Frederick Martin “Fred” MacMurray (August 30, 1908 – November 5, 1991) was an American actor who appeared in more than 100 movies and a successful television series during a career that spanned nearly a half-century, from 1930 to the 1970s.
MacMurray is best known for his role in the 1944 film noir Double Indemnity directed by Billy Wilder, in which he starred with Barbara Stanwyck. Later in his career, he performed in numerous Disney film s, including The Absent-Minded Professor and The Shaggy Dog. In 1960, MacMurray turned to television in the role of Steve Douglas, the widowed patriarch on My Three Sons, which ran on ABC from 1960 to 1965 and then on CBS from 1965 to 1972.
Fred MacMurray was born in Kankakee, Illinois, the son of Maleta (née Martin) and Frederick MacMurray, Sr., both natives of Wisconsin. His aunt was a vaudeville performer and actress Fay Holderness. Before MacMurray was two years old, his family moved to Madison, Wisconsin, where his father worked as a music teacher. The family then relocated within the state to Beaver Dam, where his mother had been born in 1880. He later attended school in Quincy, Illinois, before earning a full scholarship to attend Carroll College (now Carroll University) in Waukesha, Wisconsin. While at Carroll, MacMurray performed in numerous local bands, playing the saxophone. He did not graduate from the school.
MacMurray was married twice. He married Lillian Lamont (legal name Lilian Wehmhoener MacMurray, born 1908) on June 20, 1936, and the couple adopted two children, Susan (born 1940) and Robert (born 1946). After Lamont died of cancer on June 22, 1953, he married actress June Haver the following year. The couple subsequently adopted two more children—twins born in 1956—Katherine and Laurie. MacMurray and Haver’s marriage was a long one, lasting 37 years, until Fred’s death .
After suffering from leukemia for more than a decade, MacMurray died from pneumonia at age 83 in November 1991 in Santa Monica. His body was entombed in Holy Cross Cemetery. In 2005, his wife June Haver died at age 79; and her body was entombed with his.
Amiable and unassuming, Fred MacMurray went from small-town boy to one of Hollywood and television’s major and most enduring stars. Subscribe for more …