Stars of Vaudeville #486: Fred MacMurray
Originally posted in 2012
Most people (over a certain age) know him as “Steve Douglas” from the tv show My Three Sons (1960-1972) and a star of silly Disney movies like The Shaggy Dog (1959), The Absent Minded Professor (1961) and Son of Flubber (1963). A lesser number (film buffs) know him as a major star of the classic Hollywood studio era of the 1930s and 1940s. But I’ll lay dollars to donuts that only a VERY few know that Fred MacMurray (1908-1991) got his start in the 1920s in vaudeville as a saxophone player in a band called “The California Collegiates”.
The Wisconsin native enjoyed a long career. The other night the Countess and I enjoyed him (well watched him) in Irwin Allen’s 1978 disaster (I mean disaster movie) The Swarm.
Now, here’s a clip I found that’s DOUBLY awesome. Not only is it very illuminating about Fred MacMurray the man….but also about Bob Hope, whom believe it or not, I have NEVER seen on a talk show PERIOD, let alone speak so warmly and candidly. A double testament to MacMurray:
To learn more about the history of show business, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.
And please check out my new book: Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc