Fred MacMurray was one of the most durable stars in motion picture history. His career spanned 39 years and five decades; few stars have equaled that distinction. He registered strongly with audiences and critics in such films as The Egg and I (1947), and especially The Caine Mutiny (1954). In 1960, MacMurray made the transiistion to television, starring as Steve Douglas, the widowed patriarch on My Three Sons. The popular show ran first on ABC, then on CBS, until 1972, a 12-year span during which MacMurray's scenes were filmed together for three months every season so that he could take the rest of the year off.
Fred MacMurray: A Biography, by Charles Tranberg