Barry Livingston

Actor


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his nearly three-hour Archive interview, Barry Livingston discusses his early start in acting, following in the footsteps of his older brother, actor Stanley Livingston. He describes an early recurring role on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and then details how he was cast on the show for which he's best known, My Three Sons. He talks about the sitcom's unusual production schedule, explains the transition of his character "Ernie" from boy next door to adopted son, and tells of working with his castmates, including his real-life brother Stanley and movie star Fred MacMurray. Livingston chronicles his move to New York to study acting when My Three Sons ended and describes his work on Broadway and in TV roles on Sons and Daughters, Streets of San Francisco and Doogie Howser, M.D.. He discusses some of his film work, as well as guest roles on The New Adventures of Old Christine, Big Love and Mad Men. Livingston also talks about his book, "The Importance of Being Ernie" and offers advice to aspiring actors. Nancy Harrington conducted the interview on September 27, 2013 in North Hollywood, CA.

"I was sort of the ragamuffin, the kid who was not the rich kid's child. I was sort of the poverty-stricken one who couldn't afford braces and glasses. Terrible haircut. And slowly that became my signature, being the kind of the goofy-looking kid next door, and now that's all the rage. Nerds control the world."   

Highlights
Barry Livingston on how he got cast as a regular on My Three Sons and working with his real-life brother
03:41
Barry Livingston on his My Three Sons character "Ernie Thompson Douglas" and how he moved from the boy next door to adopted son
02:53
Barry Livingston on getting a semi-regular role on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and working with Ozzie Nelson
03:23
Barry Livingston on meeting Elvis Presley on the lot while filming "My Six Loves"
01:58
Barry Livingston on writing a book, "The Importance of Being Ernie"
01:55
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his childhood and early influences; on how he got his start in acting
On the audition process when he was a child actor; on how he learned lines; on appearing on Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater
On getting a semi-regular role on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and working with the Nelson family
On roles in the films "The Errand Boy", "My Six Loves", and "Papa's Delicate Condition"; on appearing on The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Lucy Show
On how he got cast on My Three Sons; on his character's transition from the boy next door to adopted son; on working with his real-life brother
On a typical production week on My Three Sons and accommodating star Fred MacMurray 

Chapter 2

On dealing with the unusual production schedule on My Three Sons; on producer Fred De Cordova; on attending school on set and later attending public school
On working with the cast of My Three Sons
On the atmosphere on the set of My Three Sons; on the appeal of the show, why it went off the air, and the legacy of My Three Sons
On studying acting in New York; on roles in You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown, Streets of San Francisco, and Sons and Daughters
On appearing on Broadway in "Skin of Our Teeth"; on being unemployed for a while and appearing on TV episodes here and there
On his recurring role on Doogie Howser, M.D.; on his work with repertory theater in Los Angeles

Chapter 3

On on his role in the TV movie High School U.S.A. in which former child stars play the teachers to then-current child stars
On voiceover work and appearances on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Will & Grace and other TV movies; on meeting Adam Sandler and appearing in a Super Bowl commercial
On appearances on Mad Men, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Big Love, "Argo" and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
On appearing in the Clint Eastwood-directed film "Jersey Boys"; on writing a book, "The Importance of Being Ernie"; on doing autograph shows
On fame, advice to aspiring actors, and where he sees himself in 10 years
Shows

Adventures Of Ozzie and Harriet, The

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Barry Livingston on getting fired from and then re-hired later on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet
01:09
Barry Livingston on getting a semi-regular role on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and working with Ozzie Nelson
03:23
Barry Livingston on working with Harriet, Rick, and Dave Nelson on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet
02:20
Barry Livingston on how his role on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet impacted his career
00:56

Big Love

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Barry Livingston on appearing in several episodes of Big Love
01:58

Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theatre

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Barry Livingston on appearing on Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater
01:29

Dick Van Dyke Show, The

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Barry Livingston on appearing in an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show
02:10

Doogie Howser, M.D.

