Don Grady

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Don Grady
Don Grady William Demarest My Three Sons 1969.JPG
Grady (left) with William Demarest (right) in My Three Sons, 1969
BornDon Louis Agrati
(1944-06-08)June 8, 1944
San Diego, California, U.S.
DiedJune 27, 2012(2012-06-27) (aged 68)
Thousand Oaks, California, U.S.
Cause of death
Cancer
OccupationActor, musician, composer
Years active1954–2006
Notable work(s)Mouseketeer,
My Three Sons
Spouse(s)Julie Boonisar (m. 1976–79) (divorced),
Virginia Lewsader (m. 1985–2012) (his death)
Website
http://www.dongrady.com/
 
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Don Grady
Don Grady William Demarest My Three Sons 1969.JPG
Grady (left) with William Demarest (right) in My Three Sons, 1969
BornDon Louis Agrati
(1944-06-08)June 8, 1944
San Diego, California, U.S.
DiedJune 27, 2012(2012-06-27) (aged 68)
Thousand Oaks, California, U.S.
Cause of death
Cancer
OccupationActor, musician, composer
Years active1954–2006
Notable work(s)Mouseketeer,
My Three Sons
Spouse(s)Julie Boonisar (m. 1976–79) (divorced),
Virginia Lewsader (m. 1985–2012) (his death)
Website
http://www.dongrady.com/

Don Louis Agrati (June 8, 1944 – June 27, 2012), better known as Don Grady, was an American actor, composer, and musician. He was well known both as one of Mickey Mouse's original Mouseketeers, and as Robbie Douglas on the long-running ABC/CBS television series My Three Sons. His sister was also an actress, billed as Lani O'Grady. Their mother was a talent agent, known as Mary Grady.

Life and career[edit]

Grady was born Don Louis Agrati in San Diego, California, the son of Mary B. (née Castellino), a talent agent, and Lou Anthony Agrati, a sausage maker.[1] He grew up in Lafayette, California, where he was a class president at Lafayette Elementary School;[2] Stanley Junior High School, where he spent only a few months before being signed by Walt Disney and leaving the area;[2] and Burbank High School (pictured as Don Agrati).[3]

His acting credits included several Western series, including John Payne's The Restless Gun, Have Gun, Will Travel, Buckskin, Wagon Train and The Rifleman, in which he played two roles in the second season.[4]

In December 1959, at the age of fifteen, Grady appeared in two different episodes of CBS's Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater, having played opposite Joan Crawford and Dick Powell. In "Rebel Ranger", he is cast as Rob Faring, the young son of Crawford's character, Stella Faring, a Confederate widow who tries to reclaim her former home and Rob's birthplace from the Unionist owner, Cass Taggart, played by Scott Forbes. Character actor John Anderson is cast as Fisk Madden, who tries to drive Taggart off his land and gain Stella's favor. The episode ends with Stella and Rob heading into a nearby town with the understanding that Taggart would call upon Stella for possible courtship even though Crawford was fifteen years Forbes' senior. Stella Faring reveals that she had been living during the war in San Antonio, Texas, also the birthplace of Joan Crawford.[5]

In "Death in a Wood", Grady played a young Unionist, Zachary, who grows to understand that a Confederate soldier, Lawrence (played by Dick Powell), who is holding him prisoner, is a man of decency and strength of commitment. Simon Oakland appeared in this episode as a less sympathetic Confederate named Townsend.[6]

In 1960, he began a 12-year run as Robbie Douglas in the show My Three Sons starring Fred MacMurray. Initially airing on ABC, the show moved to CBS in 1965. During production of My Three Sons, Grady both appeared with his own band The Greefs on the series, writing two original songs for the show and was the drummer for The Yellow Balloon, whose self-titled song became a minor hit in 1967. For a while during the run of the series, he attended Los Angeles City College.[7]

While on My Three Sons Grady also appeared in the NBC medical drama, The Eleventh Hour and in two episodes of the NBC education drama, Mr. Novak, starring James Franciscus.

Originally the frustrated middle brother on My Three Sons, Grady's Robbie became the confident elder brother with two cast changes. The character of the original older brother, Mike, (played by (Tim Considine, who had earlier appeared with Grady in The New Adventures of Spin and Marty) was gradually eased out of the series, and a new youngest son, Ernie (Barry Livingston), was adopted into the family.

After My Three Sons[edit]

After My Three Sons ended in 1972, Grady pursued a musical career. His works included music for the Blake Edwards comedy film Switch, the theme song for The Phil Donahue Show[2] and for EFX, a Las Vegas multimedia stage show which starred Michael Crawford, David Cassidy, Tommy Tune, and Rick Springfield. As a stage performer, he starred in the national tour of Pippin and had roles in Godspell and Damn Yankees.

In the fall of 2008, Grady released Boomer: JazRokPop, a collection of songs written for and about the baby boomer generation. Boomer was his first original album as an artist since Homegrown was released by Elektra Records in 1973.

Later life and death[edit]

Grady married Virginia "Ginny" Lewsader in 1985, having met her at Disneyland.[2] The couple remained married until his death. They had two children, Joey and Tessa. Grady died of cancer June 27, 2012, in Thousand Oaks, California.[8] He is buried at the Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Memorial Park in Westlake Village, Los Angeles County, California.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Don Grady Biography (1944-)
  2. ^ a b c d Janice De Jesus. "Ex-Mouseketeer slated for Lesher performance: 'Robbie' from 'My Three Sons' will perform with lyricist Marty Panzer to benefit a nonprofit group for foster children," Walnut Creek Journal (CA), May 12, 2005, page 3.
  3. ^ "1962 Burbank High School Yearbook, Burbank, CA". Classmates. Retrieved 2012-06-28. 
  4. ^ Previous information stating that Grady played a deaf-mute character in The Rifleman, Season 3, Episode 13, is incorrect; that role was played by Brad Weston.
  5. ^ "Zane Grey Theatre: "Rebel Ranger", December 3, 1959". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved September 20, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Zane Grey Theatre: "Death in a Wood", December 17, 1959". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved September 21, 2012. 
  7. ^ Kaufman, Dave (1968). TV 69: Who's Who, What's What in the New TV Season (mass market paperback). New York: Signet. p. 130. 
  8. ^ Robert J. Lopez (2012-06-28). "Don Grady obituary: Mouseketeer, 'My Three Sons' star dies at 68". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-06-28. 
  9. ^ "Don Grady (1944 - 2012) - Find A Grave Memorial". Retrieved 2013-08-05. 

External links[edit]