Don Grady dies at 68

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Services for Real Estate Pros with Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance

Don GradyFor many baby boomers we remember the wholesome show My Three Sons. I just read that Don Grady who played the oldest son Robbie died of cancer at 68.It makes you realize that life is short and cancer doesn't care if you have money or not. It strikes anytime and to anyone.

Don Grady, who was one of television's most beloved big brothers as Robbie Douglas on the long-running 1960s hit "My Three Sons," died Wednesday. He was 68.

His "My Three Sons" co-star Barry Livingston, who played youngest brother Ernie, confirmed Grady's death. Livingston said Grady had been suffering from cancer and receiving hospice care at his home in Thousand Oaks, Calif. But the exact cause and place of death were not immediately clear.

"It's the oldest cliche in the world when TV brothers start referring to each other like biological brothers, but he was the oldest, and somebody I looked up to and learned from a great deal about life," Livingston said.

Born in San Diego as Don Louis Agrati, Grady had a brief stint singing and dancing on "The Mickey Mouse Club" starting at age 13.

But he was best known by far as one of Fred MacMurray's "My Three Sons" on the series that ran on ABC and later CBS from 1960 to 1972. Like The Donna Reed Show and The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, My Three Sons, which debuted on ABC before moving to CBS, was squeaky clean and went for the gentle laugh.

 

my three sonsThe popular show, which featured MacMurray as a widowed aeronautical engineer struggling to raise three older boys, was among the longest running family sitcoms of all time with 380 episodes.

In the show's earlier years Douglas was actually the middle brother, with Tim Considine playing the oldest, Mike, and Stanley Livingston playing the youngest, Chip. When Considine departed, Barry Livingston became the adopted "third" son, and Grady became the cool, handsome and assured eldest brother that much of America adored.

 A musical prodigy from a young age, Grady appeared with a band, the Greefs, in the series, and in real life played drums for The Yellow Balloon, who had a minor hit with a self-titled song in 1967.

He made a handful of guest appearances on TV series in the 1970s and 1980s, but worked primarily as a musician and composer, writing the theme for "The Phil Donahue Show" and music for the Blake Edwards film "Switch" and the popular Las Vegas show "EFX," a showcase for "Phantom of the Opera" star Michael Crawford.

"The one real through-line in his life was music," Livingston said. "I would think Don would love to be remembered for his great music as much as a teen idol and television icon."

A Three Sons reunion

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Sharon Lee

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John McCormack
Albuquerque Homes Realty * www.AlbuquerqueHomes.com - Albuquerque, NM
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Just saw this one news.... Cancer seems to be on the rampage taking so many so soon.

Jun 28, 2012 04:55 PM #1
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Jean Hanley
Coldwell Banker Kivett Teeters - Hemet, CA
Specializing in Folks Who Want To Buy/Sell Homes

Yes, I saw this today, as well.  One of my all time favorite shows when I was growing up.  I also saw that the actress who portrayed Carolyn Applebee on I LOVE LUCY, passed away today.  These were the types of shows that were cool to watch, with no violence, offensive language, or any of the bad stuff.  Boy, I am really feeling old......

Jun 28, 2012 05:28 PM #2
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Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Hurt, VA

John-It sure does, I lost my sister in law to lung cancer a couple years ago.

Jean-I saw that as well. They were definitely great shows. I know what you mean.

Jun 28, 2012 05:41 PM #3
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Rob Lang
At Home Kansas / www.AskRobLang.com - Lawrence, KS
Local Expert in Lawrence Kansas Real Estate Homes

My Three Sons was a show I enjoyed watching during my growing up years.  It was good clean fun and a lot of humor.

Jun 28, 2012 05:43 PM #4
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Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Hurt, VA

Lawrence-Indeed it was.

Jun 28, 2012 05:48 PM #5
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Erv Fleishman
Realty Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Luxury Prop Specialist Realty Associates

Those were the days my friend, thought they would never end.....

Between My Three sons, and Father knows Best... Hollywood had an image of family that was idealized at best.

 

Jun 28, 2012 06:12 PM #6
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Sussie Sutton
UTR Texas Realtors - Pearland, TX
UTR TEXAS Realtors - Rep for buyers and sellers.

Erv  How about the Donna Reed Show or Father Knows Best!

And we lived forever and a day.. that was the life we chose...

Jun 28, 2012 06:56 PM #7
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Kristine Ginsberg
Morris County, NJ: Elite Staging and Redesign, LLC - Morris Plains, NJ
Morris County, NJ Stager

Sharon - I remember watching My Three Sons and it's so sad that Don Grady died of cancer at such a young age. I always thought he was so good looking. Those where the days when TV was good clean fun. Sad news...

Jun 28, 2012 08:10 PM #8
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Sharon Lee
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Erv=So true but it was a simpler time. An innocence that we don't have any longer

Sussie-The old shws are a part of our lives that will remain with us always

Jun 28, 2012 08:18 PM #9
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Sharon Lee
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Kristine-So true on both aspects

Jun 28, 2012 08:20 PM #10
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Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
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Wonderful show and cast...........such horrible news about Don Grady.

Jun 29, 2012 02:38 AM #11
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Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Hurt, VA

Roger-It is sad indeed. It was a great show.

Jun 29, 2012 03:27 AM #12
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Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

I loved that show Sharon and had not heard about Don Grady, too young to pass away. Uncle Charlie and the Dad played by Fred MacMurray. Great show. Clean cut boys. That REUNION clip was awesome Sharon. I did know about Chip and Ernie being real brothers. Tina Cole being there (Katy) was very interesting too. We will miss you Robbie. Fascinating fascinating reunion video. GREAT post.

Jun 29, 2012 06:16 AM #13
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Sharon Lee
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Gary-I think a lot of us baby boomers liked those old shows. Definitely wholesome and clean cut. Thanks

Jun 29, 2012 06:51 AM #14
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Kristin Johnston, Waukesha Realtor 414-254-6647
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Waukesha County Realtor, RE/MAX Buyer Agent

I didn't know who this was but I think I recognize him now...too many die too  young from cancer :-(

Jun 29, 2012 06:55 AM #15
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Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Hurt, VA

Kristin-You are too young to remember the show. It was great and wholesome. Many do die too early.

Jun 29, 2012 06:57 AM #16
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