Mr. Un-Modern Fred MacMurray


Modesty, simplicity and constancy were the themes in the actor’s traditional Brentwood home.

October 01, 2011
Sam Watters

Fred MacMurray was a 26-year-old, square-jawed guy from Beaver Dam, Wis., when he became a Hollywood star, signing a contract with Paramount Pictures in 1934. Two years later he’d earned enough money to marry his sweetheart, model Lillian Lamont. They had what Mommie-Not-So-Dearest Joan Crawford called “one of the few happy and well-adjusted marriages.”

MacMurray was a straight shooter, a hard-working, All-American success who batted the ball out of the park in a 50-year film and TV career. He made dozens of movies including the noir murder classic “Double Indemnity” with Barbara Stanwyck. He famously pinched his pennies and saved his way to wealth. He loved his wife and went home after work to play with the kids.

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  1. May 5, 2013

    Together they look like people you can trust. Any man who wears a tweed jacket (sport coat) in the house must be a gentle man…

    • May 5, 2013

      Sharp eye! And, what a lovely blog you have πŸ™‚

  2. May 5, 2013

    I loved Fred in ‘My Three Sons’. I’m so happy to hear that he was nice person in real life, and not just acting. Fron the title of my blog, ‘1950 Suburban Adventures’, it’s not hard to guess that I grew up watching him.

  3. August 2, 2013

    Steppng out of character for “Double Indemnity” showed what a good actor he really was without all the fluff and humor he got to be known for.

  4. November 11, 2013

    what you need my dear is a Like button for a whole month of posts, because I like them all, just don’t manage to stop every time to say so (enjoy them from my reader). Thanks so much for your visits to my blog too, much appreciated. Fred’s house seemed a great spot to stop and chat hee πŸ™‚

    • November 11, 2013

      Kristina, I love their house β€” it looks like home, or the prototypical cozy place to grow up in. I’d lose the muskets, though… Thanks for stopping in to chat! xox, V

  5. November 11, 2013

    The original Ward and June Cleaver! It must have killed Joan Crawford to say what she said, imagine the acid reflux after those generous words. A gorgeous house and a lovely couple. I wonder what has happened to the house . .. .please don’t tell me Ben Affleck and J Garner live in it!

    • November 11, 2013

      Back before the tour buses of the 1970s everyone who lived in Beverly Hills was listed in the phone book, and it really had a small town feel, okay, with movie stars β€” but you know what I mean. If you looked in the book it would list, say, Desi Arnaz, give the profession: actor, and address, and I think his phone number was unlisted… but imagine that today. Never would happen.

  6. November 11, 2013

    It looks like a handsome home for a wonderful-looking couple. Having grown up watching MacMurray in “My Three Sons” and some of his Disney movies, then finding his other work, I’ve always been a fan and like others here, think he must have been a really kind and good man. It’s always nice to read things that reaffirm that suspicion!

    • November 11, 2013

      Jen, your suspicion was spot on. He really was a sweetheart.

  7. June 18, 2014

    I love it that he was a sweetheart. It’s at odds with many of the parts he played. Somewhere I have an old recording of him singing and playing the trumpet – at least, I think it was the trumpet. Heaven. Oh, nearly forgot to say thank you for now following Rogues & Vagabonds!

  8. November 23, 2014

    Isn’t it amazing how different his face looks at home? Like a completely different person than the one on screen in the movies. There are almost no lines.

  9. October 10, 2017

    What a beautiful traditional home. Look she’s wearing stockings at home. Today some devloper would probably level the house and make it into a Mac Mansion. I hate when that happens.

    • October 10, 2017

      Bev. Hills has been very dodgy when it comes to historical preservation. Gary Cooper’s house is still standing! Designed by A. Quincy Jones and if you click on the first architectural drawing in the post (Ms. Artist) you will see the most exquisite high res. rendering…
      Oh! And I forgot to tell you when I was a kid I wasn’t allowed to see Jaws because my parents thought it would stop me from swimming in the ocean, I saw it for the very first time this summer!

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