for 12 seasons and child actors become adult actors in that length of time so the series went through many gyrations with kids leaving home, marriages, adopted children and cast changes.
The first change came in 1965 when William Frawley was replaced by William Demarest because of Frawley’s poor health. Demarest was said to be Bub O’Casey’s brother Charley O’Casey. He came to visit while Bub was visiting a sick relative and just sort of stayed on becoming “Uncle Charlie”. Frawley (in real life) was not happy with this change but as it turned out his health really was an issue and he became very ill a year later.
Then the fun begins.
Mike gets married to Sally Ann (Meredith MacRae)and moves out, so a friend of Chips named Ernie (Barry Livingston) is adopted by the family. The family then moves to California because Steve has a change of jobs [this is when CBS takes over the production].
Now things really get going.
Robbie meets girl Katie Miller (Tina Cole), Robbie gets married, Robbie and Katie have triplets, (come on you can guess) three sons!
With all of this romance going on Steve himself finds a love interest and finally remarries to Barbara Harper (Beverly Garland) who has a daughter of her own Dodie (Dawn Lyn) whom he adopts.
Wait a minute what about Chip, who quite frankly we were starting to worry a little about, well not to worry ,Chip goes to college meets Polly (Ronne Troup) and the two get married. Whew!!
The show gets moved around the schedule a lot in its final two seasons, Fred MacMurray complains to then network president Fred Silverman but sadly the show gets canceled due to ratings.
Video Clip of My Three Sons
Fred MacMurray died in 1991 of complications from leukemia, he was 83
William Frawley died of a heart attack in 1966, he was 79
William Demarest passed away in 1983 of prostate cancer, he was 91
Don Grady died of cancer in 2012, he was 68
Meredith MacRae died in 2000 of complications from a malignant brain tumor, she was 56
Beverly Garland died in 2008, she was 82
Some Things You Might Not Have Known About:
To accommodate Fred MacMurray’s motion picture schedule his parts in My Three Sons were all shot during two 30 day shooting sessions. The rest of the cast would shoot their scenes during the duration of the regular season and it was all pieced together in post-production.