Fred MacMurray said his wealth was exaggerated by writers
The actor was rich, but his definition of wealth differed slightly from others.
When you see actors buying land, fancy cars and clothes, or simply living lavishly, the first thought that comes to mind is that they're wealthy.
It's no secret that Fred MacMurray was loaded with cash. The My Three Sons star was the wealthiest in Hollywood and the United States at one point, but he wasn't flashy at all. His chill, laid-back guy image overshadowed his riches.
The actor made $420,000 in 1943, equivalent to over $6 million today. MacMurray had various sources of income that contributed to his healthy financial status, and the press loved to write about it.
Did he have way more money than the average person? Yes, but writers seemed to exaggerate his wealth. According to Fred MacMurray, he wasn't as rich as they kept writing about.
"I'm not as rich as you keep writing I am," he said during an interview with the North American Newspaper Alliance in 1969. "I have a couple of apartment houses and a ranch up north and a home here in Brentwood, but when you say rich, I have nothing like Bob Hope or Bing Crosby or Joel McCrea. My ranch is a couple of thousand acres, but it isn't in the same profitable area that Joel McCrea's is."
According to the article in the newspaper, unlike other rich celebrities, MacMurray didn't have butlers, chefs, etc. Yet, he did have a woman who would come into his house and clean. He said he and his family lived a simple life.
"June and I live simple with the twins (the girls are 12 years old and go to day school and will go to a day high school — no boarding schools for the MacMurrays). We have a woman come in to clean, but June does the cooking. She's a complete housewife," he added.
MacMurray's definition of wealth differed from others, and he believed that it had various tiers.
He knew he had complete financial freedom and that money wasn't something to worry about, but he didn't see himself as "filthy rich" as the press did.