Meredith MacRae and Tim Considine briefly dated during My Three Sons
In 1963, Meredith MacRae guest starred in her first My Three Sons episode.
In "How Do You Know?" My Three Sons star Tim Considine’s character Mike falls for MacRae’s character Sally right away, and in the series, the couple eventually get engaged, then married.
Early on while filming My Three Sons, MacRae already had a steady boyfriend in an accounting student named Rick Berger, but they weren’t in a rush to get married, so MacRae was free to date her costar Tim behind the scenes of the show.
In 1964, MacRae told the Star Tribune that she had her "future husband picked" in Rick, however, "I still date others, but he doesn’t."
While the spark we saw on TV became true love for Mike and Sally on My Three Sons, Tim Considine and Meredith MacRae didn’t have a spark like that, instead becoming friends.
Eventually, they started double-dating, with Tim bringing along his current girlfriend to join Meredith and Rick. On these outings, Tim proved to have become a close friend who understood Meredith sometimes better than her boyfriend did.
"It’s so exciting, so confusing and yet so completely without friction because Rick and Tim not only like each other, but compare notes on me," MacRae told the Paducah Sun in 1964. "I suppose you think that would make me mad, but I think it’s dreamy!"
MacRae said of the two, Tim paid closer attention to her.
"He’s constantly alert, deeply objective in his approach to everything, so that you feel he’s sometimes X-raying your mind," MacRae said. "If I ask Tim what I wore on set yesterday, he describes my wardrobe in detail, even how my hair was arranged."
Rick wasn’t quite that attentive.
"With Rick, it’s a different story," MacRae said. "He’s more casual and not very observant. If I asked him what I wore on a date last night, he wouldn’t have the vaguest idea, even if it were a dress I bought just for him!"
MacRae was quick to clarify that she was happier with Rick, whether he noticed what she wore or not.
"Tim can learn a lot from Rick, too," MacRae said. "Tim’s a little withdrawn till you ask him something. Rick always starts a conversation, usually with something dreamy like, ‘You look wonderful, Honey.’"
That’s why when MacRae had to do romantic scenes with Tim with the whole cast and crew watching, she found herself channeling her relationship with Rick to make the scenes convincing.
"I concentrate furiously and say to myself, this isn’t Tim, it’s Rick," MacRae said. "If I concentrate hard enough, I fool myself into thinking it is Rick, and there aren’t 65 people around and Rick is really holding my hand in a secluded restaurant."
"I feel like a wicked fraud, but the director says I’m convincing and that’s what I’m being paid for," MacRae said.
Although Meredith thought it was a little confusing to be "engaged" to both men at the same time, in 1964, her most fervent wish was to actually walk down the aisle for the first time with Rick, not onscreen while pretending to get married to Tim.
"If they have me marry Tim first, I’ll just die," MacRae swore. "I know I will."
Lucky for her, her TV wedding on My Three Sons wouldn’t occur until spring 1965. In the real world, she wed Rick Berger in 1964.
They remained married for four years, after which MacRae remarried twice.
But in the mid-Sixties, Rick was her main squeeze, and the clothes she wore on My Three Sons were the very same ones she wore on her dates with Rick – mainly because she had to provide her own wardrobe.
"I furnish my own wardrobe for the show, and that was fine except when they told me I couldn’t take my clothes home," MacRae told Miami News in 1964. "I sort of had a fit! I don’t have that many clothes. Finally, it was decided whatever I take home, I have to check out and write everything down. Then I can take my clothes home."
Donning that wardrobe while juggling two men, MacRae was happy to have both Rick and Tim in her life during that time when her acting career was taking off.