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Barry Livingston on his recurring role as "Dr. Rickett" on Doogie Howser, M.D.
01:50

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

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Barry Livingston on appearing in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
01:11

Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman

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Barry Livingston on playing a villainous character on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
00:55

Lucy Show, The

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Barry Livingston on appearing as "Arnold Mooney" on The Lucy Show
02:07

Mad Men

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Barry Livingston on meeting Matthew Weiner and appearing on Mad Men
04:20

My Three Sons

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Barry Livingston on how he got cast as a regular on My Three Sons and working with his real-life brother
03:41
Barry Livingston on the premise of My Three Sons
01:21
Barry Livingston on joining an existing hit show when he joined My Three Sons
00:44
Barry Livingston on his My Three Sons character "Ernie Thompson Douglas" and how he moved from the boy next door to adopted son
02:53
Barry Livingston on his My Three Sons character "Ernie Thompson Douglas'" strengths and weaknesses and how the character evolved
03:43
Barry Livingston on a My Three Sons storyline that co-worker Don Grady disagreed with - separate beds for his married character and his wife; on other censorship issues on the show
02:49
Barry Livingston on the look and wardrobe of his My Three Sons character "Ernie Thompson Douglas'"
01:25
Barry Livingston on a typical production week on My Three Sons and accommodating star Fred MacMurray 
05:11
Barry Livingston on dealing with the unusual production schedule on My Three Sons
02:46
Barry Livingston on working with My Three Sons creator Don Fedderson and the directors and producers
00:38
Barry Livingston on attending school on the set of My Three Sons and later returning to public school
03:58
Barry Livingston on working with the cast of My Three Sons
10:39
Barry Livingston on the atmosphere on the set of My Three Sons
01:19
Barry Livingston on the addition of three female characters to My Three Sons
01:21
Barry Livingston on how fans reacted to him when he was on My Three Sons
02:15
Barry Livingston on the appeal of My Three Sons
01:18
Barry Livingston on pressure to be a role model on My Three Sons
01:00
Barry Livingston on promotions for My Three Sons and whether or not he watched the show
01:21
Barry Livingston on not thinking about leaving My Three Sons and his favorite episodes of the show
01:51
Barry Livingston on working with Zsa Zsa Gabor on the "Ernie and Zsa Zsa" episode of My Three Sons and working with Rose Marie on another episode
01:07
Barry Livingston on why My Three Sons ended
02:45
Barry Livingston on his residual deal at the end of My Three Sons
01:13
Barry Livingston on the legacy of My Three Sons
01:36
Barry Livingston on Michael Douglas trying to develop a My Three Sons movie
02:18

New Adventures of Old Christine, The

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Barry Livingston on guest-starring on The New Adventures of Old Christine
01:52

Sons and Daughters (1974)

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Barry Livingston on how he got cast on Sons and Daughters
01:47
Barry Livingston on the premise of Sons and Daughters and working with Glynnis O'Connor and Richard Donner
02:58

Streets of San Francisco, The

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Barry Livingston on appearing on Streets of San Francisco
01:08

Will & Grace

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Barry Livingston on guest-starring with Michael Douglas on Will & Grace
00:22
Topics

Advice

View Topic
Barry Livingston on advice for aspiring actors
01:43

Censorship / Standards & Practices

View Topic
Barry Livingston on a My Three Sons storyline that co-worker Don Grady disagreed with - separate beds for his married character and his wife
01:50
Barry Livingston on censorship issues with cursing on My Three Sons
00:59

Characters & Catchphrases

View Topic
Barry Livingston on his My Three Sons character "Ernie Thompson Douglas" and how he moved from the boy next door to adopted son; on "Ernie's" strengths and weaknesses
06:36

Fame & Celebrity

View Topic
Barry Livingston on how fans reacted to him when he was on My Three Sons
02:15
Barry Livingston on how fame has affected his life
01:48

Pop Culture

View Topic
Barry Livingston on his My Three Sons character "Ernie Thompson Douglas" and how he moved from the boy next door to adopted son; on "Ernie's" strengths and weaknesses
06:36

Television Industry

View Topic
Barry Livingston on a My Three Sons storyline that co-worker Don Grady disagreed with - separate beds for his married character and his wife
01:50
Barry Livingston on censorship issues with cursing on My Three Sons
00:59
Barry Livingston on how fans reacted to him when he was on My Three Sons
02:15
Barry Livingston on how fame has affected his life
01:48
Barry Livingston on advice for aspiring actors
01:43
Professions

