Tags: my three sons | tina cole | don grady

'My Three Sons Star' Reveals Secret Love Affair With Costar

Actor Jason Bateman, left, talks with 'My Three Sons' cast members.
Actor Jason Bateman, left, talks with cast members from the 1960’s TV show “My Three Sons,” from left to right, actors Barry Livingston (Ernie, with glasses), Don Grady (Rob) and Stanley Linvingston (Chip), after a cameo appearance during a taping of the show in 1997 in Burbank, Calf. (Kevork Djansezian/AP)

By    |   Monday, 06 January 2020 02:47 PM

"My Three Sons" costars Tina Cole and Don Grady shared an undeniable spark on camera but behind the scenes a much greater love story was unfolding-- one of joy, heartache and despair. It took a while for things to develop though.

Grady, who played Robbie Douglas in the hit series, did not initially want to have Cole cast as his on-screen wife, Katie.

"He didn't think I was the right girl for him," the 76-year-old actress told Fox News in an interview published Monday. She explained that Grady envisioned someone else playing the role. Someone who resembled a surfer girl and who was "skinny and blonde."

"And then there’s me," Cole said. "I had no idea he really fought the casting."

Things were awkward between the two during filming. They avoided any intimacy on-screen, much to the annoyance of the crew.

"When we were filming, we were supposed to show how this couple falls in love," Cole, who was married at the time, recalled. "But instead of kissing, our noses would just bump into each other."

They had to force themselves to kiss for the camera. Things only began to change two years later, when the two costars were doing telethons together. Cole was divorced and said she and Grady fell "madly in love" with one another.

"We went together on and off for about eight years. He wanted to marry me, but I wasn’t ready," Cole said. "I loved him madly, but I had a son and I just wasn’t sure. I wasn’t quite ready."

Grady wanted Cole to move in with him but the actress said she "just couldn't." He told her he needed someone who would be able to commit to him, so he married Julie Boonisar, who he later divorced.

Cole recalled the first time she saw Grady after he had tied the knot.

"We did one of the first reunion shows with 'The Partridge Family,' which was really odd because we weren’t even on the same network. I remember Don and me locked eyes when we saw each other for the first time. He then said, 'I made a huge mistake. I will call you when I’m no longer married.' And he did a couple of months later."

Cole said they did get back together, but then Grady made the decision to go to New York to try his hand at Broadway.

"He said, 'Come with me.' I told him, 'I will as your wife.' Then he said, 'No, come as my friend.' I told him that I just couldn’t."

In 1985 Grady married Virginia "Ginny" Lewsader. The couple had two children and stayed together until Grady's death on June 27, 2012.

Cole meanwhile went on to marry Volney Howard III, but their relationship ended in divorce. She has four children. One from her first marriage and three from her second.

Looking back at their epic love story, Cole did not regret anything.

"We never did marry, but it was a very wonderful love for many years," she said wistfully. "It’s funny because he initially didn’t like me at all because I apparently wasn’t his type."

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"My Three Sons" costars Tina Cole and Don Grady shared an undeniable spark on camera but behind the scenes a much greater love story was unfolding-- one of joy, heartache and despair. It took a while for things to develop though.
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Monday, 06 January 2020 02:47 PM
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