The Golden Age of Hollywood

Most middle aged Americans remember Fred MacMurray as Steve Douglas, the ever patient, wise father of "My Three Sons." The long running television comedy, along with a string of light-hearted Disney films, breathed new life into MacMurray's sagging movie career. But Americans of a certain advanced age, along with those of us of all ages who enjoy classic movies, remember Fred MacMurray as the handsome, affable star of films (mostly at Paramount) during the 1930's and 1940's.

Usually playing the slightly bumbling comic foil of Claudette Colbert, Carole Lombard or Paulette Goddard, he made a 180 degree turn in 1944 to play adulterous murderer Walter Neff in the classic noir film Double Indemnity with Barbara Stanwyck. But it wasn't long until he was back at good-guy leads in Murder, He Says (1945) and The Egg and I (1948) again with Colbert.

In 1954 he married lovely blonde actress June Haver (his second marriage) who remained his wife until his death in 19

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Comment by Rupert Alistair on April 15, 2009 at 5:42pm
Very cool, Abdullah. I didn't know that. I can see it in the illustration though.
Comment by Abdullah aka Chuck on April 15, 2009 at 5:07pm

In the early 1940's, Captain Marvel, a characater so popular that he outsold Superman, was created. His original look ( you can kinda see it in this painted picture) was designed to closely resemble Fred Mc Murray. They later changed his look to resemble Jack Oakie, But to me, it shows the popularity of Fred even in his early career!
Comment by Abdullah aka Chuck on April 13, 2009 at 11:21am
Look at all the stars currently in trouble for income tax evasion, Chris, as their careers have slowed down and your point about Fred being smart is definately made! Rupert, check out the CAINE MUTINY and see how Fred is a tremendous actor, most capable of playing a variety of roles!
Comment by Rupert Alistair on April 13, 2009 at 10:04am
Chris, just a quick response to your comment. Speaking of the latter years of Hedy Lamarr, I'm sure you know she was so financially strapped she had a shoplifting violation. Also, Dodie really got on my nerves too.
Comment by Chris Johnson on April 12, 2009 at 11:45pm
I am also a huge Fred MacMurray fan, he was an utterly brilliant and talented actor. Regarding the cheap rumor, i wouldn't consider him a cheapskate he was just extremely frugal, so he and his family would always be secure if something happened. Which is very wise, as quite a few of the classic stars lived large but as time went on, and the roles stopped coming ran into financial ruin. One being Hedy Lamarr, her last years she was very strapped financially, due to the fact that she did not make good investments and didn't save when she was riding high. But back to MacMurray, he made so many wonderful movies. Some of my favorites include Kisses For My President (one of the funnest films ever his chemistry with Polly Bergen was superb), the Flubber films with Disney they were so adorable and the lovely Nancy Olson was superb as his love interest Betsy. Also of course loved My Three Sons, although as the show went on and Beverly Garland came in as his second wife, i thought it started going downhill and Dodie just really got on my nerves. I personally preferred the show before was just funner more old school family values and the guest stars were brilliant. One i remember fondly is the episode where Jane Wyman played an old school chum of MacMurray's. Which he and Ms. Wyman had starred together in the underrated 1962 Disney classic Bon Voyage! And of course the eps. where MacMurray was going through the process of adopting Ernie and Vera Miles portrayed the woman from the adoption agency. Also last but not least when one of my personal faves Zsa Zsa Gabor made a guest spot, when young Ernie wonders around the new neighborhood and finds himself in Ms. Gabor's backyard. So yes Mr. MacMurray had a wonderful career, was a kind and loving man on screen and off. Wonderful husband and father, just all and all a "good guy" as the title of this Blog post states. Thanks for the memories Fred, for all the laughs, the memories, and the tears :)
Comment by M.T. Fisher on April 12, 2009 at 7:35pm
MacMurray was also the cheapest man in town. He went hunting with Gable, who realized MacMurray didn't bring a lunch. Gable asked, "Aren't you going to eat?" and MacMurray said, "No. I'll just eat what you leave." He was a shrewd investor, and was said to be worth $500 million at his death.

I love his Disney work, along with his work for Wilder.
Comment by Rupert Alistair on April 12, 2009 at 9:54am
I haven't seen The Caine Mutiny or Hands Across the Table yet but I did see Murder, He Says many years ago and it was a hoot. One that isn't played alot anymore (it used to be shown by AMC) is Maid of Salem about the Salem witch trials. It is an interesting Fred/Claudette Colbert vehicle.
Comment by Abdullah aka Chuck on April 11, 2009 at 9:50pm
He beautifully played a total creep in the classic THE CAINE MUTINY!

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