Hello, and welcome back to my thoughts and musings. Today I am looking at the career of Fred MacMurray, the first Disney Legend.
Born on August 30, 1908, MacMurray appeared in over 80 films during his illustrious acting career. as well as on roles in television, including the long running My Three Sons, which ran from 1960 – 1972 on ABC and then CBS. This was one of the few shows to switch TV networks, and transition from filming in black and white to filming in color.
MacMurray first appeared in a Disney film in 1959, when Walt Disney selected MacMurray to appear in the studios’ first live action comdey, The Shaggy Dog. His next role Disney role was as Professor Brainard in The Absent-Minded Professor. The success of this film led the the first Disney sequel, Son of Flubber.
MacMurrary’s remaining Disney filmography was Bon Voyage (1962), Follow Me Boys! (1966) The Happiest Millionaire (1967) andhis final Disney film, Charley and the Angel (1973). Of note, The Happiest Millionaire was the last film Walt Disney supervised before his death in 1966. His co-stars included Disney Legends Annette Funicello, Kurt Russell and Ed Wynn.
On October 13, 1987 Disney employees and press representatives arrived at Disney’s Burbank studios to honor MacMurray as a Disney Legend. MacMurrary was the first to be given this honor, and the only to be honored in 1987. To help mark the occasion, Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley declared the day to be “Fred MacMurray Day” in Los Angeles.
Health issues persisted in MacMurrary’s life. He was diagnosed with throat cancer in the late 1970s, and reemerged in 1987. He suffered a stroke in 1988 and battled leukemia for a decade . On November 5, 1991, Fred MacMurray passed away from pneumonia. He would have been 105 years old this weekend.
Seeing MacMurrary’s Disney resume it is understandable how he was named a Disney Legend. His films became some of the biggest hits for the Disney Studios, and his legendary costars had as illustrious of careers.
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