The family sitcom “My Three Sons” is still regarded as one of the best series, though it ended decades ago. What happened to the real-life triplets who acted as Robbie Douglas’ children? Let’s take a look.
“My Three Sons” was a top-rated sitcom that was loved by many. It ran for twelve seasons between 1960 to 1972, first on ABC, then on CBS, telling the story of the members of the Douglas Family, who disappear with alarming regularity.
That series is an early example of a TV show transcending the traditional idea of a nuclear family, which is just part of its legacy.
Tim Considine on the set of the show, “My Three Sons” on November 25, 1977. | Source: Getty Images
“My Three Sons” was considered a cornerstone of the ABC and CBC lineups in the 60s. A total of 380 episodes were produced. Let’s take a look at the casts from the show who played the roles of the three sons.
In “My Three Sons,” 82-year-old American actor Tim Considine played Mike Douglas, Steve Douglas’ oldest son. Mike lives with his widower father for years, and at some point, he grows to an age where he feels he is grown enough to question his father’s decisions.
The character left the series in its fifth season, when he got married and suddenly disappeared. Steve informs Mike’s siblings, Chip and Robbie, that their brother went on a honeymoon, and later, he revealed that Mike had “moved east.”
Stanley Livingston played the role of Steve Douglas’ youngest son and the most stupid of the original three sons. Although many might not remember much about him, he was the only one of Steve’s three sons left to witness his father’s death.
American actor Don Grady acted as Robbie Douglas, sibling to Mike Douglas and Chip Douglas. In the movie, Robbie gets married as a teenager to his college friend, Katie, and the pair become parents to triplets. At some point, Robbie leaves, and Katie is left to cater to their triplets.
Meet the Triplets
The triplets’ roles spanned only two years between 1970 to 1972 before the show stopped airing. Decades have passed since “My Three Sons” aired, and the triplets have become unrecognizable and very handsome.
Tim Considine on the set of “MY THREE SONS” on JULY 17 | Source: Getty Images
A Facebook post shared by American actress Tina Cole showed a then-and-now picture of the siblings. The monochrome throwback picture showed the trio as kids, clad in matching outfits.
On the other hand, the recent picture of the brothers showed them all grown up, looking cheerful and sharing a striking resemblance.
One of the trio, Joe Todd, who starred as Charley Douglas, alongside his real-life siblings, Dan Todd and Michael Todd, gave a detailed explanation of his and his siblings’ role.
Joe made it known that his grandmother spotted the newspaper ad seeking twins to join the cast of “My Three Sons.” According to Joe, his grandmother informed the series producers that she could add an extra cast to the twins needed.
Joe’s grandmother’s idea appeared to be the best fit for the sitcom, as it was great to use triplets in a show called “My Three Sons.” As opposed to child stars landing roles due to their talent, Joe and his brothers were only picked because they were siblings.
Acting like a kid in the series, Joe could barely recount his experiences while on set. However, he revealed that he could remember everybody was friendly to him and his brothers because they were children. Growing up, Joe realized that the sitcom left many fans glued to their screens.
Life after “My Three Sons”
After making appearances on “My Three Sons,” Dan, Michael, and Joe got to do commercials for products and establishments like “Doublemint Chewing Gum,” the California restaurant chain, “Mr. Steak,” amongst others.
In 1989, fans of the three brothers got a glimpse of them on the talk show, “The Joan Rivers Show.” Although Joe and his brothers appeared on the screen for some time, their careers in the movie industry were short-lived, and they headed in a very different direction.
Life in the Military
The trio eventually went to college, and after a short time, they dropped out to join the Army— a decision that Joe described as the best thing they could ever have done. Joe said he and his brothers decided to serve their country to find their individuality.
At age 19, the triplets were sent to different areas in Germany for their first tour of duty. Todd served in the Army’s medic department for 20 years, and in March 2007, he retired. Even though Joe retired, he still taught Soldier Medics at Fort Sam Houston.
Not long after, he joined the civil service to continue training soldiers. Joe said to avoid some challenges child stars faced, he looked at himself as less of a child actor since he acted for a short time.
Don Grady in an episode of “LOVE AMERICAN STYLE” on 13 February, 1970 | Source: Getty Images
Instead, he taught the value of resiliency to the uniformed and civilian members of the MICC workforce. On the other hand, Michael served in the military as a combat engineer for several years before he retired. Currently, he is a teacher at the Army Medical Department at Camp Bullis.
For Dan, he served in the Army for eight years, after which he quit and decided to get a degree from the University of Houston. After his graduation, he opened a small business in Houston.
A Reunion to Remember
In 2009, the cast from “My Three Sons” reunited on “The Early Show” to discuss what working on the series felt like. Livingston described the experience as living in another world.
The movie stars also made jokes about their roles and different scenes in the sitcom. Cole, who played Katie, revealed that some of the married characters could not stand each other by the end of one of the scenes, making it challenging to play couples.
However, in one of the episodes, the director of the show, Frederick De Cordova, found a way to end a scene with Robbie and Katie sharing a real embrace. Livingston joked that the embrace led to the birth of the triplets.