Meredith MacRae used a fake name to avoid nepotism accusations
The star of My Three Sons and Petticoat Junction got there the hard way.
It seems like, more than ever, nepotism is plaguing the entertainment movies. "Nepo babies," as they've been dubbed, are hogging up opportunities from less-famous, more-qualified performers. It seems like every day there's an actor couple who've made a new actor person who rises to the top way too quickly. If movie remakes weren't already concerning enough, now there are literal celebrity remakes as well.
It's not a new trend and in fact, Hollywood has always been "all in the family." A great earlier example is Meredith MacRae, star of My Three Sons and Petticoat Junction. Her mother, Sheila MacRae appeared in such films as Caged, Backfire, and Sex and the Single Girl, and her father Gordon appeared in two Rogers and Hammerstein film adaptations, Oklahoma! and Carousel. While performing may have been in her blood, Meredith MacRae did what she could to ensure she wasn't coasting off her last name.
In 1963, as the young star-to-be joined the cast of My Three Sons, she spoke with the St. Louis Globe-Democrat regarding her famous lineage.
"When I interviewed for this job, I used a fictitious name. I'm told there were 40 other applicants in the field, but I got the part through my own efforts — by reading for it. Dad won't admit it, but I think he's kind of proud."
In fact, readers might be surprised by how little MacRae's famous parents helped her out in the acting world.
"Well, they have never encouraged a career in show business, but they didn't discourage me, either.
"They used to tell me 'When you finish high school, we'll see.' When I did, then Dad said, 'Now let's go to college.'
"I think he is a little disappointed that I won't be going back to school right away. But I think he also is pleased — secretly — that I managed to get this job on my own."