Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Tina Cole Reveals Why She and ‘My Three Sons’ Co-Star Don Grady Never Tied the Knot

Tina Cole Reveals Why She and ‘My Three Sons’ Co-Star Don Grady Never Tied the Knot

More than a decade after actor Don Grady passed away, Tina Cole is opening up about why she and her late My Three Sons co-star never got married in real life. 

My Three Sons premiered in 1960 and ran until 1972. The series followed widower Steve Douglas as he raised his three sons alongside his father-in-law and eventually the boys’ great-uncle. Don Grady was part of the original cast and appeared in 379 out of the 380 episodes. Tina Cole, who played Katie Miller, the girlfriend and eventually wife of Grady’s character Robbie Douglas. However, Cole appeared on the show in different roles in three earlier episodes before becoming Katie.

Cole and Grady’s Real-Life Will They, Won’t They Romance

During a recent interview with Closer, Cole recalled her and Grady being just crazy about one another. “He asked me to marry him and I wasn’t ready,” she explained. The duo ended up getting back together years later. However, while she was ready for the next step, Grady ended up not being ready this time. “That time, I wanted to marry him and he wasn’t ready. So, it was unrequited.” 

Although they got along eventually off the set, Cole revealed that Grady actually fought her casting as his character’s wife originally. “He didn’t think I was right for Robbie!” 

Tina Cole then shared more details about being cast in the role and how she hit it off quickly with My Three Sons star Fred MacMurray and his wife June. “I got a huge bouquet of flowers on my first day of work. People were kind of shocked because Fred was known for his frugality,” she said. She then described MacMurray as being so funny. “He could say more with one raised eyebrow than most actors could say with their whole bodies. He was just a master to watch and learn from.”

Tina Cole Recalls ‘My Three Sons’ Castmates Reaction to the Long-Running Classic TV Show’s Cancellation 

Along with discussing Don Grady and Fred MacMurray, Tina Cole also recalled she and her castmates being “shocked” and “devastated” about the long-running show being canceled in 1972.

“I still hear from people who wanted to be part of our family,” Cole said. “They liked that the dad was gentle and wise. They like the closeness. Even though it didn’t start out as a nuclear family, it became one, and I think people really miss that.”

Five years after the show ended, MacMurray and the majority of the My Three Sons cast participated in the Thanksgiving Reunion With The Partridge Family and My Three Sons. The televised event took a look back at both TV shows’ history as well as shared featured footage that was not in syndication at the time.