Meredith MacRae life and biography

Meredith MacRae picture, image, poster

Meredith MacRae biography

Date of birth : 1944-05-30
Date of death : 2000-07-14
Birthplace : Houston, Texas, U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2010-05-10
Credited as : Actress , Television actor, Billie Jo

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Meredith Lynn MacRae was an American actress.

Life and career

MacRae was best known for her television roles as Billie Jo on Petticoat Junction and as Sally Ann in My Three Sons. She also took over the role of "Animal" from Valora Noland in Bikini Beach (1964), the third Beach Party film produced by American International Pictures.

She made guest appearances on such shows as The F.B.I., The Rockford Files, Fantasy Island, Webster, CHiPS, Love American Style, and Magnum, P.I..

Her game show appearances were numerous and included: Funny You Should Ask, Match Game, What's My Line?, I've Got a Secret, Tattletales (with then-husband Greg Mullavey), Hollywood Squares, To Tell the Truth, Password (ABC version), $10,000 Pyramid, Mantrap, Break the Bank, Celebrity Whew!, Beat the Clock, Card Sharks, and Family Feud.

Other movies included Norwood, co-starring with Glen Campbell and Joe Namath, and The Census Taker with her second husband, Greg Mullavey.

In the 1980s, she hosted Mid-Morning Los Angeles and was awarded a local Emmy for her interviewing skills. Later, she created and hosted Born Famous, a PBS series on which she interviewed children of celebrities.

In summer stock, in her teens, she appeared with Dan Dailey in Take Me Along, with Andy Williams in Bye Bye Birdie and also in Annie Get Your Gun.

MacRae worked to raise funds for such causes as the Children's Burn Foundation, the American Cancer Society and United Cerebral Palsy. She was also honorary chairperson for the National Council on Alcoholism and spoke to groups all across the country.

After getting the part of Sally Ann in My Three Sons, she obtained a BA in English from UCLA. She said, "While mom and dad were a little disappointed I didn’t finish college, they didn’t object. But I feel different. I’m not going to give up the idea of college. Next spring, when we take a production break from the series ("My Three Sons"), I’m going right back and pick up where I left off. I know now what a big mistake it would have been to be a high school drop-out. I’ve learned so much that will help me in my career and in life generally."

She was the daughter of show business parents Gordon and Sheila MacRae, the sister of Gar and Heather MacRae. Her only child is daughter Allison Mullavey by her second marriage to actor Greg Mullavey. Her first marriage was to MGM executive Richard Berger. Her third and final marriage was to Fortune 500 CEO Philip Neal.

Meredith credited her parents with instilling a proper work ethic in her and for keeping her feet on the ground. She said, “We lived in a modest home in the San Fernando Valley instead of the fashionable Beverly Hills which the family could have afforded. Mom and Dad didn’t want us to feel superior to the other kids. I had to earn the things I wanted all the way from dolls to party gowns by doing chores around the house and taking care of my younger sister and brothers.

“Lots of kids in my circle automatically got a car when they were 16. Not me. Dad said he would get me a car when I got straight A's two years in a row in school. I slaved away and finally made it. I got the car with the warning that if I didn’t continue with straight A's, it would be taken away.”

In the late 90s after experiencing vertigo and headaches, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She endured surgery and chemotherapy, even volunteering to test a new cancer drug. On July 14, 2000, she died from complications of brain cancer. As per her wishes, her body was cremated and her ashes were scattered in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California.

At the time of her death MacRae was married to Phil Neal, CEO of Avery Dennison Corporation. Neal joined Avery Dennison in 1974, became CEO of the office products giant in 1998 and was named chairman in 2000. Neal retired from Avery Dennison in 2005 and died from heart failure on October 29, 2008.


* "Image of a Boy"/"Time Stands Still" — Canjo 103 (1964)
* "Who Needs Memories of Him"/"Goodbye Love" — Capitol 2000 (1967)

"The Girls from Petticoat Junction" (Meredith MacRae, Linda Kaye Henning and Lori Saunders)

* "I'm So Glad That You Found Me"/"If You Could Only Be Me" — Imperial 66329 (1968)
* "Wheeling, West Virginia"/"Thirty Days Hath September" — Imperial 66346 (1968)

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