‘My Three Sons’ star Barry Livingston talks ‘Hollywood Museum Squares,’ favourite William Frawley reminiscence

2021-06-05 14:30:52

Like all of us, Barry Livingston is able to have some enjoyable.

The actor lately teamed up with a number of stars for “The Hollywood Museum Squares,” the place followers of the beloved recreation present can watch new movies on demand. Every present contains a particular greeting from legendary “Hollywood Squares” host Peter Marshall and is hosted by Tom Bergeron, John Davidson, Marc Summers, Patt Finn and Bruce Vilanch.  

A few of the many celebrities collaborating on this particular embody Livingston, in addition to Loni Anderson, Gilbert Gottfried, Donna Mills, Jerry Mathers, Alison Arngrim and Wealthy Little – simply to call a couple of. Proceeds will profit The Hollywood Museum, which has saved employees employed throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

The previous baby star famously appeared in “My Three Sons,” a sitcom a few widower (Fred MacMurray) who raises his boys with the assistance of his father-in-law and later, the kids’s great-uncle. The sequence aired from 1960 till 1972.


Livingston spoke to Fox Information about collaborating in “The Hollywood Museum Squares,” what it was actually like filming “My Three Sons,” in addition to how he efficiently led a decades-long profession in Hollywood.

Fox Information: John Davidson was your host for “The Hollywood Museum Squares.” What was that like?  

Barry Livingston: I used to be very impressed by his hair nonetheless *laughs*. Wow, I don’t have any! However severely, he was nice. It’s a troublesome job, however truly seeing it and the best way it was produced was incredible. We clearly needed to do it by Zoom so we couldn’t all be in a single place. However it’s trickier to maintain that rhythm just about. It’s not as simple because it appears. So it was so fascinating to see John at work. What can I say? He did it properly. He’s an expert.

Fox Information: Who had been you most excited to see and why?

Livingston: Gilbert Gottfried. He’s fairly humorous in order that was a thrill to see him be part of this… However you understand, I used to be a fan of [the original show] earlier than I turned a participant. So it was truthfully thrilling simply to be in a sq.… I feel for me, it was that have of being a fan of the present and its early incarnation, and now truly sitting in a sq. that really made it for me. That likelihood to subject questions and provide you with some type of brainy reply or give them a straight reply… it was a ball.


Barry Livingston starred in ‘My Three Sons.’ 

Barry Livingston starred in ‘My Three Sons.’ 
(Photograph by Walt Disney Tv by way of Getty Pictures)

Fox Information: Many followers bear in mind you out of your time enjoying Ernie Douglas on “My Three Sons.” How did you get the function?

Livingston: I used to be performing previous to doing “My Three Sons.” I used to be already a reasonably well-established actor. I used to be filming “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.” I did 16 episodes of that as a return character… So the producers knew of me and my brother Stan who performed Chip in “My Three Sons.” Tim Considine, who performed Mike Douglas, wished to go away the present. He had different issues in thoughts. So that they had been on the lookout for someone to come back in and preserve issues collectively. The thought was hatched to convey me on because the adopted son. And that’s how I got here on.

Fox Information: What’s one reminiscence out of your time filming the sequence that also makes you smile each time you consider it?

Livingston: The instances we obtained to spend with William Frawley who performed Bub on “My Three Sons.” In fact, many individuals bear in mind him as Fred Mertz on “I Love Lucy.” He cherished to make me and my brother snigger by saying outrageous, generally fairly vulgar issues. Once you’re eight or 9 years outdated, it simply cracks you up.

Fox Information: How would you describe William Frawley because the actor versus the characters we all know him as?

Livingston: He wasn’t too removed from the characters that he performed. He was a really well-known, established character ac even earlier than “I Love Lucy.” And in these days, when it got here to doing a tv sequence, there have been solely three networks. And whenever you tune in to a TV sequence, 25 million different individuals had been watching. So his fame actually exploded. However on set, he simply cherished to make my brother and I laughed.


William Frawley passed away in 1966 at age 79.

William Frawley handed away in 1966 at age 79.
(Photograph by Walt Disney Tv by way of Getty Pictures)

Fox Information: What was it like working along with your brother?

Livingston: We obtained alongside nice. Stan and I are nonetheless the most effective of associates and we had been the most effective of associates then. I used to be joyful to get on equal footing with my brother. He was well-known. He was on an enormous tv sequence. I used to be an actor working, however it type of leveled the enjoying subject. Abruptly we had been each on the identical huge TV sequence and it was incredible. However on a private stage, it was enjoyable to hold with my huge brother. And the forged was a blast. They had been all nice guys to me. So it was one huge joyful household.  

