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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 10, 2010 / 3 Teves, 5771

Fred MacMurray

By Greg Crosby



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I've always been a big fan of Fred MacMurray, one of Hollywood's most underrated actors in my opinion. Most young folks, if they know MacMurray at all, undoubtedly only know him from his "My Three Sons" TV show or the Walt Disney comedies of the late 50's and early 60's. If you fall into that category, then you don't know what you've missed. Starting in the thirties and continuing for more than 5 decades Fred MacMurray was one of the most reliable, versatile actors in the business.

Always interesting to watch, MacMurray had terrific range, playing screwball comedy, romantic comedy, drama, and hard-hitting action roles with equal believability. If you want to get an idea of the man's acting chops, spend a week-end watching him in "Alice Adams," "Sing You Sinners," "Double Indemnity," "The Cain Mutiny," and "The Apartment." These five films alone will help erase your image of him as dull dad Steve Douglas on "My Three Sons," and "The AbsentMinded Professor."

Born on August 30th 1908 in Kankakee, Illinois MacMurray started out in college wanting to become a musician. In school, MacMurray participated in numerous local bands, playing the saxophone. In 1930, he recorded a tune for the Gus Arnheim Orchestra as a featured vocalist on "All I Want Is Just One Girl" on the Victor label. Eventually he got to Broadway and it was in the 1933 production of "Roberta" that he was "discovered" and signed by Paramount Studios to a seven-year contract. Incidentally, his co-star in "Roberta" was also signed by Paramount. His name was Bob Hope.

Throughout the 30's he played opposite some of the screen's most important leading ladies, including Katharine Hepburn in the classic, "Alice Adams" (1935), and with Carole Lombard in "Hands Across the Table" (1935), The Trail of the Lonesome Pine" (1936) , "The Princess Comes Across," (1936) and "True Confession" (1937).



The 40's gave him an opportunity to broaden his range and work against type in more serious roles. In 1944, he played the role of "Walter Neff", an insurance salesman who plots with a greedy wife Barbara Stanwyck to murder her husband in Double Indemnity -- indisputably the greatest role of his entire career. The picture was directed by Billy Wilder, who MacMurray often credited as giving him his best roles against type. Another example of that would be his role as a womanizing cad in Billy Wilder's "The Apartment" (1960).

Fred was teamed with Claudette Colbert in seven films, beginning with "The Gilded Lily" (1935). This was only his second picture and the one that truly made him a star. Audiences loved this picture and they loved the on-screen chemistry of MacMurray and Colbert. For years these films were hard to find, but now, just in time for the holidays, as the announcers say, three of these classics are being made available in new DVD transfers. Turner Classic Movies have put together the three movie set, "Claudette Colbert & Fred MacMurray: the Romantic Comedy Collection" at a special price of about $35 bucks. The films include "The Gilded Lily," "The Bride Comes Home," and "Family Honeymoon." That leaves four other pictures that hopefully TCM will reissue in another set in the not to distant future. Probably the most famous Colbert/MacMurray pairing would be "The Egg and I," the film which launched the long running Ma and Pa Kettle series.

MacMurray's career got a second wind in 1959 when he was cast as the dog-hating father figure in the first Walt Disney live-action comedy, The Shaggy Dog (1959). The film was an enormous hit and MacMurray went on to star in several more Disney pictures including The AbsentMinded Professor (1961) and in its sequel, Son of Flubber (1963). These hit Disney comedies led to his TV series "My Three Sons" (1960) debuting in 1960 and remained on the air for 12 seasons (380 episodes). Fred MacMurray continued to work throughout the 60's and 70's both on his long running television show and in movies, mostly for Disney.

As a result of a long battle with leukemia, MacMurray died of pneumonia at the age of eighty-three in Santa Monica on November 5, 1991.

Fred MacMurray was a wonderful actor who was vastly underappreciated in his time. Now with Turner Classic Movies showcasing his work on cable and his pictures being released on DVD his talent and film legacy will speak for itself.

P.S. If you've never seen "Remember the Night" (1940) it's a really terrific holiday picture and it is now available on DVD. It stars MacMurray with Barbara Stanwyck four years before they did "Double Indemnity." Make sure you make some popcorn to go with it - it is a must (you'll understand what I mean after you watch the film).

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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.

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© 2008, Greg Crosby

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