Actor

View Profession
Barry Livingston on learning lines when he was a child
00:37
Barry Livingston on being a guest actor on an established show
02:00
Barry Livingston on advice for aspiring actors
01:43

Performers

View Profession
Barry Livingston on learning lines when he was a child
00:37
Barry Livingston on being a guest actor on an established show
02:00
Barry Livingston on advice for aspiring actors
01:43
Genres

Comedy Series

View Genre
Barry Livingston on getting a semi-regular role on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and working with the Nelson family
07:24
Barry Livingston on getting cast as "Ernie Thompson Douglas" on My Three Sons
21:47
Barry Livingston on working with the cast, favorite episodes, and the end of My Three Sons
38:26

Commercials

View Genre
Barry Livingston on appearing in a Superbowl ad for Heineken directed by David Fincher and starring Brad Pitt
02:16

TV Movies/Miniseries/Dramatic Specials

View Genre
Barry Livingston on appearing off-Broadway and in the TV movie You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown
01:32
Barry Livingston on his role in the TV movie High School U.S.A. . in which former child stars play the teachers to then-current child stars
01:47
People

Fred de Cordova

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Barry Livingston on adoring My Three Sons producer Fred De Cordova
03:09

William Demarest

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Barry Livingston on working with the cast of My Three Sons - William Demarest
01:40

Richard Donner

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Barry Livingston on working with director Richard Donner on Sons and Daughters
01:08

Michael Douglas

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Barry Livingston on Michael Douglas trying to develop a My Three Sons movie
02:18

Clint Eastwood

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Barry Livingston on appearing in the Clint Eastwood-directed film "Jersey Boys"
05:20

Peter Falk

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Barry Livingston on Peter Falk watching his audition for Sons and Daughters
01:03

Don Fedderson

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Barry Livingston on working with My Three Sons creator Don Fedderson
00:38

Michael J. Fox

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Barry Livingston on his role in the TV movie High School U.S.A. . in which former child stars play the teachers to then-current child stars
01:47

William Frawley

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Barry Livingston on working with the cast of My Three Sons - William Frawley
03:20

Zsa Zsa Gabor

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Barry Livingston on working with Zsa Zsa Gabor on the "Ernie and Zsa Zsa" episode of My Three Sons
00:50

Jackie Gleason

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Barry Livingston on working with Jackie Gleason while filming "Papa's Delicate Condition"
00:29

Neil Patrick Harris

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Barry Livingston on advice to Neil Patrick Harris on Doogie Howser, M.D.
00:41

Jerry Lewis

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Barry Livingston on working with Jerry Lewis in the film "The Errand Boy"
00:56

Stanley Livingston

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Barry Livingston on his brother and fellow actor, Stanley Livingston
01:38
Barry Livingston on being jealous of the fame his brother Stanley Livingston had achieved and working on a hit series with him
01:14

Fred MacMurray

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Barry Livingston on a typical production week on My Three Sons and accommodating star Fred MacMurray 
03:14
Barry Livingston on working with the cast of My Three Sons - Fred MacMurray
01:06

Karl Malden

View Person Page
Barry Livingston on appearing on Streets of San Francisco
01:08

Ozzie Nelson

View Person Page
Barry Livingston on getting a semi-regular role on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and working with Ozzie Nelson
05:43

Paul Newman

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Barry Livingston on working with Paul Newman in the film "Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys!"
03:12

Elvis Presley

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Barry Livingston on meeting Elvis Presley on the lot while filming "My Six Loves"
01:58

Carl Reiner

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Barry Livingston on appearing in an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show
02:10

Gene Reynolds

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Barry Livingston on working with My Three Sons director Gene Reynolds

Debbie Reynolds

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Barry Livingston on working with Debbie Reynolds in the film "My Six Loves"
01:51

Adam Sandler

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Barry Livingston on meeting Adam Sandler
03:00

Matthew Weiner

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Barry Livingston on meeting Matthew Weiner and appearing on Mad Men
04:20

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