Meredith Macrae was an American-born film and television star. She was an actress and a television host whose career spanned about four decades starting from 1953. Born to famous parents who were both actors, she got an early start in the show business as she marked her television debut at the age of eight.
She later made a seamless transition from child star to bonafide actress following her breakthrough performance as Sally Morrison on the hit 1960s sitcom My Three Sons. She was also on the cast of another 1960s sitcom Petticoat Junction. Much later in her career, Macrae served as the host of the 1980s TV show Mid-Morning Los Angeles.
Who Was Meredith Macrae?
This actress was born Meredith Lynn MacRae on the 30th of May 1944. She was born in Houston, Texas but was raised in Los Angeles, California. Information regarding her early education is unavailable, however, she is known to have had her college education at the University of California, Los Angeles where she bagged a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Born into a family of actors, she began acting when she was eight years of age but her career never really blossomed until her late teenage years.
Macrae got her breakout role on the hit 1960s sitcom My Three Sons (1963-65) in which she portrayed the character Sally Anne Morrison Douglas. Though the show lasted for 12 straight seasons, Macrae was a part of its cast for just 2 seasons as she left the show to go pursue other career opportunities. She was later cast as Billie Jo Bradley on another hit sitcom Petticoat Junction(1966-70) and she remained on the cast of the show until its final season.
Her film credits include Bikini Beach (1964), Norwood (1970), My Friends Need Killing (1976), Grand Jury (1976), Sketches of a Strangler (1978), Earthbound (1981) and The Census Taker (1984). The talented actress also had guest roles in several hit TV series including The Dean Martin Show, The F.B.I., The Mike Douglas Show, The Rockford Files, Fantasy Island, Webster, CHiPS, Love American Style, and Magnum, P.I. She equally featured in a number of stage productions in the course of her career.
In addition to being a well-rounded actress, Meredith Macrae had an 8-season stint as the host of the talk show Mid-Morning Los Angeles on KHJ-TV through which she earned a reputation for her great interviewing skills. She was also well known in the TV game show genre appearing in hit shows like What’s My Line?, I’ve Got a Secret, Tattletales, $10,000 Pyramid, $25,000 Pyramid, Break the Bank, Celebrity Whew!, Beat the Clock and many others.
Parents Of The Family
Meredith Macrae was born to highly talented and famous parents who often performed together. She had 3 siblings; two brothers William Gordon and Robert Bruce and a sister named Heather who eventually became an actress.
Her mother Sheila MacRae was an actress, a singer and a dancer. She became really popular for her role as Alice on the hit comedy series The Jackie Gleason Show (1966-70) and she later headlined her own TV show The Sheila MacRae Show.
Meredith’s father Gordon MacRae was a film, TV and stage actor and also a musician. He appeared in numerous musical films including On Moonlight Bay (1951) and its sequel By The Light of the Silvery Moon (1953).
Spouse and Kids
Meredith Macrae was married to Philip Mark Neal, a business executive who served as the president and CEO of Avery Dennison Corporation. They tied the knot on February 4, 1995, and remained married till her death in 2000.
Prior to the above-stated marital union, Meredith Macrae was married to fellow actor Greg Mullavey from 1969 to 1987 and they had one child together, a daughter named Alison, born in 1974. Her first marriage was to film and TV executive Richard Berger, the former president of Walt Disney Pictures and MGM.
Is She Dead?
Meredith Macrae died at the age 56 following a grueling battle with brain cancer. She reported to the hospital in early 1999 with symptoms which were initially assumed to be due to perimenopause. She was later diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer after which she underwent a series of surgeries and also received an experimental drug. Sadly, she died on July 14, 2000. Her remains were cremated and her ashes were scattered in the Pacific.