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Katie changed the dynamics of the show when she joined the all-male cast of the Fred MacMurray sitcom in 1967 as Robbie's (Don Grady) girlfriend and wife, and eventually the mother of triplets.

“It was a great show, a wonderful family,” Tina said in an interview with Fresno TV host John Malos. “Everyone felt like family. We didn't have drug problem, the kids [co-stars] weren't all messed up.”

Tina had to endure a grueling hours of interviews to earn the job of Katie. First, she sat down with director Fred De Cordova, followed by an hour session with producer Ed Hartman, and then a final interview with MacMurray and his wife June.

“(Katie) couldn't be too sickeningly sweet,” Tina said. “She had to have a little feistiness. We spent hours talking about finding the right balance. It was all about the relationship with the [all male] cast.”
Tina was told the producers had interviewed 2000 girls and narrowed it down to 25 for screen tests, so after her interviews wrapped up she wasn't sure where she stood.

“I was walking out and the casting director chased me down. 'Wait, you forgot to the contract. You got the show. We start in a week and a half. Come back and sign.'”

Two seasons into her stint on the show, Tina learned that Grady had almost quit “My Three Sons” when she got the job because he didn't feel she was right for the character.

“He wanted a skinny little surfer girl with long hair, and I certainly wasn't that.”

During a Thanksgiving reunion show in 1977, Tina revealed that she and Grady had almost gotten married in real life – twice. And in a case of life imitating art, on the show, MacMurray's character married a widowed teacher, Beverly Garland, becoming Katie's step mother-in-law. Years after the series concluded, Tina married Garland's step-son, and Garland became her real-life step mother-in-law.
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Classic TV Beautiesw

No. 35
Classic TV Beauties 1960s Countdown
TINA COLE as Katie Miller Douglas in "My Three Sons"
Since MacMurray was an established movie star, filming for "My Three Sons" was shot around his schedule and he worked on the show only a few months a year. Tina said the toughest part was shooting scenes out of sequence to accommodate MacMurray.

“My Three Sons” aired for 12 seasons (1960-72) – five on ABC, seven on CBS, shooting 380 episodes, the second longest running family sitcom in history. MacMurray stunned the film industry when he jumped from the silver screen to the small screen.

While America was undergoing tremendous change and the Summer of Love occurred during the latter days of the“My Three Sons” period, the show retained its Eisenhower era values.

“The real world was quite tumultuous and revolution was in the air,” Barry Livingston, who played Chip Douglas, told CBS News in 2009. “And we were still eating Uncle Charley's cookies and having milk.”

“(Fred) was very concerned that the moral value was there,” Tina said, “that we wouldn't do or say anything that was the least bit controversial.”
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Even after Katie and Robbie married, the two slept in twin beds until the cast members convinced the producers that the couple should sleep in a one bed like real-life American couples.

A king size bed was brought in so the two couldn't get too cozy, and Tina said she and Robbie couldn't face each other in bedroom scenes.

“We could talk but we had to end by turning away.”

A native of Los Angeles, Tina was a member of The King Family, a wholesome singing and entertaining group composed of almost 40 members, which had a musical variety series in the 1960s. Tina later performed with The Four King Cousins, a sub-group of the family.
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Tina Cole "My Three Sons" Katie Miller Douglas
Tina Cole "My Three Sons" Katie Miller Douglas
Tina Cole "My Three Sons" Katie Miller Douglas
Tina Cole "My Three Sons" Katie Miller Douglas
She had limited acting experience before “My Three Sons.” She played a character named Sunny Day in the 1963 detective series “Hawaiian Eye,” and had a minor role in “Palm Springs Weekend,” a spring break party movie.

After “My Three Sons,” Tina toured again with The King Family and later became the director of the Children's Theatre in Sacramento.
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