There were some pretty classical musicals written for the Broadway stage in the 1940s. And when they were brought to the screen in the 1950s Gordon McCrea was the perfect leading man.

And let’s not forget those wonderful pictures with Doris Day!

He was never a star in the same league as Cary Grant, or even Errol Flynn.

Musical comedy leading men (with the exception of Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly) never made the big leagues. BUT musical comedy had its stalwart men — think Howard Keel, Dan Dailey, Donald O’Connor, and Gordon McCrea.

You never heard much about his private life. You never heard rumors about his affairs or tales about his temperament.  All the public knew about Gordon McCrae was that he delivered fine performances in entertaining films.

(In fact, McCrea battled alcoholism for much of his life. He was famously married for 26 years to Sheila McCrea, and fathered four children by her  including actresses Heather and Meredith McCrea. He died in 1986 at the age of 64.)

McCrea starred in the film versions of two of Broadways biggest hits, Oklahoma and Carousel along with Shirley Jones. (He was godfather to Jones’ and Jack Cassidy’s son, Shaun Cassidy.)

McCrea had starred with Doris Day in two classic musical comedies, On Moonlight Bay, and By The Light of the Silvery Moon, based on Booth Tarkington’s Penrod stories.

All four of those films hold up beautifully today with great acting and production values.

 

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