Fox Information: What do you imagine was the key behind the present’s success?

Livingston: I feel it broke away from what was the conventional depiction of the American household again within the late ‘50s, early ‘60s. In reveals like “Father Is aware of Greatest,” you had the matriarch who made positive the family was immaculately cared for. The spouse was carrying a costume. Dad’s carrying a cardigan sweater. The boys are very well-mannered. It had this extra “Pleasantville” facet.

However in “My Three Sons,” it was a dysfunctional household of types as a result of there wasn’t a girl in the home. That was the novelty of the present. It was an all-male family and Fred MacMurray performed a widower. The children jumped over the banisters. We did dishes. The canine was sleeping on the couch. I feel the American public checked out that and went, “Oh, that’s extra like us.” I feel it introduced a contact of actuality when it comes to what American households regarded like again within the early ‘60s.  


From left: Stanley Livingston as Chip Douglas, Fred MacMurray as Steve Douglas, Don Grady as Robbie Douglas and Barry Livingston as Ernie Thompson Douglas. 

From left: Stanley Livingston as Chip Douglas, Fred MacMurray as Steve Douglas, Don Grady as Robbie Douglas and Barry Livingston as Ernie Thompson Douglas. 
(Photograph by CBS by way of Getty Pictures)

Fox Information: How did you escape the so-called baby star curse we frequently hear about?

Livingston: I’ve been very fortunate in that I proceed to work. Most lately, I used to be in “Bosch.” So I really feel very lucky. My mother and father had been very conscious of the pitfalls of fame – or lack of after your huge tv sequence will get canceled. They saved on me on a regular basis about getting an schooling. You recognize, what do you wish to do along with your life when that is over? I attempted quite a lot of instances to go to varsity, however I saved getting elements that might take me away for six weeks or so. After which one other TV film or characteristic movie can be accessible.

So I used to be fortunate that I saved working and incomes cash after “My Three Sons” was over. It inspired me to maybe entertain the concept perhaps, I may do that as a long-term profession. However with that stated, I’ve had downtime. You’re identical to every other actor on the town making an attempt to get a begin and restart. It may be difficult as an grownup. So I took the time to check. I went again to New York, labored on Broadway and off-Broadway. I obtained recommendation from individuals like Roddy McDowall, who was a toddler actor himself. He was one of many first individuals who stated, “It’s essential to go to New York, you could be taught your craft and never simply depend on your cuteness, since you’re not so cute anymore when you’re 20, 22.” And I wasn’t essentially good-looking both. So I assumed, “I higher begin growing some abilities.”

However wanting again, I feel that performed a giant function in me having a reasonably sturdy basis. My mother and father at all times instructed me, “Do not sit again and simply assume that fame goes to be mechanically given to you or jobs will at all times be given to you. You need to work for it.” It’s not simple to be ready for failure and rejection. I at all times had behind my thoughts, maybe considerably fearfully, that I wanted to continue to learn and making an attempt new issues. I did theater and no matter I may to maintain honing my abilities.


HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 18:  Barry Livingston attends a preview of The Hollywood Museum's "Child Stars - Then And Now" exhibit at The Hollywood Museum on August 18, 2016 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Tara Ziemba/Getty Images)

HOLLYWOOD, CA – AUGUST 18:  Barry Livingston attends a preview of The Hollywood Museum’s “Youngster Stars – Then And Now” exhibit at The Hollywood Museum on August 18, 2016 in Hollywood, California.  (Photograph by Tara Ziemba/Getty Pictures)
((Photograph by Tara Ziemba/Getty Pictures))


Fox Information: What has saved you going as a performer?

Livingston: That is going to sound cliché, however part of my sturdy basis is my spouse. We’ve been collectively for 40 years. That emotional stability in your life, whether or not you’re an actor or not, is fairly darn vital. When instances would get robust, she was at all times there. And thank God for that. I’ve someone who could be very supportive and grounded. She helped me navigate these robust durations. That’s the actual reply to it. I’ve an ideal household and I used to be capable of have a few youngsters and develop into one thing extra than simply an actor making an attempt to pursue his subsequent job. And I used to be fortunate sufficient to seek out an ideal girl who’s helped me via my life.  

Fox Information: What do you hope audiences will get out of your look on “The Hollywood Museum Squares”?

Livingston: I hope they get sheer leisure, a diversion from their day-to-day. That’s what it was for me. I feel individuals are greater than able to be entertained and break free from the pains of final yr… It gives a really nostalgic look again to an period in a really enjoyable means. It’s simply pure leisure and I feel that is one thing we may all use.

Video on demand for ‘The Hollywood Museum Squares’ shall be accessible via July 10, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. PT

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