The handsome actor best known for playing son Robbie Douglas on My Three Sons has died. Also a composer and musician, Don Grady (far right) was 68 years old and had been battling cancer.
A native of San Diego, Grady was cast as a young Mouseketeer on the classic kids’ afternoon show, The Mickey Mouse Club. After that, he appeared on several TV shows of the day like Dick Powell’s Zane Grey Theater, Wagon Train, The Rifleman, and The Eleventh Hour.
He was then cast as the middle brother, Robbie Douglas, on My Three Sons. Movie star Fred MacMurray played his dad with Stanley Livingston and Tim Considine (another Mickey Mouse Club vet) playing his younger and older brothers respectively. I Love Lucy’s William Frawley rounded out the cast as maternal grandfather “Bub” O’Casey.
When Considine left the sitcom, Grady’s character became the eldest brother of the clan. Barry Livingston joined the cast as adopted son Ernie. Robbie later married and had triplets — another set of “my three sons”.
During his run on the show, Grady wrote some of the episodes and wrote and performed some of the music as well. Grady left My Three Sons after the 11th season and his character was occasionally mentioned but never seen. Grady reunited with members of his TV family a few years later for a Thanksgiving reunion special.
Following his departure from the show, Grady focused on his music career. He wrote music for several Disney projects as well as for Blake Edwards’ Switch; the theme song for The Phil Donahue Show; Universal Studio’s The Wild, Wild, Wild West Show; and EFX, a Las Vegas show starring Michael Crawford.
Grady’s sister was billed as Lani O’Grady and co-starred on ABC’s Eight Is Enough. His mother was noted talent agent Mary Grady. He met his future wife Ginny at Disneyland and married her in 1985. They had two children, Joey and Tessa.
On his Facebook page, Barry Livingston (above center) wrote, “Sad, sad day. My dear friend and TV brother, Don Grady, passed away today. He was an inspiration to me in so many ways and his impact on my life is indelible. I will miss him greatly.”
What do you think? How will you best remember Don Grady? For My Three Sons, The Mickey Mouse Club or for his music?