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TV Picture Life (May 1973)

"How MacArthur Keeps His Private Army In Top Form"

By Sandra Lenore

James MacArthur is a happy young man. He has a lovely wife, Melody Patterson, and two beautiful children, Charles and Mary, from his first marriage to Joyce Bulifant. He is currently co-starring in the TV series Hawaii Five-O and so Jim and Melody spend eight months of the year living in Hawaii and the other four months in Southern California.

Hawaii is an excellent place for outdoor activities. Water sports and picnics both day and night are popular all year round because of the warm climate. The little outer islands are filled with romance and charm and two people in love couldn’t find a better place than this island paradise.

When Jim got the role of Danny Williams in Hawaii Five-O he wasn’t too sure if he was going to like living in Hawaii. There were a lot more places he would have rather been. Just having been divorced from Joyce Bulifant after nine years of marriage, Jim felt alone. Even though he knew he would be working had and could do the things he liked so well in his spare time, such as surfing, he knew he needed time to relieve his tensions and fears.

In the months that followed, Jim worked long hours but had the time to surf, swim, fish and just lie around in the sun in the company of friendly people. He began to come out of his shell. Jim and Melody had been dating on and off for two years before they were married.

Their wedding was most romantic. All their guests were taken by ferry boat over to Kauai Island where Jim and Melody were wed in a sacred cave called Fern Grotto. It was a beautiful start for two people in love.

Jim, born December 8, 1937, is the son of Helen Hayes and the late newspaperman and playwright Charles MacArthur. He was raised in Nyack, New York and received his education at the Allen Stevenson School in New York and Solebury School in New Hope, Pa. He attended Harvard University majoring in history but left in his sophomore year to embark on a full-scale acting career.

It was inevitable, considering his heritage and environment, that by the time he was 16, young Jim would become absorbed with acting and thinking of it in terms of a future career. During school vacations and whenever time permitted, Jim took acting jobs. When he decided that it was what he wanted to do in life he started by doing summer stock just like many other young actors. It didn’t bother him that his mother was the first lady of the theatre and that people expected him to do well. He used to say, “I’ll do my best.” That was all he could say.

He learned as much as he could and his own talent finally won him the recognition he wanted. During all this time Jim still kept in shape. He felt that looking good and being healthy were important things in life. He played baseball, football, tennis and exercised whenever he could. It took him over ten years until the part on Hawaii Five-O came along, but he was proud he had done it on his own.

Melody is the perfect wife for him. Although she is 12 years younger than he is, she is a very mature young lady. At the age of 16 she got herself a role in the TV series F Troop. No one ever questioned that she was that young because series members had to be 18. She was hard working, mature and did her job well. While working on the series she was still a full-time student and kept up with her studies without any difficulty.

Melody like Jim loves sports and is very athletic. She and Jim spend all their free time together doing the things they love. Each time Jim has a day off they do something different. One day it’s surfing and another day it could be swimming. They take long walks along the beach and have long talks, pausing only to look at the beautiful island they call home. Sometimes they go sailboating and other days they play tennis with friends. Jim likes to keep in shape because his work is very hard. Sometimes there are chase scenes and climbing trees and lots of running after the bad guys, and an actor certainly wants to be able to do his job.

Keeping physically fit can be fun for the whole family. When Jim and Melody spend their four months of the year in Southern California it’s always filled with activities. Jim’s children from his first marriage come to stay with them. Charles, who is 12 years old and Mary, who is 7, live with their mother, Joyce Bulifant, and her husband, Ed Mallory. Ed appears on the TV soap opera Days of Our Lives.

Jim’s love for his children is without bounds. He adores them but doesn’t spoil them when they are with him. He has remained good friends with their mother Joyce, and even gets along well with Joyce’s husband, Ed.

Children like to know that everyone is happy. They’re too young to understand that sometimes when two people get a divorce they can end up hating one another. If Jim and Joyce did not genuinely remain good friends and just acted that way in front of the children, Charles and Mary would know it in an instant. Children can sense things like that. But they don’t have that problem. They are growing up in a normal environment and loved by both their mother and father. Maybe they have something special going for them. Ed Mallory is a great guy and loves the children and so does Melody. Charles and Mary have them both too. It’s very special to have two sets of parents all of whom love you.

When the kids come to stay with Melody and Jim the house is never quiet. There’s always swimming in the family pool. Going horseback riding with Dad or out for an occasional ride in a friend’s self-made dune buggy.

There is always someone dropping by to visit. There are barbecues on the patio for family and friends. Jim and Melody like to see their family and friends as much as possible when they’re in California since they spend so much time at their apartment in Honolulu and it isn’t often that their friends from the mainland come to visit.

The days are filled with sports and activities for the whole family, Jim, Melody, Charles and Mary. Keeping in shape by yourself isn’t too much fun. When you have a wife who feels the same way, you are lucky, but when the whole family gets into the act keeping physically fit can sure be fun!

James MacArthur

James MacArthur

James MacArthur

James MacArthur, Melody Patterson

James MacArthur, Melody Patterson

Mary MacArthur, James MacArthur

Charlie MacArthur, Mary MacArthur, James MacArthur

James MacArthur, Mary MacArthur, Charlie MacArthur

Melody Patterson, James MacArthur

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