The actor who played Robbie Douglas on the hit television show ‘My Three Sons,’ Don Grady, passed away at the age of 68 on Wednesday. Grady’s death was confirmed by co-star and younger brother on the show, Barry Livingston, who played Ernie. Grady was suffering from cancer and was on hospice care at his home in Thousand Oaks, California, according to Livingston. It was not immediately known where Grady died or what the exact cause of death was for the television star and music composer.
“It’s the oldest cliche in the world when TV brothers start referring to each other like biological brothers, but he was the oldest, and somebody I looked up to and learned from a great deal about life,” Livingston said.
Grady was born in San Diego as Don Louis Agrati and had a brief stint on ‘The Mickey Mouse Club’ beginning at the age of 13. Grady was best known for his role as one of the sons of Fred MacMurray on ‘My Three Sons,’ which aired on ABC and then CBS from 1960 to 1972. MacMurray played a widowed aeronautical engineer who struggled to raise three older sons. The show was one of the longest running family sitcoms with 380 total episodes to its name.
Grady was a musician when not filming the show and appeared in the show with a band named the Greefs. In reality, he was the drummer for the band named The Yellow Balloon, who had a hit that was self-titled in 1967. Grady made multiple guest appearances on television series in the 1970s and 1980s. He also composed the theme song for ‘The Phil Donahue Show’ and music for the film by Blake Edwards called ‘Switch.’
“The one real through-line in his life was music,” Livingston said. “I would think Don would love to be remembered for his great music as much as a teen idol and television icon.”