August 30, 1908 – Actor and Disney Legend Fred MacMurray is Born
“I will say the seven pictures I made at the Disney Studio were the pleasantest times I’ve had in the picture business, and I’ve been around quite a while.”
On August 30, 1908, Frederick Martin MacMurray was born in Kankakee, Illinois. His family moved to Wisconsin when he was a boy and after graduating from high school, he earned a scholarship to Carroll University. He supported himself through college by playing the saxophone and performing as a vocalist for local bands; he ultimately did not graduate from college. In 1920, MacMurray headed west to Los Angeles, where he found work with the California Collegians vocal ensemble, which appeared in several Broadway productions. MacMurray ended up as Bob Hope’s understudy for the production Roberta, and scored a screen test and studio contract after being scouted by a Paramount talent scout. 1935 found MacMurray in the film The Gilded Lily alongside Claudette Colbert, and became a star overnight. Walt Disney hired MacMurray for the first live-action comedy for the studio called The Shaggy Dog, which went on to be a surprise hit in 1959. All in all, MacMurray was hired for seven live-action feature films, including Follow Me, Boys!, The Absent Minded Professor, and The Happiest Millionaire. His last feature for the studio was 1973’s Charley and the Angel. In 1987, MacMurray had the honor of becoming the first Disney Legend, honored for his work in entertaining millions. He passed away in 1991 at the age of 83.