Fred MacMurray is a famous Hollywood actor for his starring role on the classic television series My Three Sons. As well as his numerous starring roles in Walt Disney pictures, such as The Absent-Minded Professor. Although Fred mostly found himself typecast as the nice guy in the media. In one of his most memorable roles, he casts a villain in Billy Wilder’s acclaimed 1944 film noir Double Indemnity. While the majority of Fred’s career success came from his family-friendly roles. He spends the final years, trying to chase the glory that he receives from his against-type turn in Double Indemnity. Join Facts Verse as we take a look inside Fred MacMurray’s insufferable final years.
When Fred MacMurray passed away in 1991; he was 83 years old and had been working in the entertainment industry for over half of a century. He’s famous for portraying a widower and aeronautical engineer Steven Douglas on the classic ABC sitcom My Three Sons. Which aired from 1960 to 1972. Besides Fred’s memorable role in the series; the actor also acted in a great number of films, including The Absent-Minded Professor for Disney. Walt Disney himself was a fan of Fred; claiming that no one else in the industry could do family-friendly comedy quite as he could.
Walt Disney praises for Fred MacMurray’s comedy skills, those comedy skills aren’t what the actor wants to be famous. Fred agitates by his fame from family-friendly productions such as My Three Sons and his works with Walt Disney. Fred prefers to continue making a name for himself with his darker and more mature roles. Like the one he receives in Billy Wilder’s 1944 film noir, Double Indemnity.
At the time of his passing, Fred MacMurray treats for cancer, though the official cause of death is pneumonia. He died within a day of being admitted into the hospital. Friends, family, and coworkers become sad to see him pass away, they’re glad that he is no longer suffering. Fred’s final years are tumultuous, because of his ongoing battle with his failing health. He never gets to be the kind of Hollywood star that he desires to be.
Fred MacMurray’s career began on the stage before branching out into film and television. Before the actor’s 1991 death, he had appeared in over 80 films. The most critically acclaimed of Fred’s many features is certainly the aforementioned Double Indemnity. That feature showcases Fred in a rare villain role, whereas the actor is a nice guy in other features. While critics love seeing Fred as the villain, the audience always wants to see him as a loving man.
Fred MacMurray’s greatest commercial success in the cinemas came as a result of his work with Walt Disney. Fred appeared in the aforementioned The Absent-Minded Professor and its sequel, The Son of Flubber. The role Fred plays in those two films continues on played by Robin Williams in the 1997 film Flubber. Besides The Absent-Minded Professor, Fred can see the classic live-action Walt Disney features The Shaggy Dog and The Happiest Millionaire.
Fred finishes on the big screen over the course of his career. He dies remaining most popular for his work as the lead character on the long-running series My Three Sons. It is still popular in syndication at the time of the actor’s death. The show revolves around Steven Douglas taking care of his three sons after the death of their mother. Teen heartthrob Don Grady played one of those songs, alongside real-life brothers Stanley and Barry Livingston. Don Grady has since passed away himself, dying in 2012, at the age of 68. Stanley and Barry are still with us.
All three former child stars become sad to see their on-screen father pass into the next life. They share his family’s sentiments that his final years are tumultuous and that the end is a relief for him. If you’re enjoying this video so far, be sure to hit the like button to show your support! Also, subscribe to the channel if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!
Whenever Fred MacMurray asked how he felt about the success of My Three Sons, he would say that it was the child stars portraying his three titular sons that deserved all the credit. Perhaps this is why those three former child actors went on to speak so highly of the beloved star in the wake of his passing. Although Fred MacMurray was an actor who went out of his way in his professional career to try to prove to the public that he wasn’t a nice guy, it seems that his nice-guy demeanor on the screen was more than just an act!
