Well finally there's a biography of Fred MacMurray. It's not the one I was asked to contribute to, which was to have been a dual bio of Fred and his late wife June Haver, but a new one by Charles Tranberg, who a couple of years ago also wrote a terrific study of the great character actress Agnes Moorehead of "Bewitched" fame. The book I was asked to help with (which would also include a complete listing of all episodes of "My Three Sons") was to have been written by a different author, which ultimately never got to be published in 2004 when the author in question contacted me.
Still, Tranberg has produced a good read of a book with many acknowledgements. Alot of the quotes also appear in this episode guide from interviews that I had conducted over the last five years with ex-actor Hank Jones, series stars Beverly Garland and Dawn Lyn via email, which were obviously good added value material. My only gripe with what I have read in the book so far?
There are some inaccuracies in the "timelines" regarding the series (ie. quoting that Tina Cole joined the show in the ninth season when it was really the eighth!) and various misprints in the addended mini episode guide of "Sons" from incorrect director details to having none listed at all. Obviously Mr. Tranberg never really delved into my comprehensive guide here! I would love to correspond with him and to suggest some corrections, if only for the sake of accuracy.
Still, the overview of the book as a whole is that it gives a great account of one of the most durable stars in the history of the medium. I must admit I was choking back tears on the last page of the manuscript. The author had quoted someone who had asked Fred on the occasion of his 80th Birthday in 1988 on how he'd like to be remembered? " 'Fondly' came the reply. I think he got his wish...." and how true!
I think for millions of us Fred epitomised the 'fantasy' father figure we all wished we had growing up. I don't think he probably really ever understood the effect he had on millions of children worldwide. I heartily suggest you seek this soft-cover paperback out. It's available on Amazon and the title is "Fred MacMurray - A Biography". It can also be ordered direct from the publisher, Bear Mania Media.
Geoff Brown, Editor.
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