My Three Sons

by Michael RichComment — Updated September 16, 2023

Journey back to the 1960s, where the classic TV show “My Three Sons” stole the hearts of viewers for a whopping 12 seasons. Originally kicking off on ABC before moving to CBS, this beloved series chronicled the adventures of a widowed father, Steve Douglas (played by the talented Fred MacMurray), as he navigated the tumultuous waters of single parenthood with his three sons, Mike, Robbie, and Chip, along with their irascible grandfather, Bub O’Casey.

My Three Sons
Credits: Wikipedia, cast of “My Three Sons” in 1962 on ABC featured William Frawley as Bub, Tim Considine as Mike, Fred MacMurray as Steve, Don Grady as Robbie, and Stanley Livingston as Chip, as shown clockwise.

What made this show truly special was its ability to blend humor and heart. As the seasons rolled on, the plot took dramatic twists and turns, with marriages, adoptions, and cast changes keeping things fresh. A standout moment was when William Frawley, due to health concerns, was replaced by William Demarest, who seamlessly slid into the role of “Uncle Charley O’Casey.”

But it didn’t stop there. Love blossomed for the Douglas family, with Mike, Robbie, and Chip all tying the knot. Steve, the doting dad, found love once more, marrying Barbara Harper and adopting her daughter Dodie. The show’s endearing characters and evolving storylines made it a fan favorite.

Despite its share of ups and downs, “My Three Sons” held a special place in the hearts of viewers. It’s a reminder of a bygone era of television, where a charming blend of humor and heartwarming moments created a timeless classic. So, step back in time and relive the laughter and love of the Douglas family as they navigated the ups and downs of life in “My Three Sons.”

Buy My Three Sons on DVD

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

Opening Theme

“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 821960s comedy show - My Three Sons

My Three Sons a 60s comedy

60s sitcoms

1960s family comedies

sixties tv show - My Three Sons

My Three Sons - Tina Cole

My Three Sons - family comedy


Some Things You Might Not Have Known About:

  • Fred MacMurray was cast because “Sons” was considered a spin off to “The Shaggy Dog”
  • William Frawley had just stepped off a 9 year run as Fred Mertz on the “I Love Lucy Show” when cast for “Sons”
  • Tim Considine played Spin in “Spin and Marty” a Mickey Mouse Club segment
  • Don Grady was one of Mickey Mouse Clubs original Mouseketeers
  • Stanley Livingston and MacMurray were the only actors to appear in every year the series was on
  • Barry Livingston portrayed Stanley Livingston’s younger sibling, in reality he is his younger brother

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.

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