Although Fred MacMurray downplayed the massive amounts of attention that he got as a result of his starring turn on the series My Three Sons, it can’t be denied that his role on the show has gone down as one of his most memorable, and had a fairly staggering impact on the actor’s career. It Fred’s turn on My Three Sons that caught the attention of the aforementioned Walt Disney, leading to Fred making his appearances in numerous of his live-action films. While Fred’s roles in these features were certainly beneficial for the actor’s career overall, he once again would’ve preferred to have been acting in more challenging features.
Fred MacMurray may have found himself typecast in the role of a nice guy over the course of his career, but the actor certainly had immense range! Fred could pretty much do whatever a part demanded of him, but he didn’t get a lot of opportunity to showcase this range to the public. One of Fred’s rare opportunities to show the world his true acting talents came in the form of his role in the aforementioned Billy Wilder film noir Double Indemnity. Of course, given that Double Indemnity came in 1944, this role came well over a decade before production of My Three Sons even started.
Long before his family-friendly roles on My Three Sons and in numerous Walt Disney features, Fred MacMurray was actually a very prominent serious actor during Hollywood’s early Golden Age. Fred had been born in 1908 in the state of Illinois to a concert-violinist father. When Fred was only five years old, his father passed away, at which point Fred’s mother moved the family to her own home state of Wisconsin. It was hear that Fred came of age, excelling at sports while attending the local Beaver Dam High School.
For his higher education, Fred went on to attend Wisconsin’s Carroll College. After the death of his father at such an early age, Fred’s family wasn’t the most well-off family on the block, prompting Fred to seek alternative means to pay for his tuition. Fred ended up paying his tuition fees by taking on small roles as an extra in local film productions. He also made some money playing in orchestras and singing, which led to him joining a fairly prominent vocal ensemble by the name of the California Collegians, which toured nationally.
Alongside the California Collegians, Fred MacMurray wound up in New York City. While the city was merely one small stop on the tour for the vocal ensemble, Fred decided that he wanted to stay there and try his hand at Broadway. He went on to make his Broadway debut in 1930, appearing alongside Sydney Greenstreet in Three’s a Crowd. Even more Broadway success came Fred’s way when he starred alongside Bob Hope in the 1933 production Roberta.
Fred’s turn in the 1933 Bob Hope play Roberta was so successful that it ended up netting the aspiring star a contract with Paramount Pictures! This is how Fred finally wound up in Hollywood. In 1935, Fred appeared alongside Katharine Hepburn in Alice Adams. That same year, he made the first of several appearances on the big screen starring alongside actress Claudette Colbert, with his first being in the feature film The Gilded Lady. It would be less than a decade later that Fred MacMurray would casted in Double Indemnity, receiving the most critical acclaim of his career. Around the time of Double Indemnity’s release, Fred was the highest-paid actor in all of Hollywood. Sadly, in later years, Fred’s Golden Age Hollywood past would be obscured by his later aforementioned family-friendly roles.
Fred MacMurray also had other interests besides acting. In the early 1940s, Fred used his Hollywood wealth to purchase a sprawling plot of land in Northern California that he fashioned into a functioning cattle ranch. At the time, Fred married to a dancer named Lillian Lamont. Fred and Lillian had tied the knot in 1936, soon after Fred first showed up in Hollywood. Throughout their marriage, Fred and Lillian adopted two children together. The couple lived happily up until Lillian’s tragic death in 1953, from cancer. It didn’t take Fred long to move on from his spouse’s tragic death, as he remarried the following year.
Fred remained married to second wife June Haver up until his own death in 1991. Fred and June adopted a pair of twins together. And had married for nearly four decades by the time of Fred’s passing.
Although Fred MacMurray was once the highest-paid actor in all of Hollywood. He became better known during his later years for his family-friendly roles in television shows; and Walt Disney features than for his earlier dramatic works. Now it’s time to hear from you: did you know that My Three Sons’ Fred MacMurray hated being labeled as a nice guy by the public. And that he spent his final years suffering considerably as a result of his failing health? As always, like this video to show your support, and subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!