My Three Sons was a situation comedy about the Douglas/O’Casey clan including widower Steven Douglas and his three sons Mike, Robbie, and Chip. The household also included Bub O’Casey, and later Uncle Charley O’Casey, fulfilling the role of housekeeper. Douglas, played by Fred MacMurray, was an aeronautical engineer who struggled to raise his three sons after his wife died.
The show premiered September 29, 1960 on ABC and ended August 24, 1972 on CBS, for a total run of 380 episodes, second only to the longest live action family sitcom, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.
Tim Considine (Mike), Don Grady (Robbie), and Stanley Livingston (Chip) played the original three sons. After Considine left the show in 1965 when his contract expired, in order to keep the three-son premise, Barry Livingston, Stanley’s real life brother, joined the cast as adopted brother Ernie.
William Frawley of I Love Lucy fame played Michael Francis “Bub” O’Casey the boys maternal grandfather from 1960-1965. He reluctantly left the show due to age and illness and died the following spring. He was written out of the show with the understanding that Bub moved to the family homestead in Ireland to help his Aunt Kate celebrate her 104th birthday.
William Demarest joined the show as Bub’s brother Charley and remained until the end of the run. Charley retired from the merchant marine, and unexpectedly stopped by to visit his brother. When he realized Bub had left for Ireland, he stayed on to help raise the boys.
Over the years of the show, Mike married his college sweetheart (Meredith MacRae), Robbie met and married Katie Miller (Tina Cole) and they had triplets (named Robert, Steve, and Charles), and eventually Chip married his college sweetheart Polly (Ronne Troup). Along the way, Steve fell in love and eventually married Barbara (Beverly Garland).
Although the three men have passed away, Frawley in 1966 at 79, Demarest in 1983 at the age of 91, and MacMurray in 1991 at the age of 83, the actors who played the four boys are still involved in their own pursuits.
Tim Considine (born December 31, 1940) is a well-known sports photographer, writer, and automobile historian who specializes in motor sports. He has written several books related to photography, sports, and American Grand Prix racing.
Don Grady (born June 8, 1944), a composer, musician, and actor, he was one of the original Mouseketeers on the Mickey Mouse Club in the 1950s. After leaving My Three Sons, he pursued a musical career with great success.
Stanley Livingston (born November 24, 1950) began his acting at the age of five on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. He is an actor, director, writer, and producer. Most recently, he directed 20 episodes of the children’s television series, Cory the Clown.
As head of First Team Productions in Los Angeles, Livingston recently completed production on The Actor’s Journey Project, an educational/informational DVD series for anyone interested in pursuing an acting career.
Barry Livingston (born on December 17, 1953) has been an actor almost all his life. He first appeared on The Ozzie and Harriet Show in 1960 for ten episodes, and since that time has added numerous acting credits to his name, including appearances on NCIS and Big Love in 2009.
My Three Sons is one of the most popular sitcoms ever produced and enjoys continued success in syndication to this day. The first season of 36 episodes is now available on DVD.